Christmas tradition: Homemade Biscotti

Hallmark Surface Pattern Designer, Kim P., started making homemade biscotti more than 10 years ago, mostly because she loved them. After all, they are the perfect cookie! Crunchy, chewy, loaded with all sorts of delicious bits, and begging to be dunked in coffee or tea. They were also a bit of a mystery to her: she had never made anything quite like them. So, her curiosity was piqued, and she had to figure them out!

Today, we’re lucky enough to benefit from her hard work. She’s sharing one of her favorite homemade biscotti recipes just in time for you to treat your friends and family!

When I learn something new, I have to go through the process many times and refine every step. I love the challenge of making something as perfectly and professionally as I can, as well as figuring out how to do it as quickly and easily as possible.

Once I had the basic process of baking biscotti down, the creative part of me jumped in, wanting to try new flavors. So obviously, I ended up with dozens of biscotti, and I started giving them away.

One December several years ago, my teenage son walked into the kitchen, and saw the table covered with finished biscotti, and announced, “Now it’s Christmas!” That sealed it – it had become a family tradition.

So, literally thousands of homemade biscotti later (I bake about 500 every Christmas), I’ve landed on my favorite recipes, and I bake them every year to give away to friends and family.

My friends have told me how much they look forward to them every year – how they share them with a daughter (or hide them from their husband!), how they love sitting down with a couple of biscotti while enjoying a quiet cup of coffee, taking a few moments for themselves. Hearing these little stories are a big deal to me – they make my Christmas really special. Knowing that I’ve made this busy time a little more peaceful, or made someone feel valued, makes me happy.

I love my Orange Cranberry Walnut Biscotti recipe because of the sunny color and bright flavor. Cranberry and orange are a classic combination, and there are lots of walnuts added for a satisfying richness.

Orange Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Gather all your ingredients, and let the eggs sit out long enough to warm to room temperature. (You can place them in a bowl of warm water to hurry this along). Grease a large cookie sheet. I use a professional size pan, 18”x26”. If you don’t have that size, grease 2 standard size cookie sheets.

Measure all your dry ingredients into a large bowl, and whisk them together.

Add the eggs and orange juice. Mix with a mixer until fully combined. Then add the walnut­­s and dried cranberries. Make sure you break up the cranberries so they don’t stick together. Mix well.

Turn out the very sticky dough onto the cookie sheet, spooning it roughly into 2 rows (or 3 rows if you are using standard sized cookie sheets). Using a knife or offset spatula, spread the thick, sticky, obstinate (sometimes uncooperative) batter into loaf shapes. This is the hardest part, but is really doesn’t have to be perfect – the batter will spread out and even up during baking! Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until firm and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool at least 20 minutes (longer if convenient). Slice the loaves apart lengthwise if necessary, and cut them in half. Lift the half loaves with a large spatula onto a cutting board. (At this point you can wrap the loaves and freeze to finish at a later time). Slice them into pieces about ½”- ¾” wide. Place them back on the cookie sheet about an inch or so apart, and bake them another 15-20 minutes. Only half of them will fit on one sheet, so use a second sheet, or bake them in two turns.

Remove from the oven and let them cool completely. Melt white chocolate in the microwave. If it seems too thick, add a teaspoon of shortening or coconut oil. (Do not use butter, which has moisture in it, and will cause the chocolate to seize up.) Dip one side of the biscotti into the chocolate, scrape off excess with a knife and lay chocolate side down, on waxed paper, butcher paper or parchment. I usually leave some without white chocolate, so to justify eating them for breakfast…

I usually bake 6-8 batches of homemade biscotti each year, including:

  • Orange Cranberry Walnut
  • Lemon Coconut with Candied Ginger
  • Mocha Almond Chocolate Chip
  • Almond Chocolate Chip
  • Dark Chocolate Chip
  • Chocolate Walnut
  • Anise Almond

Orange Cranberry Walnut Biscotti Recipe

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Grease a large 18”x26” cookie sheet, or 2 standard sized cookie sheets

Measure into a large bowl:

  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1 ½ cups Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt, generous
  • 3 tablespoons Orange Zest

Whisk to combine well.

Add:

  • 5 Eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Orange Juice
  • Mix with a mixer until well combined.
  • Add:
  • 2 cups Walnuts
  • 2 cups Dried Cranberries (Craisins)

Turn out the very sticky dough onto the cookie sheet, spooning it roughly into 2 rows (or 3 rows if you are using standard sized cookie sheets). Using a knife or offset spatula, spread the thick batter into loaf shapes. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until firm and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool at least 20 minutes, longer if convenient. Slice the loaves apart lengthwise if necessary, and cut them in half. Lift the half loaves with a large spatula onto a cutting board. (At this point you can wrap the loaves and freeze them to finish at a later time.) Slice the half loaves into pieces about ½”- ¾” wide. Place them back on the cookie sheet about an inch or so apart, and bake them at 350 another 15-20 minutes. Only half of them will fit on one sheet, so use a second sheet, or bake them in two turns.­

Remove from the oven and let them cool completely.

Melt:

White Chocolate Chips or Bark in the microwave.

If it seems too thick, add a teaspoon of shortening or coconut oil. (Do not use butter, which has moisture in it, and will cause the chocolate to seize up.) Dip one side of the biscotti into the chocolate, scrape off excess with a knife and lay, chocolate side down, on waxed paper, butcher paper or parchment.

When chocolate has set, store in tightly closed cookie container. Better to bake these in the winter as humidity will make them soft.

Makes 44-48 Biscotti

What are your favorite holiday treats? Share with us on Instagram @think.make.share or on Facebook!

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  1. 12.19.16 | Reply
    Lorraine Elmore wrote:

    I have been the happy recipient of Kim’s biscotti, I can say that it is the best !