Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chocolate Cranberry Almond Biscotti

I won't reveal the name of the person that said this, but recently a person who is very connected to the Pomegranate Inn made the comment, "You can make biscotti?" She wasn't talking about me having the ability but rather, the fact the most Americans find biscotti in a tub or jar individually wrapped for mass consumption.

Yes, the everyday person CAN make
biscotti! But why make mass produced Plain Jane Biscotti when you can throw a bunch of additional flavors into it? This recipe really is so easy to make and I hope it inspires you to head to the kitchen and whip up a batch!

16-20 servings
10 minute prep time
45 minute cook time
10 minutes inactive time

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar until well combined. Continue mixing adding one egg at a time until mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in almond extract.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until a stiff dough forms. Add cranberries and chocolate chips and mix until well combined.

5. Liberally, flour a work surface and knead dough several times, adding more flour as needed. Keep kneading until dough is only slightly sticky but not stick to the work surface.

6. Divide the dough in half. Take one half and form into a 2 inch wide by 10 inch long rectangle. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Place both rectangles on the parchment lined pan and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

7. Remove biscotti from the oven and let cool on the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice diagonally, forming biscotti that are about 4-5 inches in length.

8. Transfer biscotti back to the baking pan and continue cooking for an additional 5-8 on each side until dry and firm on the outside of each biscotti. Remove from oven and let cool. Enjoy!


Quick & Dirty Tips
When slicing the "rectangle" use a bread knife. It works much better and won't crush your creation!

I always add extra chocolate chips when I am making cookies, but DON'T when making biscotti... you'll end up with a lot of melted chocolate everywhere and biscotti that is really just chocolate bread. I've learned from my own mistake....

On the second bake, I lay the cut side down, then turn the biscotti after 5-8 minutes. I've tried to cheat by just putting the bottom down on the pan but it overcooked the bottom leaving a slightly burnt flavor. You just want to get moisture out of the biscotti and crisp up the outside.

Biscotti will last for a week at room temperature in a plastic bag and several months in the freezer. Defrost at room temperature.

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