Biscotti have a history of being the biscuit of choice for long voyages as their shelf life of up to 6 months is quite impressive. Over the centuries, sailors, soldiers, fisherman and shopaholics have relied on these spoil-resistant and quite often nutritious cookies as a source of sustenance.
Meaning “twice baked,” Biscotti get their crispy texture from first being baked in a loaf or log shape, and then baked a second time after being sliced to remove most of the remaining moisture. This makes them the perfect accompaniment for a cup of coffee, espresso or tea as they withstand dunking better than most cookies or biscuits. At most coffee shops you’ll find they also hold up well to a wide variety of packaging and marketing strategies.
Theoretically you can keep them in an air-tight container for several months, or so I’ve heard. My most requested and ridiculously addictive recipe is below.
Andrea’s Highly Addictive Cranberry, Orange, Almond Biscotti Recipe
Makes about 5 to 6 dozen Biscotti
- 2 Cups Dried, Unsweetened Cranberries (roughly chopped)
- 1 Cup Slivered Toasted Almonds
- 2/3 Cup Butter (11 Tablespoons)
- 1 1/2 Cups White Sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 2 Teaspoons Almond Extract
- 2 Teaspoons Orange Extract
- Zest of 2 Oranges (minced)
- 4 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Dash of Nutmeg (freshly grated or ground)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Preheat oven to 325F. Spread the slivered almonds in one layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown – about 10 minutes, stirring after about 5 minutes and watching carefully to prevent burning. Set aside to let cool.
In a mixing bowl, mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, orange extract and orange zest. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the butter & sugar mixture and mix until blended. Fold in the almonds and cranberries.
Divide the dough in half and use your hands to form two parallel logs running the length of the sheet, leaving about 2″ between them. Bake on the middle rack of the preheated 325F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove the logs from the baking sheet and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to cut 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick slices, at a 45 degree angle. Carefully lay the slices back on the baking sheet and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes on one side, until very slightly toasted then turn them over to bake 10 minutes on the other side. Repeat for any slices that did not fit on the baking sheet the first time around. Allow Biscotti to cook on a rack completely before storing in a well sealed container.