Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The BEST EVER White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti with Macadamia Nuts







Biscotti, one of my all time favorite cookies to eat.  Decided to make them myself when I realized I can make 3 dozen for the price of six in the store. Tastes a lot better too!! It is the most requested cookie that is asked by my friends and family to make.

A few notes to remember: 

- Biscotti is twice baked so in the cooling down period between baking I usually have something else ready to bake so I am not wasting the energy on leaving my oven running.
- I use non-stick foil to shape the biscotti.
- I use the remaining chocolate chips to decorate the biscotti.


INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter ( I use Earth Balance to cut down on saturated fat)
1 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons of grated orange zest (1 large orange-Navel is the best)
3 whole eggs 
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract (I sometimes use orange extract)
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup of white chocolate chips
1 cup of dried sweetened cranberries( if you use unsweetened then increase your sugar by 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts(optional)



         
Method:

1. Put flour and baking powder in a bowl.  ( I sift the flour. I find that the Biscotti has lighter texture by doing this)



2. In a separate bowl with a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.  Then add the orange zest and continue to mix.


3.  Add the extract and one egg at a time mixing in between. Then add the remaining egg whites.

4. Once all wet ingredients are mixed together slowly add the flour/baking powder. Alternate mixing and adding the flour. This prevents lumping.  BTW, this is a good time to set the oven temperature to 325┬║ F.


5.  Add the cranberries, white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts and stir into Biscotti batter.


6. Line two cookie sheets with Parchment paper.


7.  Divide the dough evenly and shape into an oval shape about 1/2 inch thick.  


8. I use non-stick foil to shape since it is very sticky!




9. Turn the shaped dough onto the cookie sheet if you use the foil paper method.


10. Biscotti is ready to go a 325┬║ pre-heated oven for 30-35 min. 



11. Biscotti should be lightly brown when taking out of the oven.  Don't turn the oven off since you will be  re-baking the biscotti again.  I usually use the oven in the cooling down time to bake a casserole or grill vegetables.


12.  Cool for at least 30 minutes.  Then cut the biscotti diagonally and down the middle if pieces
       are big. Arrange on the baking sheet and put in oven to re-bake for another 20 minutes.



12. Remove from oven and cool.  I usually reserve some white chocolate to melt and decorate.

13.  Store in an airtight containers,  I usually bake up about 40 pieces of biscotti. Depends on how thick or thin you cut them.

    Twice baked biscotti ready for some white chocolate!!



White chocolate drizzle:

Melt 1 cup of white chocolate with 2 tsp of milk.  Mix and then put in a pastery bag with a writing tip and draw squiggles over the biscotti.  You can also use a spoon and drizzle it over or dip the the end of the biscotti in the white chocolate.  Remember to use when slightly warm as to not let the white chocolate harden.