Biscotti might seem intimidating at first, but it’s really just a twice-baked, sweet, quick bread. Once you make it at home, you’ll no longer feel the need to buy it with your morning coffee.
This is the second time I’ve made biscotti in the past few years. The first recipe I used called for about 10 eggs, but this time I used the Orange Almond biscotti recipe from Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, which only called for two eggs. There was no noticeable difference in the texture of the finished biscotti.
Biscotti is a lot like a cookie in the way that, once you have a good base recipe, you can put whatever you want in it. The first time I made biscotti I put pistachios in it. This time around, I opted to add dried cranberries. You can also dip it in tempered chocolate for a special treat. Have fun making your own flavor combinations.
The most important thing to remember when making biscotti is to keep the slices a half-inch thick or less. Any thicker and the biscotti becomes hard to bite into when it’s done.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (use 1/2 teaspoon if at high altitude)
1/4 teaspoon salt (use 1/2 teaspoon if at high altitude
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (use 1 teaspoon if at high altitude)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in small bowl.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time, then add almonds, cranberries, orange zest, vanilla and almond extracts until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.
Halve dough and turn each portion onto prepared baking sheet. Using floured hands, quickly stretch each portion of dough into rough 12-inch-by-2-inch loaf, placing them about 3 inches apart. Pat each loaf to smooth it. Bake until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.
Let loaves cool for 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Using a serrated knife, cut each loaf diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Lay slices cut side up about 1/2 inch apart on baking sheet and return them to the oven. Bake until lightly golden on both sides, about 15 minutes, turning over each piece halfway through baking. Immediately transfer biscotti from baking sheet to wire rack and let cool completely.