These tempting Italian-style biscuits are delicious soaked dipped in coffee. They are equally scrummy dipped in a good liqueur or sweet wine such as Masala, sherry or amaretto. Apricot and cranberry biscotti will also make a lovely Christmas present. Package in cellophane bags or tissue paper-lined gift boxes and tie with ribbon. For a twist buy a special mug or coffee cup and present the biscotti inside. For an extra special present give the biscuits with either a packet of good fresh coffee or a bottle of sweet wine or liqueur.
- 100g dried cranberries
- 100g dried apricot, chopped
- 150g whole blanched almonds
- 250g plain flour
- 1/4tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 250g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- Finely grated rind of 1 orange
- Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
Place the cranberries in a bowl and pour over 2 tbsp boiling water from the kettle. Leave to soak. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/ 170° Fan/ Gas Mark 5. Lightly oil a large baking sheet and line with baking paper.
Place the almonds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 3-4 mins or until golden. Remove and cool.
Place the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well and make a well in the centre.
In a jug, mix the eggs, vanilla extract and apricots, grated orange and lemon rind. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients and mix well until you have a soft dough.
Drain excess liquid from the cranberries and knead into the dough with the toasted almonds. Divide the dough in two.
On a floured surface, shape the dough pieces into ovals approx 8cm across the width. Place on the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes until just golden. Remove the ovals from the oven and slice diagonally into biscuits approx. 2cm thick.
Arrange the biscotti over the baking sheets and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
If preferred use dried cherries or blueberries instead of cranberries. Try adding 1tsp ground mixed spice for an extra festive flavour.