Tangerine and Cranberry Biscotti

‘Biscotti’ means ‘twice cooked,’ and that’s exactly what you’ll have to do – but the extra work takes this delicious crunch beyond most simple cookies.

The first time I made these lovely, crisp Tangerine and Cranberry Biscotti, we were anchored at Catalina Harbor for Christmas.  Several friends had brought their boats to the island, some at the last minute, and I needed gifts for them – fast.  I’ve always loved to bake and some of our friends had admired Poseidon’s biscotti in the past.  Being Christmas, we had more than enough tangerines aboard, so Tangerine and Cranberry Biscotti became that year’s gift basket.

You’ll need:

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature.
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten.
2 tablespoons tangerine zest
¼ cup Grand Marnier
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup dried cranberries

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Next stir in the tangerine zest and Grand Marnier.  Now add all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly until the cranberries are evenly distributed.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and form the tangerine and cranberry biscotti mixture into 2 logs – more rectangular than round – about 9 inches x 3 inches.  This biscotii dough is very wet so make sure you keep your hands wet so that the dough doesn’t stick to them.  Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Bake the biscotti for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.  Take the tray from the oven and let the biscotti cool on the sheet pan for about 15 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into slices between 3/4 to 1  inch thick, and lay the slices flat on the parchment paper lined sheet pan.  You might have to cook in two batches or use two cookie sheets.

Return the cookies to the oven and bake the slices for another 30 minutes, turning the biscotti over at least one time.  Remove the biscotti to a wire rack and cool.

The biscotti will be crisp and delicious, the aroma a great appetite builder.

John’s Wine Selection

I won’t pretend to theorize about the wine to drink with biscotti, but my Grandma Leonilda, “Nonna”, loved to dip any cookie or even just bread into her wine.  Nonna kept her gallon jug of the very cheapest red wine hidden under the sink and nip at it on occasion, but mention a “biscotto” generic for any cookie and she would bring her little tumbler out, a little cloudy cylindrical glass that had travelled from Italy to America and back there times, then to Africa and back to America with us. She would pour “due diti” two stacked fingers of it and dip the biscotti and smile.