Crunchy Cranberry Orange Biscotti

Biscotti is just one of those great little snacks that is impossible not to like. The crispy, crunchy texture and subtle flavors are just wonderful ... and really - they are very little work. With little effort and no fuss you can enjoy these fabulous cookies and they are so so much better than anything you will find in any package. I'm not sure why - as they are so easy to make. It is easy to adjust them to suit your own tastes - use a different kind of nut or dried fruit or extract. All you need is a great basic recipe and this is it.

I love these things with coffee or tea or - yes - even straight up (when they first come out of the oven that is). Citrusy orange and sweet tangy dried cranberries have such wonderful flavors and when you put them together - bang - they are a culinary delight and an object of beauty as well. Add some earthy hazelnuts or sweet pecans and they are exquisite.

Crunchy Cranberry Orange Biscotti

1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon orange zest
2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup chopped pecans or hazelnuts (whatever you want the most)

1 egg for wash

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a large baking pan or use a large insulated cookie sheet.

In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, vanilla and zest. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into the cream mixture until just blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Divide dough into two long flat loaves - each 1/2 inch tall and 12 inches long and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.

Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes.

Beat the egg well with a fork then paint the biscotti with it. With a serrated knife, cut the biscotti diagonally into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Stand the biscotti up on the baking sheet with a bit of space between them. Bake 10 - 15 minutes longer.

Store biscotti at room temp in an airtight container until they are gone.

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