Friday, December 3, 2010

on the fourth day of Christmas, Food Network gave to me, a whole bunch of biscotti

Ally, here.

The fourth day of cookies brings biscotti. Specifically, Food Network requested dried cherry and almond biscotti. Unfortunately, I don't like cherries and I didn't have any almonds on hand. So I improvised with dried cranberries, and left the nuts out, altogether.

The recipe also called for something called turbinado sugar. Apparently it's sugar with much larger crystals. Rather than searching the stores for this, I just used sugar in the raw, which I think is pretty similar and always proves to be delicious.

You can check out the original recipe here. Otherwise, here's my adapted recipe for cranberry biscotti with chocolate ganache.

Here's what you'll need:

-1 stick butter, at room temperature
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs, plus 1 egg white
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 cups flour (I used whole wheat, of course)
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-pinch of salt
-1 cup dried cranberries
-2 tablespoons sugar in the raw

chocolate ganache:
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Here's what to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

2. Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

3. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the dried cranberries.

4. Divide the dough in half and roll into two logs. (I found this part of the recipe a little bit confusing. I'm still not sure what kind of logs they are referring to, but I made mine into thick, flattened ovals.) Place on a baking sheet, at least 3 inches apart, as the dough will spread.

5. Mix the egg white with a little water. Brush over the dough and sprinkle with sugar in the raw. Bake for 30 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Place the cooled biscotti on a cutting board and slice the biscotti apart into 1-inch thick slices. Put these back on the baking sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until hardened. Cool completely on a rack.

chocolate ganache:
1. Put the whipping cream and chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue to microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth and creamy.

2. Once the biscotti is completely cooled, dip in ganache and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate to harden the ganache.

And that's that, folks. This stuff is pretty darn good. I made it to take to a Christmas party tonight, and I'm afraid the husband and I have already taken out a good portion of the batch.

You're going to love it.

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