Day 14 of the Free Press's 21 Days of Holiday Cookies features Choco-cran biscotti. We will be publishing one cookie recipe every day -- Monday to Saturday -- till Christmas.
Christmas is for the children, of course. But at some point, the grownups want to sit with their feet up and a pot of coffee -- which is where Josephine Wasney's sophisticated chocolate and cranberry biscotti come in.
250 ml (1 cup) dried cranberries
45 ml (3 tbsp) orange juice
57 g (1/4 cup) butter or stick margarine, softened
125 ml (1/2 cup) white sugar
500 ml (2 cups) all-purpose flour
75 ml (1/3 cup) cocoa
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Combine cranberries and orange juice in small bowl. Microwave on medium for 1-2 minutes, until cranberries are plumped and soft.
Cream butter, sugar and eggs together in large bowl until smooth. Add cranberry mixture and stir. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add to butter and cranberry mixture and mix well. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead six times. Place on lightly greased baking sheet and form dough into slightly flattened log, 40 cm (16 in) long and about 5 cm (2 in) wide. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 140C (275C). Let log cool 10-15 minutes and then cut log, on the diagonal, into 1.2 cm (1/2 in) slices. Lay slices flat on the same baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. Turn off oven, turn slices over, and let stand in oven for 30 minutes, or until crisp.
Taster's notes: The secret to nicely crisped biscotti is the double baking process, the second time on low heat. If you want, you can get fancy with melted white chocolate.