As I type, I’m eating one of these merry little cookies. The tart bite of the cranberry and the floral spring of the rosemary, combined with the sugary sweetness of white chocolate just tastes and looks like Christmas to me. More than the joy of eating these cookies is the tradition of making them. I think holiday traditions are as comforting as coming in to a warm house from the cold. Traditions are the glue that holds the holiday season together, no matter how hectic and scared we may get that Amazon Prime really won’t come in two days…
I’ve been doing too much, lately. I got in over my head with a few embroidery projects because 1. I’m still new to the craft, but 2. I enjoy it so much that, 3. I think I am better than I really am, so 4. It takes me much longer to complete a project in real life than it does in my head. I also feel that with a baby in the mix and a couple precious hours in the day to get things done, that I should have scaled back. Baked less, bought fewer presents, gotten take-out a little more often. But I felt compelled to keep the ship afloat and do everything I wanted to do, even if there was no time.
Amidst this feeling of being on a slowly sinking ship, I still hauled my tail into the kitchen yesterday morning and got the dough for this biscotti mixed up. I don’t think I’ve ever made the same version of this recipe twice, but that stops this year. I’ve finally found a combination of recipes that works and that tastes good. I’ve tried everything you can imagine from a no-butter, all egg white recipe (sad) to a recipe that called for oil (weird) and switching between fresh cranberries or dried. I don’t know why I tried so many variants when I knew in my heart that cookies need and deserve to be made with butter. And after using dried cranberries every year, I tried fresh this year and I really love it. It distinguishes the cranberry from what could have been any ol’ dried fruit. Fresh cranberries tint the dough slightly swirly pink and with the flecks of green rosemary, these cookies just make me feel the season that much more. Baking brings me closer to peace. Being in the kitchen is a calm that I don’t feel anywhere else. And so, even though Christmas seemed to come exactly 5.5 seconds after Thanksgiving this year, I found a pocket of time to keep the tradition going and bake my holiday anchor, also known as: Cranberry Rosemary Bisotti.
Cranberry Rosemary Biscotti
makes about 2 dozen cookies
2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, cut in half
6 ounces white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or use a silpat. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl till fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the rosemary and cranberries with a rubber spatula gently, until well incorporated.
Form the dough into two logs, side by side on a baking sheet. Shape into long, flat strips, about 10″x 3″ by about 1/2″ high. Bake for 30 minutes until firm and then let cool about 20 minutes before cutting.
Cut the logs into 1/2″ strips and arrange the slices on the baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes, flipping over once during baking. Let the cookies cool completely on a rack before drizzling with white chocolate.
Melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl at 30 second increments, stirring after each time, until just melted. With a spatula, dunk into the chocolate and fling it around the kitchen with wild abandon. Or, just drizzle it over the biscotti until completely used up and everything is a huge mess. Let it dry before storing in an air tight container for about 2 weeks. These cookies keep a while, so they’re great for gifts!