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.
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
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.