I have so much love for this recipe for Cranberry Orange Biscotti, made with FRESH cranberries instead of dried! They’re flecked with fresh orange zest, with a crumbly and hearty texture from chopped almonds. And they freeze beautifully, so you can take one (or five) out when you want to enjoy them with a cup of tea or coffee, or if you have guests over.
Homemade biscotti are easy to make, but do take a little bit of time to complete, since you have to bake them twice. And since they store really well for a few days after baking (or in the freezer for a few months), it’s so worth the time investment.
If you end up with any leftover fresh cranberries from making fresh cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, this is a perfect way to use them up. They add a tart flavor and beautiful color to the cookies, along with fresh orange juice and zest and lots of almonds.
And these cookies aren’t that bad for you- there’s only a half cup of sugar in the whole batch, and the addition of almonds adds protein and healthy fats to the mix!
How to make cranberry orange biscotti
Just mix up the dough, form two “loaves” out of it, bake, slice, and bake again! Making biscotti is easy, but different than your average cookies.
- First, chop the almonds and cranberries using a food processor. Pulse it a few times until a coarse paste-like consistency forms. This is SO much easier, and safer, than trying to use a knife to chop the slippery, round shapes of both the nuts and the cranberries.
- Then, mix up the dough. You’ll cream together butter and sugar, add eggs, and then add the other ingredients, similarly to making regular cookies. Use an electric mixer at first, and a wooden spoon to mix the flour and fold in the cranberries and almonds. I like to use a spatula or butter knife to roughly divide the dough into two portions after I’m done mixing.
- Form two loaves with the dough on a parchment-covered baking sheet. The dough will be super sticky, so you may want to dust the top or your hands with some extra flour to make it easier for you. It’s OK if they aren’t beautiful or sized exactly the same!
- Bake the loaves, then slice them into roughly 1/2″ slices once they’ve cooled for a little while. NOW it’s starting to look more like biscotti.
- Finally, bake the sliced biscotti once again until they’re slightly golden and fully cooked! YUM!
How to store/freeze biscotti
- At room temperature, allow the biscotti to completely cool and store them in an airtight container. They will last for 3-5 days at room temperature. They’ll get a little more crumbly and dry as time goes on.
- To freeze, I recommend placing them on a baking sheet in the freezer, not touching, for about 20-30 minutes. This will flash freeze them, so they are individually frozen and won’t stick together. Then, you can store them in a zip-top bag or an airtight container in the freezer for about 3 months.
Can I use whole wheat flour?
Yes! I’ve done this before and it’s delicious and a bit healthier. Just be sure to use a little less of it- only 2 1/2 cups instead of 2 3/4 cups. You may also want to try a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour. They’re really hard to mess up!
Other desserts using fresh orange
- Cardamom Spiced Orange Olive Oil Cake
- Spicy Gingerbread Cake with Orange Mascarpone Cream
- Orange Chai Spice Cookies
- Sicilian Whole Orange Cake (from Christina’s Cucina)
You may also want to try these Whole Wheat Cranberry Ginger Pecan Muffins (also made with fresh cranberries). Be sure to check out all these holiday baking recipes, too, including this delicious Dutch Butter Cake.
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Cranberry Orange Biscotti
- Parchment Paper
- Food Processor
- Pulse the cranberries (1 cup) and whole almonds (3/4 cup) in a food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together softened butter (1/2 cup) and sugar (1/2 cup). Add eggs one at a time, and mix for a few more minutes until well combined.
- Add the kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon), orange juice (1/4 cup) and zest (1 tablespoon), and baking powder (1.5 teaspoons). Mix until well combined.
- Gently stir in the flour (2 3/4 cups) until just combined. Fold in the almond and cranberry mixture.
- Divide dough into two parts. Spoon the dough onto the prepared parchment paper and, using extra flour to coat your hands and the top of the dough, form into two long flat loaves (approximately 4" by 13" each). This can be a bit tricky and they will look messy- don't stress out if the loaves aren't beautiful :-)
- Bake the loaves for 30 minutes or until just starting to become golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Turn oven temperature down to 300 degrees.
- Once cool, slice the loaves into 3/4" slices and place back on the baking sheet, cut side up.
- Bake for another 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Freeze them: These biscotti can be frozen in an airtight container or bag for up to 3 months.
- Whole wheat flour can be used instead of all-purpose. Use 2.5 cups of it instead of 2.75.
- Other nuts, such as pistachios, walnuts, or pecans, can be used instead of almonds. You can also fold in pre-sliced or chopped nuts instead of pulsing them in the food processor.
This post originally appeared on Bowl of Delicious in November 2014. It has been updated with new photos, more relevant information, clearer instructions, and an improved recipe.