This year in the spirit of Thanksgiving, my Mom and I recently tag-teamed to put together little care packages for families recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Hundreds of families along the NJ and NY shore lost homes or had the first floor of their houses destroyed, and while teams of people worked to gut the damaged rooms, my Mom and I wanted to show them a little TLC with some fresh baked biscotti and cookies.
It was our first attempt at biscotti, being a time-consuming process since the traditional Italian cookie needs to be twice-baked to achieve the crisp texture which is perfect for dunking. Another biscotti bonus is they will stay fresh for a couple of weeks since they don’t have the moisture content of most other cookies.
The end result was a success! We attempted Lemon-Lime Pistachio Biscotti and Chocolate Walnut Biscotti, all recipes being courtesy of the 2010 Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies magazine. Check out a variety of biscotti recipes on the Martha Stewart website as well.
When ready, we packaged the biscotti with some donated coffee samples and also Cranberry Coin cookies (the delicious recipe is below)!
Cranberry Coins (recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart)
yields 4 dozen cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add flour and salt; stir just until combined. Stir in dried cranberries. Divide dough into quarters.
On parchment, shape each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 4 inches long. Wrap logs tightly in parchment or plastic. Chill 30 minutes or up to 1 day (I found results were best when dough was chilled about 3 hours). (Dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic and frozen up to 1 month.)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. With a sharp knife, slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Rotate log as you cut to keep it from flattening. Place rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets, 1 inch apart.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges just begin to turn golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.