Last week I picked up a ginormous bag of cranberries at Sam’s Club. Since these are perfectly fine to keep in the freezer, I love that I have them on hand for cranberry sauce and baking. It has been a while since I baked something to share with my coworkers, and I decided that fresh cranberry biscotti sounded great. Most recipes call for dried cranberries, which certainly have their merits, but I figured, with fresh cranberries in season, why not use them in all their glory?
I chose a Martha Stewart recipe to follow as a guideline, figuring Martha always knows best. But in this case, I’m not sure she does. I found the dough to be extremely wet and sticky. I know that biscotti dough is supposed to be sticky, but this was beyond workable. I found myself adding extra flour until it was manageable, and even then, I needed to spoon the dough onto the cookie sheet to gently form the logs, as it was not really possible to mold with my hands.
But in the end, the cookies were delicious, and even better once dipped in chocolate and crushed toasted hazelnuts. I can say with confidence that this treat was much appreciated by my coworkers. Personally, I set aside one biscotti for myself and kept it on my desk until after lunch, to enjoy with a cup of coffee. Though it took a lot of willpower to wait, it was totally worth it. If I could, I’d take a biscotti-and-coffee break more often!
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
sprinkle of ginger and cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
about 6 oz semisweet chocolate
about 2/3 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts*
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine baking powder, flour, sugar, and salt. In a bowl, beat eggs, yolks, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients; mix on medium low until sticky dough is formed. Stir in cranberries.
Gently spoon the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet to form two 9×3.5″ logs. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 275 degrees.
On cutting board, using a serrated knife, cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Return pieces cut side down to baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 23 minutes. Turn over. Bake until slightly dry, about 23 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. I find that I needed to add some shortening to thin it out a bit, to the consistency I prefer for dipping. Place the hazelnuts on a plate.
Dip one side of each biscotti first in the chocolate, then the hazelnuts. Place on wax paper or parchment paper to cool.
*To prepare hazelnuts, toast in a dry skillet over low heat, turning every few minutes, until skins are lightly browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Then place the hazelnuts on a dish towel, fold over, and rub to remove the skins.