Hey y’all, I am back with another cookie recipe. Did you really think there was such a thing as too many Christmas cookies? Or too many any-time cookies for that matter? Nah!! So, this one is a favorite of mine, the twice-baked Italian cookies or biscotti. It reminds of another childhood favorite, a twice-baked bread known as rusk, which is eaten as a tea-time snack in India.
I have made chocolate biscotti before. This time, I made cranberry and almond biscotti. We liked it so much, I made them again and again, tweaking the recipe a bit each time.
Biscotti are really easy to make. The dough is like any basic cookie dough. The dough is shaped into logs and baked till lightly browned. This is cooled and cut into slices, which are then baked again to get crisp biscotti. The first time I made this recipe, I made one large log and ended up with monster size biscotti. Not that I am complaining, they made the perfect size to be eaten as breakfast with a hot cup of coffee.
When I made them again for the hubby to take to work, I formed smaller logs and dipped the baked biscotti in dark chocolate. That’s the beauty of biscotti. You can leave them plain, add nuts and dried fruits to the dough, glaze the baked cookies or dip them in chocolate. They are an absolute treat!
I also experimented with light brown sugar in the dough and I love how the biscotti came out a lovely shade of golden brown. Paired with the dark chocolate and sparkly sugar, don’t they look very Christmasy? This recipe works well with regular sugar or brown sugar, cranberries and almonds or any other kind of chopped dried fruits and nuts.
Biscotti are dipping biscuits and best enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Or milk for the little ones.
I love how the chocolate flavor pairs with the coffee and cookie itself. If you want to taste chocolate in every bite, you can dip the entire bottom of the cookie in melted chocolate. Use cranberries and pistachios instead of cranberries and almonds for red and green dotted Christmas cookies.
Biscotti are really easy to make. Set some out in your Christmas cookie platter this year. Psst… you can even eat them for breakfast!!
- All purpose flour - 2 cups
- Baking powder - 1½ tsp
- Light brown sugar - ¾ cup
- Unsalted butter - ½ cup, softened at room temperature
- Lemon zest - ½ tsp, grated (use any citrus zest)
- Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
- Salt - ¼ tsp
- Eggs - 3, large, divided
- Dried cranberries - ¾ cup, roughly chopped
- Almonds - ½ cup, roughly chopped
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips - 1 cup
- Colored sugar sprinkles or other decoration - as needed
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg.F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar till combined. Add zest, vanilla extract and salt and beat to combine. Blend in 2 eggs, one at a time.
- Add the flour and baking powder mixture and mix well till just combined. Mix in the chopped cranberries and almonds as well.
- The dough will be sticky, but you should be able to handle it with lightly floured hands. Divide dough into two parts. Form each half in to long logs, approximately 10x2 inches. Set on the baking sheet with some space in between the logs (dough will spread while baking). Make an egg wash with the remaining egg and a teaspoon of water. Brush lightly over the formed logs.
- Bake for 30 minutes or till the logs are lightly browned and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes.
- Do not turn off the oven yet. Reduce oven temperature to 300 deg.F.
- Slice the cooled logs using a sharp serrated knife into ½ to ¾-inch thick slices. You can either cut the slices straight or diagonally, depending on whether you like short or long biscotti.
- Arrange the slices cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping the biscotti over midway during the baking. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips using a double boiler or in the microwave. If using the microwave, do so in bursts of 30 seconds, stirring well in between to melt all the chocolate chips. I melted a cup of chocolate chips in roughly 1½ minutes.
- Dip half of each cookie in the melted chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to drip off, and immediately roll the covered end in colored sugar sprinkles. Set cookie on the baking sheet. Repeat with all the cookies. Refrigerate for 30-40 minutes for chocolate to harden. Biscotti will keep well for at least 5 days in an airtight container.
The lemon zest adds a burst of freshness to the biscotti. You can also use orange zest.
Replace almonds with pistachios, walnuts or even chocolate chips.
Replace vanilla extract with almond extract for an even more pronounced almond flavor.
Aren’t these biscotti pretty? I swear they are every bit as delicious as they look!
Tell me, do you like biscotti? Do you make them at home? Do try this easy recipe and let me know how it goes.
Wanna see more Christmas cookies? Go here to see all my cookie recipes.
Go here for Christmas recipes, from appetizers to mains to desserts.
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