Sunday, 21 October 2012


I have a gorgeous friend who comes to see me regularly. We get all of our children in to bed and she races across town feeling youthful (I think) and child-free (definitely) and we have a quiet evening of real conversation, something mothers of toddlers never get between the hours of 7am and 7pm. The truth is I do most of the talking and she does most of the listening and there is such a heaviness in my heart and in my house that I wonder how she enjoys herself so much. So last time she was here I decided that her next visit would have to include some real fun.

And what could be more fun than baking biscotti? My friend has made it a couple of times, so I figured she had 200% more knowledge than me. I didn't really have anything to go on, so just did an internet search for a recipe, and found something on allrecipes which had 800 reviews and 5 out of 5 stars, so how could I go wrong? The recipe below uses their basic ingredients with a few small changes and my additions - I chose dried cranberries, cashews and white chocolate. I also used melted butter instead of olive oil, hence the slightly awkward butter measurement (if you want to use oil I suggest you use a tasteless one, not olive). And it was fun to make, and I was right when I said how could I go wrong. Although it's pretty simple baking, I really enjoyed the different process and the "how is it going to turn out?" feeling.

We made two logs (to fit on the tray) and cut them two different sizes. The recipe suggested 3/4 inch thick, so we did one like that and the other only about 1cm thick. The narrower ones really are better I think, but you can do whatever you like. The results were softer than I have normally experienced with biscotti, so I could have baked them for a little longer. My tasting friends and family have all said they like the softness, and I do think it's good, in general, to eat without risk of breaking your teeth, but I also want to know it's biscotti and not just a stale biscuit. I think next time I will make them a bit harder. Ovens vary and opinions vary, so I will have to leave this up to you.

I have written the original recipe below, but don't be shy to reduce the a sugar a little, in fact I recommend it if you are choosing to add chocolate. My choice of additions went partly on tradition (the cranberries), partly on cost (I switched to cashews when I saw that they were cheaper than almonds) and partly on desire (the chocolate (of course)). I'd love to know what you would choose. And love the idea of experimenting with different flavours.

Cranberry, Cashew and White Chocolate Biscotti

1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1/4 cup white chocolate
1/3 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Finely chop the fruit, nuts and chocolate.
Mix the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla and beat in the eggs.
Gradually stir in the flour, bp and salt. 
Gently fold in the fruit, nuts and chocolate.

Lay greaseproof paper out on a tray, then divide the dough in half and form two logs. Use wet hands to shape them.

Bake at 150 degrees for 35 minutes.

Remove logs from oven and reduce temperature to 135 degrees.

Let the logs cool for 10 minutes, then slice them approximately 1cm thick. Lay them out on the tray (remove baking paper) and bake for another 10 minutes (or longer if you want them harder). 

This is my entry for the Sweet New Zealand monthly blogging event, this month being hosted by Sue at Couscous and Conciousness


  1. Could you whip up a cappuchino to go with it and I'll pop on over

  2. Biscotti are one of those things I keep promising myself I will have a go at making sometime, and I never seem to get around to it. These look heavenly though, so perhaps this is the inspiration I need to try them.

    Thanks for sharing at Sweet New Zealand.

    Sue :-)

  3. Just stopped by again to let you know the Sweet NZ round-up is now posted here
    Thanks again for joining in.

    Sue :-)


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