Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hazelnut, almond and cranberry biscotti, and when competition is fair

Hazelnut, almond and cranberry biscotti / Biscotti de amêndoa, avelã e cranberry

I have always found the Golden Globes much more fun than the Oscars, and a lot fairer, too, since they separate comedy from drama. Fair is not a word I often associate with movie and TV awards since there are always the lobbied performances that get nominated (and win) while talented people are left behind.

However, this year, as Paula Patton and Aaron Eckhart announced the nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama, I told my husband: “this is unusual: each and every one of them deserve the award”. The Globe ended up in Bryan Cranston’s hands – much to my delight – but it would have been completely fair had Paula announced any other of the four nominees, and I would have liked it anyway. I think that deep down inside all four of them – and any other actor in a major TV drama - are celebrating the fact that, next year, Bryan Cranston is out of the competition. :D

My Bryan Cranston of biscotti recipes, Alice Medrich’s almond biscotti, has, after a good while, found some serious competition: these WS biscotti are just as delicious, and the soft, dried cranberries are a nice contrast to the crunch of the nuts. Don’t even think of omitting or replacing the orange zest: it really makes these biscotti.

Hazelnut, almond and cranberry biscotti
from the delicious Williams-Sonoma Collection: Cookies

250g all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
80g hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped
80g almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
½ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped if large
finely grated zest of 1 orange

Preheat an oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Stir in the hazelnuts, almonds, cranberries and orange zest until evenly distributed. The batter should be very soft.

Turn the batter out onto a generously floured work surface and divide in half. With well-floured hands, transfer one-half onto the prepared baking sheet and shape into a log about 30cm (12in) long and 3.75cm (1½in) in diameter. Place on one side of the sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter, leaving 10cm (4in) the logs. (They will spread as they bake.)
Bake the logs until the edges are golden, 25-30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the logs cool for 10 minutes. Slide the logs still attached to the paper from the sheet and line it again with baking paper. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs on the diagonal into slices 1.25cm (½in) wide. Carefully place the slices on their sides on the baking sheet and return them to the oven. Bake until the edges are golden, about 10 minutes more. Let the biscotti cool completely on the sheets on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 4 dozen biscotti – I got 32


Victoria@Sugar On Snow said...

Alice Medrich's almond biscotti is my favourite too, so, if you say these are just as delicious I absolutely need to try them. I also was happy about Bryan Cranston winning, Breaking Bad was one of my favourite tv series. I don't know if there will ever be something as amazing as Breaking Bad was. :)

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

I love biscotti and these flavors are wonderful!

Related Posts with Thumbnails