Tuesday, December 18, 2012
white chocolate cranberry biscotti
I told you all about my holiday cookie boxes -- now I get to tell you about all of the goodies that I stuffed inside of them. Get ready for an overload of cookie recipes in the next few days (I owe it to you after being MIA for the last two weeks).
In the past, I would have never ordered biscotti at a coffee shop. Why would I choose a hard, crunchy cookie wrapped in plastic when I could have a warm slice of banana bread, or a delicious slice of blueberry coffee cake? This recipe has entirely changed my views on biscotti. These are not the brick-like, tooth-breaking, stale biscotti that may come to mind. These are buttery, vanilla-y, and pure heaven when sitting alongside a dark, rich cup of coffee.
I made these for my friend Grace who loves the blog Cupcakes and Cashmere. Emily Schuman (the genius behind Cupcakes and Cashmere) wrote that these were one of her favorite things to have with afternoon tea. She makes hers with almonds and orange liqueur. To make mine more festive for the holidays, I substituted white chocolate and cranberries for the orange zest and liqueur. Grace, just like Emily Schuman, has a great sense of style. I am always jealous of her classic, stylish ensembles. She loves J. Crew, and Tory Burch. She even has a job at a classy, menswear store in the area. Biscotti are the classiest of cookies (even the name "biscotti" sounds so sophisticated!) -- so I knew they would be just perfect for my amazing, stylish friend, Grace. Watch out, because she just may be the next "Cupcakes and Cashmere" (she even has Emily's long blonde hair!).
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped or sliced almonds
1 large egg white
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Mix sugar, melted butter, 3 eggs, and vanilla extract in large bowl. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir with wooden spoon until well blended. Mix in almonds, white chocolate chips, and cranberries.
Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, shape each dough half into 13 1/2-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Transfer both logs to prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Whisk egg white in small bowl until foamy; brush over top and sides of each dough log.
Bake logs until golden brown (logs will spread), about 30 minutes. Cool logs completely on sheet on rack, about 25 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
Transfer logs to work surface; discard parchment paper. Using serrated knife, cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on same baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes. Turn biscotti over; bake until just beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.
Do ahead: Can be prepared one week ahead, though mine have kept even longer. Store in airtight container at room temperature.