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Almond Cranberry Gingerbread Biscotti

by Lori on December 11th, 2011

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Santa can have all the cookies he wants on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning, I’ll be eating  almond cranberry gingerbread biscotti.

I know it has been a while since my last post. With the holidays quickly approaching, I’m getting back into gear with my blogging and holiday baking. What better way to get back into the swing of things than to make some biscotti?

This is my first time making biscotti. Despite its fancy name, it really isn’t much more complicated than making a batch of cookies. There are a couple of extra steps, and you have to bake it twice, but it is worth it.

There is nothing better than starting the day with a warm biscotti fresh from the oven, and a cup of hot coffee. I may have to turn this holiday baking experiment into a year-round baking routine.
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About the recipe

This recipe is adapted from the Gingerbread Biscotti recipe on Joy of Baking. Instead of hazelnuts, I used almonds, and  instead of raisins, I used dried cranberries.

The play-by-play

Toast the almonds in the oven.
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Once cool, coarsely chop the almonds in a food processor and set them aside.
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Next, add a half of cup of oatmeal to the food processor.
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Grind the oatmeal until fine.
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Mix the dry ingredients, except for the nuts and cranberries, in your mixer bowl.
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Whisk together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
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Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
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Stir in the chopped nuts and cranberries.
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Shape the dough into two 12-inch logs.
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Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Slice into 3/4 inch thick pieces.
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Bake for 4-8 minutes on each side, depending on how crisp you like your biscotti.
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Serve immediately with a cup of coffee! Enjoy!

Tips & Tricks

  • About toasting almonds – The original Joy of Baking biscotti post recommended baking the nuts in the oven, then simply using a towel to rub off the skins. That may work with hazelnuts (which was the nut used in the Joy of Baking version), but it doesn’t work with almonds. You have to blanch almonds in boiling water and peel off the skins. I did this the time I made my own almond paste for a Daring Baker’s challenge. My fingers still ache when I think about that experience, so I decided to just leave the skins on this time.
  • About the batter –  There were so many almonds and cranberries in the batter, I had trouble getting the dough to hold together to shape the biscotti. Next time, I would reduce the amount of nuts and berries.
  • About slicing – Cut the biscotti in one straight cut with a sharp knife. I used a serrated knife, and sawed them like a log. The back and forth motion of my sawing crumbled some of the biscotti.
  • About the second baking –  If you prefer a softer biscotti, like I do, on the second baking, bake only four minutes per side. For crispier biscotti, bake about eight minutes per side.
Recipe: Almond Cranberry Gingerbread Biscotti

Summary: A fruity, nutty and spiced biscotti adapted from Joy of Baking’s Gingerbread Biscotti

Ingredients:
3/4 cup toasted and chopped almonds
1 cup rolled oats
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Place almonds on the baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.
  2. Let almonds cool for a few minutes, and then coarsely grind in a food processor. Set the ground nuts aside in another bowl.
  3. Place 1/2 cup of oats in the food processor, and grind until fine.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, stir together the oats (both the ground and remaining unground), flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses, oil, and vanilla.
  6. Slowly mix in the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, and beat until combined. Stir in the chopped almonds and dried cranberries.
  7. Place the dough onto a floured surface. Shape it into two logs, about 12 inches long. Put the logs on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
  8. Cool logs for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Then slice into 3/4 inch pieces.
  9. Place the pieces cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 4-8 minutes per side at 300 degrees.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Baking time: 40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 20

My Rating:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

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