I grew up in a home where made-from-scratch breads and fancy pastries were the norm. While my sister shares my mom’s fascination with substituting various flours and weighing ingredients that require precision, I got handed the “meh, that looks like a cup of flour to me” gene. Sometimes when I’m really lacking the attention span, cookie and cake mixes make their way into my pantry. I’m totally okay with the fact that I can pay an extra dollar or two to have a pre-measured box of ingredients.
By now you may be wondering why I chose to bake biscotti. If you scroll down, you will find your answer. Biscotti is apparently the master of minimalism. I found the original recipe in Real Simple and it won me over based on its short list of pantry-staple ingredients. I also learned that biscotti translates to “twice-cooked” – and that this recipe had further simplified it for a single bake. So really, how could I resist?!
I subbed in dried cranberries and decided a bit of milk chocolate couldn’t hurt.
Moral of the story: they were a hit! Bring them, and your new knowledge of the meaning of biscotti, to your next holiday party. The recipe made 30 or so cookies.
*Note: this recipe requires an hour of dough chilling time.
8 egg yolks (no white), 3 eggs + 1 egg
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
4 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tbsp of water
3/4 cup of dried cranberries
Toppings: 1/2 cup of raw shelled pistachios (crushed or ground), unsweetened coconut flakes, 2 cups of milk chocolate baking chips (or dairy-free chips)
Add all 8 yolks to a large mixing bowl. I cracked and discarded the shells and whites in a smaller bowl, which made things quick and easy. Add in the 3 whole eggs.
Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the bowl with the egg yolks. Using an electric whisk, beat everything together for 3 minutes, or until the color begins to lighten and the mixture starts thickening.
I found this next part tricky because I was mixing manually with a wooden spoon – if you have a stand mixer, now’s the time to use it! Slowly add the flour and baking powder into your mix, using a spoon or a paddle to combine everything. Add your dried cranberries and mix until combined.
Divide your dough into two portions and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then let sit in the fridge for no less than one hour.
Preheat the oven to 325. Roll your dough into two slab-like logs, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure your logs are not more than an inch or two tall – if too tall, the middle section may not bake entirely.
At this point, you can give your biscotti an egg wash, whisking together the remaining egg with a tablespoon of water and brushing over your loaves. I baked mine in separate batches, one with and one without, and found that I didn’t need the egg wash. But — options, people!
Bake for 40 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.
The baking time is the trickiest, as you don’t want the bottom to burn but you want to make sure you have baked the loaf entirely (no soft center). Remove the loaf from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cutting board. Slice into 1/2 inch slivers.
One of my loaves baked perfectly while the other had some middle sections that needed a few more minutes – you can tell by the yellowish color. Just pop them back onto the baking sheet and do another 5 – 10 minutes in the oven.
For the toppings, make a double boiler to melt the milk chocolate.
Once your biscotti has fully cooled, use a small spatula to cover one half with chocolate. While wet, sprinkle with pistachio dust or coconut flakes.
Let cool on the counter or transfer to a platter or parchment paper tray in the fridge to cool quickly.