Almond Cranberry Cantucci – this biscotti has been a favorite in Gin’s Kitchen for a long time and often requested – we now share it with you. Scented with orange zest, this “not too hard” biscotti is generously studded with crunchy almonds and sweet-tart dried cranberries.
And it’s so easy to make! Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, mix olive oil and sugar together with a wooden spoon, mix in eggs and extracts, grate in orange zest, stir in the flour, and fold in cranberries and nuts. With wet hands, shape the dough into logs. The whole batch, made into two or three logs fit onto one large baking sheet. Then they go into the oven.
Cool the baked logs and slice on the diagonal with a serrated knife. The sweet orange zest aroma entices your nose but be patient for they go back into the oven for a few minutes to toast both cut sides.
Almond Cranberry Cantucci keeps and travels well, and makes you the guest they look forward to seeing. They’ll stare at them, take a bite, and ask: YOU made these?
This recipe is also featured in the 7th edition of The Kitchen at Four Sisters Inns.
Recipe: Almond Cranberry Cantucci
These rustic biscotti calls for lighter olive oil. Save your best olive oil for drizzling and salad dressings.
- 1 1/4 cups whole unblanched almonds
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 orange
- 1/4 cup light olive oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Prepare: line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner. Preheat oven to 300º F. Coarsely chop almonds; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Scrub the orange with the scrubby side of a clean sponge, dry fruit. Finely grate orange rind; set aside.
- Make dough: use a wooden spoon to stir dough. In a large mixing bowl, mix together olive oil and sugar. Add extracts, eggs and orange zest; mix well. Stir flour mixture into the wet ingredients mixing only until blended. Fold in cranberries and almonds.
- Shape logs: wet hands with cool water and divide dough into halves (don’t have to be exactly even). With both hands, elongate one of the dough halves into a log shape and place on one side of the prepared baking sheet allowing enough room for a second log. Stretch and shape dough to 12 inches long by 2-3 inches wide; evenly smooth out and distribute each log’s shape.
- Repeat with second half of dough. Dough can also be divided into three logs for smaller biscotti.
- Bake at 300º F: place baking sheet on the middle rack of a preheated oven and bake until tops of logs are light brown and beginning to crack, 30-35 minutes for two logs; 25-30 minutes for three logs. Remove baking sheet from oven and place baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275º F.
- Slice and bake again at 275º F: using a wide pancake turner, gently remove a log from the baking sheet onto a cutting board and with a serrated bread knife, cut 3/4-inch thick slices on the diagonal. Cut in only one direction to help slices from crumbling. Place slices cut side down on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven, flip over biscotti and bake the other cut side for another 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool biscotti on baking sheet.
- When completely cool, store in an airtight container. Keeps for a couple of weeks – best within a week.
Makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen biscotti.