2008 finalist: Say "Happy holidays" with a festive cranberry-accented biscotti.
Makes about 2 dozen biscotti.
4½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons slightly mashed fennel seeds
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted and cooled
5 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Freshly grated zest of 2 oranges
2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and fennel seeds, and reserve. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract and orange rind until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Stir in cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
Divide dough into 4 equal parts and form each part into logs that are approximately 10 inches long and 2 inches wide. Transfer logs to prepared baking sheets and bake until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer baked logs to a cutting board and cut logs diagonally into ½-inch thick slices.
Reduce oven to 325 degrees. Return slices, cut-side up, on prepared baking sheets and bake for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, turn biscotti over and bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
2008 Finalist: Phyllis Kahn of Minneapolis, Minnesota