Biscotti are one of my favorite cookies to make for a couple of reasons. They’re not too difficult to make, they keep extremely well and they always taste better than store bought. I also like being able to put my own flavor twists on biscotti, as the options when you buy them in a store are often quite limited. That isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate a good almond biscotti (probably the most popular base flavor) as much as the next person, just that I like a little variety.
These Coconut Cranberry Biscotti are one of my favorite variations. The cookies use shredded coconut in place of almonds or other nuts that are traditionally included in biscotti, and they are studded with dried cranberries that add a pop of color and sweet-tart flavor. The biscotti have a subtle coconut flavor to them, but it is not overwhelming. They’re not too sweet, so I typically use sweetened shredded coconut in my batches, though unsweetened coconut will work just as well if you tend to have that on hand.
The dough for these cookies is baked in large logs, which are cooled slightly before being sliced and baked a second time. You will need a very sharp knife – either a bread knife or a large chef’s knife – to get a clean cut on your cookies, as the cranberries can get “caught” on a dull blade. Still, the finished cookies will taste good in the end, they’ll just look a little prettier if you sharpen your knives first! The cookies, once baked, will keep very well in an airtight container for at least a week or two. Mine don’t last much longer than that – and I doubt yours will either.
Coconut Cranberry Biscotti
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
5-oz (3/5 cup) shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
2/3 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the egg white and vanilla extract.
With the mixer on a slow speed, gradually incorporate the flour mixture, stirring just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in shredded coconut and dried cranberries.
Divide the dough in half. Shape one half of the dough into a log about 2 1/2-in high and 8-10-in long (log should be quite narrow) on the prepared baking sheet (dough will be quite sticky; use a spatula or bench scraper, or lightly flour your hands to make it easier to shape). Dough will spread, so repeat the process with the rest of the dough on another baking sheet.
Bake logs for about 30 minutes, until dark golden and set. Cookies will spring back when lightly pressed in the center.
Allow dough log to cool on a wire rack for 20-25 minutes, then slice into cookies 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick using a sharp chefs knife or serrated knife. Arrange upright on baking sheet.
Lower oven temperature to 350F. Bake cookies a second time for 20-25 minutes, until they are lightly browned on the sides and slightly crisp. Top and bottom of the biscotti should be relatively dark.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container.
Makes 2- 2 1/2 dozen.