Friday, January 7, 2011

Speckled Biscotti

I've experienced biscotti in a number of places; coffee shops where they are individually wrapped in cellophane and so dry they shatter with every bite that isn't dunked, at a part where one of the guests brought a strangely sweet and nearly sticky biscotti (if it could be called that)... but I have yet to find anything named biscotti that I would chose to eat over this recipe. I came across it three years ago and return to it again and again for me favorite dunking dessert! Be it coffee, cocoa or tea (my choice) it'll warm the winter blues.

Pictured in a Christmas gift basket

Preheat oven to 350*

4 1/2 A flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C sugar
2/3 C vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C lightly chopped pecans
1/2 C semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1/2 C dried cranberries, or dried berries of choice (cherries, blueberries, etc)

Sift together first four ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar, oil and eggs until blended. Gradually add flour mixture alternately with portions of the sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. This will make a very stiff batter. Add the nuts and fruit and stir in as well as you can before turning dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until the fruit and nuts are well distributed. Divide dough into 3 equal portions and shape into 14" 'logs'. These will be roughly 4" wide and 1/2" thick. The dough doesn't spread much during baking and you don't want to end up with short biscotti. Place logs several inches apart on greased baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 300*. Let the biscotti cool on the pan 30 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti diagonally in 3/4" wide slices. Return to baking sheets and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, until firm. Let cool on wire racks. Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired.

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