Confession: these white chocolate cranberry almond biscotti were in fact part of my Christmas baking. I make them every year for holiday gift-giving, and they are by far the crowd favourite. I personally only bake them at Christmas, but there’s no reason they can’t be made at any other time of the year. For example, Valentine’s Day. Because homemade biscotti is a sure-fire way to say “I love you”.
I posted a version of these biscotti back in 2011, but in the six years since, I’ve tweaked my recipe, using a different biscotti base containing more eggs that bakes up lighter and crisper. The white chocolate cranberry almond flavour combination is my absolute favourite though, so I haven’t changed that. And while these cookies mean “Christmas” to me, they could just as easily mean “Be Mine” or “Happy Easter” or “Hey it’s Tuesday – have a biscotti”. In other words, don’t wait until next Christmas to make these!
White Chocolate Cranberry Almond Biscotti
Makes about 3 dozen cookies. Click here for a printable PDF of the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 325˚F (300˚F convection). Spread 3/4 cup whole almonds on a baking sheet and pop them in the preheating oven to toast until golden and fragrant. Once toasted, set them aside to cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together until sandy-looking and fragrant:
1 cup granulated white sugar
grated zest from 1/2 an orange
Add 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, and cream until light and fluffy.
One at a time, add in 3 eggs, beating until light.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Finally, stir in 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour to make a thick, sticky dough.
By hand, fold in:
3/4 cup toasted whole almonds
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup chopped white chocolate
Using 2 baking sheets lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper, shape the dough into 3 logs, each 2″ wide by 12″ long. (For larger biscotti, divide the dough into 2 logs, each 3″ wide by 12″ long.) You can use your hands for this – wet them slightly to prevent the dough from sticking.
Bake in the preheated 325˚F (300˚F convection) oven for about 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until golden brown and just firm in the middle of each log. Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, until cool enough to touch and firm enough to slice.
Using a serrated knife, gently slice each log on the diagonal into 1/2″ thick slices.
Stand the slices back up on the baking sheets and bake at 300˚F (275˚F convection) for an additional 30-40 minutes, until crisp and golden (lower the oven temperature by 25˚F if the biscotti are getting too brown). Allow the biscotti to cool completely on a rack.
Melt 1 cup chopped white chocolate and scoop it into a piping bag. Lay the biscotti out on parchment or waxed paper and drizzle with the white chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set / dry, then store the biscotti in an airtight container for up to about 2 weeks.