Cranberry and White Chocolate Biscotti

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1/4 c. Vegetable oil
1/2 c. Brown sugar*
2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2  tsp Almond extract (optional)*
2 Eggs
1 3/4 c. All purpose flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 c. Dried cranberries (mine were pomegranate flavoured)
1/2 c. White chocolate chips*
 
[Note: Original recipe used 3/4 cups of white sugar instead of brown sugar and it also used the 1/2 tsp of almond extract and 1 1/2 cups of pistachio nuts. Omit salt if using salted pistachios.]

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

Mix oil and sugar together until well combined.  Add vanilla (and almond extract, if using).  Whisk in the eggs one at a time.

Combine flour, salt and baking powder.  Slowly stir into the egg mixture.  The dough will be soft and sticky.

Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Divide the dough in half and form two long skinny logs.  Silicone spoons works well for forming the logs since the dough does not stick to it; alternatively, wet fingers with cold water before handling the dough would also work.

Bake for 35 min; the logs should be lightly golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15-20 min.  Meanwhile, reduce the oven heat to 275°F.

Using a non-serrated knife, slice the logs into 1/2-3/4" slices.  Lay them on the sides on the cookie sheet and bake until dry, about 10 min.

Biscottis can be store in air-tight containers.

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My comments:

Many years ago, I attempted to make biscotti.  I was a novice baker back then and I probably should've stuck to the recipes instead of altering the ingredients because I was too lazy to go to the grocery store.  It was so surprise that my biscotti turned out...not so well.  They taste ok but those darn things were rock hard; they could cause serious bodily harm if they were chucked across the room.  I couldn't eat them, but Hubby (bf at the time) took them to work with a pot of caramel for dipping.  He said they were all gone by the end of the day (which in office cookie time, that's a long time for homebaked goods to disappear).

I learned 2 things from this biscotti debacle:
  1. Do not make biscottis again.
  2. Caramel can make anything edible, even rocks disguised as biscottis
Fast forward many years.  I have come along way since my rock biscotti days and I can make changes to most recipe without catastrophic damage.  One of my coworkers told me about her biscotti recipe and she said it was really easy to do.  It's been awhile since I tried something different, so I took on the challenge to invite biscotti into my kitchen.  Besides, my coworker used her new mixer (she bought the same one!!) and I wanted to use mine too.  Plus I figured there's a good chance of success since she gave me a sample of her finished product and it was good!

I made mine nut-free because of nut allergies in the family plus I didn't have almond extract on hand.  So I replaced the pistachios with white chocolate chips which always worked well with dried cranberries.  I bought pomegranate-flavoured cranberries and it was pretty good in the biscotti, although regular dried cranberries would be just as tasty.  However, I think a drizzle of white chocolate would make these biscotti taste infinitely better.

This recipe has a lot of potentials.  Now that I can make biscotti and it's so simple to do, I foresee lots of time spending with my new mixer, experimenting on flavour combinations!!

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