kruizing with kikukat

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cranberry Orange Biscotti

I didn't realize Thanksgiving was so close!  I saw some kind of Taste of Home post on Facebook and I had to actually run to the calendar to see for myself.  No shit!!!

The work week this week is only 3 (2 by the time this is published) days, but short weeks tend to drag on, and the kids are totally gone.  Adults too.

But in a few days it will be Thanksgiving, and that gives me something to look forward to.  Its not just the break from work.  I love Thanksgiving food.  I love all the white meat from the turkey and all that you can do with the leftovers. The other big deal about Thanksgiving is cranberry sauce.  I love cranberry sauce, and I think Williams-Sonoma makes the best.  I need to check the pantry to see if I have any left.  One year, I made my own cranberry sauce, and it was unreal sour.  Since then, I've left the cranberry sauce to the experts.

It doesn't seem right to have cranberry sauce outside of the holiday season, so I don't make anything with cranberry sauce beyond the holidays, however dried cranberries are fair game year-round.  I keep a Costco-sized bag of dried cranberries on hand.  The Ds sprinkle li hing mui powder on it and eat it as a snack.  I love to use dried cranberries in recipes as a substitute for raisins.

While cranberry orange biscotti recipes abound, the recipes I tried lacked orange flavor.  Bummer.  In my experiments with biscotti making, I came across a recipe which included a topping.  After tinkering with the ingredients, I came up with a recipe which has the pronounced orange flavor I was looking for - its in both the biscotti and the topping.  In addition to cranberries and orange flavor, this biscotti gets its crunch from chopped marcona almonds. 

This biscotti is a little trickier to make than my previous biscotti recipe because of the baked-on topping.  This biscotti needs to be sliced very carefully with a serrated knife.  Using too much pressure will cause the topping to pop off.   I suppose you could leave the topping off, but the orange flavor would be less prominent.

just after the first bake
slicing biscotti using a serrated knife

getting ready for the second bake
 click on recipe title for printable recipe.
Cranberry Orange Biscotti

     1/4 + 2/3 c sugar, divided
     2 tbsp + 1 tsp orange juice, divided
     6 tbsp butter, softened
     zest of 1 orange
     2 eggs
     1/2 tsp almond extract
     1/2 tsp vanilla extract
     2 c flour
     1 tsp baking powder
     1/2 c dried cranberries, chopped
     1/2 c marcona almonds, chopped fine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine 1/4 c sugar and 1 tsp orange juice.  Mixture will be rather dry.  Set aside.  Grease 2 biscotti pans or line a flat cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Cream butter and remaining 2/3 c sugar.  Add 2 tbsp orange juice, zest, eggs, almond extract, and vanilla extract.  Stir in flour and baking powder.  Add cranberries and nuts.  Shape dough into 2 2" wide rectangles in/on prepared pan(s).  Using half of sugar/orange juice mixture for each loaf, pat onto top of each rectangle, taking care not to spill any on baking sheet.  Bake 20 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes.  Using a serrated knife, slice 1/2" on the diagonal.  Place on a cut side and bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.  Flip over to other side and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

NOTE:  Cranberry Orange Biscotti would make an excellent snack for Black Friday shopping, that is, if you choose to indulge in that sport.  After the stampeding sounds in Wal-Mart last year, I will be staying home.  There is no need for me to be in the throng of people.  I'm sure the Ds will be home too.  I know neither were happy last year.  I just hope Kikukat Mom's curiosity about Black Friday shopping was cured last year too. 

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