Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Biscotti

Every year for Christmas, I like to make up "little trays of happiness" to give as gifts. In order to make the cut, the items must be homemade and they must be something that I would like to hide in the bathroom and devour all by myself.

Yes, I said bathroom. It's the only place where I can truly be alone.

Some of the goodies in the past have included: Chocolate Truffles, Peanut Butter Balls, Date Pinwheels, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies, Gingerbread, and the must-have for any parent, Sugar Cookies with hideous colors of frosting adorning them.

This year, I decided to go rebel and deviate from the norm.

Sometimes I do that. It keeps things interesting.

This year, I'll be giving away Reese's Thumbprint Cookies, Toffee Bars, Coconut Macaroons, Double Chocolate Peppermint Bark, Old-Fashioned Spritz Cookies and Christmas Biscotti.

In the spirit of gift-giving, I may have to avoid the bathroom until the 26th.

For regular visitors to the local espresso shop, biscotti is something that you'll recognize. It's usually sitting under a glass case or in a cute canister in plain view of the thirsty patron. Because really, who doesn't enjoy a nice cookie with their coffee? Biscotti is best eaten with coffee, tea or even milk, as it is a very hard cookie.

Biscotti and coffee. Now that's the thing Christmas dreams are made of.

Christmas Biscotti

1/4 C. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar (I used organic sugar)
Zest from 1 orange (use an organic orange since you're using the zest)
1/2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 egg white
2 C. organic white flour
1-1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. sea salt
2 oz. white chocolate, chopped
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1-1/4 C. unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped

For the drizzle: 1 C. white chocolate, chopped
1 t. coconut oil

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla until fluffy. Mix in the eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually blend into the creamed mixture.

Stir in the chocolate, cranberries, and pistachios.

Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325F.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into halves. Form each half into a 12"x3" log. Flatten slightly. Arrange the logs at least 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a light golden color. Allow logs to cool on baking sheet until able to handle, approximately 10 minutes. On a cutting board, cut logs crosswise on a diagonal into 1-inch thick slices.

Place back onto cookie sheet and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until golden.

Transfer biscotti to wire racks to cool completely.

In a double boiler, melt 1 cup white chocolate with 1 teaspoon coconut oil, stirring constantly. When melted, dip 1 end of biscotti into chocolate. Return to wire rack to dry. Or, lightly drizzle the chocolate over the top of each piece.

Store in an airtight container when dry.

*I found that the adults prefer the drizzle, while the kids enjoy an entire end of chocolate covered biscotti.


1 comment:

Audrey said...

Good Job on the biscotti! It is one of my favorite Christmas treats! We're slowing down increadibly this Christmas and it's really good so far. But I've done very little baking and extra stuff - hoping to simply live. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones as you anticipate the birth of Christ! - blessings