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Cranberry Almond Biscotti

Deep in the recesses of your mind, do you have a very special person that comes to mind when you think of certain things?  I do!  I was a very little girl when I first learned about biscotti.  When I was a little girl, nobody around here sold biscotti.  Heck, I imagine that most didn’t have a foggy clue what it was!

My Moma was an exceptionally well-read woman.  She wanted to see and experience the world outside little ole Tennessee.  She read these magnificent books about magnificent places far, far away.  And she read about biscotti……….something that in the early 70’s wasn’t commonplace to be found in our small town.  And she wanted some!  But nowhere to find it around here.  And no fabulous internet back in those days to Google a recipe for it either!

But Moma had a cousin who lived in “the big city.”  Holden lived in Chicago.  And he had access to all kinds of unbelievably exotic things.  Or at least to a child they were exotic.  Holden got his hands on some biscotti and brought it when he came down to visit.  I can very much remember Moma freezing each piece individually so she could savor them over time. 

And that was my introduction to biscotti.  So biscotti always makes me think of Holden, my Moma’s cousin.  He was very special to me…….more like a favorite uncle than just some far-removed cousin of my mother’s.  He gave me my very first puppy, so I REALLY loved him! 

But enough of all that mushy stuff!  Let’s cook!  The recipe I’m going to share with you today is one I came across online several years ago.  I’ve since made TONS of it around the holidays!  I’ve shipped it to friends and family all over the globe!  With the bright read cranberries and the drizzle of white chocolate, it just screams “CHRISTMAS” to me!  So I thought I’d share it with all of you!

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

*  1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

*  1 1/2 cups sugar

*  1/2 cup butter, room temperature

*  2 eggs

*  1 tsp. almond extract

*  1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

*  1 tsp. orange zest (optional)

*  6 oz. white chocolate

*  1 Tbsp. shortening

*  1 small pkg. sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine sugar, butter, eggs and almond extract in a bowl.  Beat with a mixer until smooth and creamy.  Slowly add flour until well combined.  Add dried cranberries and orange zest.  Divide dough in half.  Shape each half into 2 1/2″ wide, 9 1/2″ long, 1″ tall log on parchment paper lined baking sheet (or your Pampered Chef stoneware.)  Bake until brown, approximately 35 minutes.  Allow to cool COMPLETELY before proceeding to next step!  Leave the oven on.

Once logs are cooled, cut them into 1″ thick slices using a serrated knife.  Arrange them cut-side down on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 10 minutes.  Flip to the other cut side and bake an additional 5 minutes. 

Melt white chocolate and shortening in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.  Stir until smooth.  Drizzle on the tops of each piece of biscotti.  Sprinkle with almonds while chocolate is still soft.  Allow chocolate to dry before storing biscotti.  Store in a loosely covered container.

It *sounds* hard, but it’s really not.  And the end result is insanely delicious!  These make such beautiful little hand-made gifts for the holidays!  I like to put 3-4 in those little Christmassy cellophane bags and tie them up with curly ribbon.  They look all kinds of fancy!  You’ll be the toast of all your family and friends when you give these to them!

And if you want to switch up this recipe, it’s very amenable to that!  I’ve added cocoa and swapped the dried cranberries for dried cherries.  I’ve made it with no fruit, but mini chocolate chips and then drizzled with regular chocolate instead of white.  I’ve made it with brickle and pecans in it.  It’s a pretty forgiving recipe and let’s you make it pretty much anything you want it to be. 

I hope you enjoy this one!  It’s one of my favorite holiday goodies to make!  And it’s also a favorite of folks who have received it!  Merry Christmas!


7 Responses

  1. i think i’m gonna add pistachios to it…….don’t you think the red and green playing off of each other will be neat?

  2. YEAH! That would be beautiful! Let me know how it tastes!

  3. what do you think, a cup or 1/2 cup of nuts?

  4. Amy, I have made biscotti in the past and gave as Christmas gifts, as well. It is great!

  5. Donna, if you chop them fairly small, I think a half cup would do you……….

  6. 1/2 a cup it is……altho i will not “personally” chop them……that’s what a cuisinart is for! LOL

  7. God bless Cuisinart is what I say!

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