In the cookie of life, friends are the chocolate chips.
~ Salman Rushdie ~
Biscotti is one of those trendy things for which there are literally hundreds of recipes on the internet. I like the idea of biscotti because it’s similar to South African rusks, but is a lot less work. As I mentioned in my Chocolate Crunchie post, many South African cookie and rusk recipes make dozens of cookies and I then see it as my ultimate task in life to finish all of them! My biscotti recipe makes about 30 – 40 biscuits and they are cute and small – which I believe allows me to have more of them! Reading up on biscotti on the internet taught me that these traditional twice-baked almond cookies are also called cantucci. But Pinterest has biscotti recipes with all sorts of things added! The first recipe I tried was Hot Cross Bun Biscotti! And that led to this Choc Chip Cranberry Biscotti recipe.
Emotional Support Biscotti
I have used Drizzle & Drip‘s Hot Cross Bun Biscotti recipe as the base of my recipe. Sam Linsell, the author, uses vegetable oil instead of butter (I always have vegetable oil in the cupboard). And it is very easy to exchange the dried fruit, nuts and spices for some other combinations. Mini dark chocolate chips and cranberries (I hate raisins) have resulted in this Choc Chip Cranberry Biscotti recipe. Or as my children are now calling it: Emotional Support Biscotti. Exchanging the choc chips for pistachios will result in perfectly classic Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti, but my husband can’t eat tree nuts, so chocolate it is. The original recipe has mixed spice and cinnamon, which I decided to replace with instant coffee granules and it works beautifully!
As I mentioned, biscotti is really a lot less work than baking rusks. A quick mix of ingredients, a minute or two of kneading and then some (enjoyable) shaping and it’s done! You can shape the biscotti “logs” in the size you want, meaning you can have dainty biscotti or nice chunky ones. I’ll admit I really enjoy shaping the dough logs – I suppose as an ex preschool teacher it brings back memories of Play-dough Fridays! Though the biscotti are twice-baked, it doesn’t take long to dry out, saving time and electricity. If you have never tried baking biscotti, I can recommend it for its therapeutic effects, as well as that feel-good hit when you dunk it into your coffee and take a bite!
Choc Chip Cranberry Biscotti
- 2 large eggs
- ½ c vegetable oil (I use Canola)
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 150 g sugar
- 300 g all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1½ t baking powder
- 2 t instant coffee granules
- 60 g dried cranberries (chopped)
- 100 g mini dark chocolate chips
- Beat the egg, oil, vanilla and sugar together with an electric mixer until well combined.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until you have a sticky dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and no longer sticky (add more flour as needed).
- Divide the dough into two or three pieces and roll each piece into a log about 30cm long. Place these, spaced apart on a lined baking tray and then put in the fridge or freezer (this cools the dough down which prevents it from spreading – you could do this overnight). While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Place the tray in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 160°C and bake for 20 minutes until the biscotti are lightly golden and firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 100°C.
- Cut the biscotti on the diagonal into slices about 1.5cm thick and lay these back on the lined baking sheet next to each other. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Place a cloth or wooden spoon in the door to keep it slightly ajar and then bake for a further 15 minutes. Remove the cloth/spoon and turn off the oven. Allow the biscotti to dry out in the oven until it is cool.
- I added a total of 160g of choc chips and cranberries, so feel free to do more cranberry and less chocolate or vice versa.
- Add 160 - 200g of any nuts, dried fruit, choc chips or other tasty "bits" if you want to try something different. Some nice combinations are:
- orange zest and dark chocolate
- almond and dried apricot
- cranberry and pistachio
- orange zest and cinnamon
- Instead of the two teaspoons of coffee granules, you can add any spice mix that goes with your flavour of biscotti, like ginger, cinnamon, mixed spice or a combination.
- You are welcome to drizzle chocolate over the baked biscotti, or dip one end into some chocolate for an added burst of flavour and a pretty appearance.