Christmas Biscotti

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Time to deck the decks, set holly in your drip rails, a tree in your cockpit and lights up your mast. Annapolis Parade of Lights will get under way on Saturday so this Galley Pirate needs to get cooking! We’ll be sharing some holiday treats in the next few weeks, but to kick off the season try this biscotti filled with dried cranberries and pistachios, dipped in white chocolate. Yum!

Biscotti is perfect offshore food. If Newfoundlanders were from Italian descent I’ll bet they would have far preferred biscotti over hard tack. (But a Mediterranean Newfoundland is just an oxymoron.) Like hard tack, biscotti is hard and dry and has an undetermined shelf life as long as it is kept away from moisture. It comes to life when it’s dipped in coffee. Imagine your mornings at sea as the sun is peaking over the horizon and you have hot steaming coffee in one hand and biscotti in the other. (and Auto at the helm.) A great day it will be!

If you’ve never made biscotti before, it’s far easier than it seems, and totally worth making in abundance for your next cruise. The varieties of biscotti are only limited to your imagination. Here’s one for the holidays…

Christmas Biscotti with Craisins and Pistachios

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2 1/4 cups flour plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup (2/3 stick) butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Craisins
3/4 cup pistachios
1 bag (6 oz) white chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Heat your galley oven to 325º. Layer insulated baking sheets and/or foil to protect your pan from the direct heat.

Mix the dry ingredients. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix until blended. Fold in the cranberries and nuts. (don’t use more cranberries of pistachios than the recipe calls for as the dough will fall apart when sliced.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in half. With lightly floured hands roll each half into logs 1/2″ in diameter. About 15 inches long or the width of you galley oven.

Bake for 30 minutes until lightly firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Place the logs on a cutting board. With a sharp serrated knife cut slices on the diagonal 1/2 inch thick. Lay the slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until dried out and slightly browned, about 7 minutes. Turn each slice over and bake for another 7 minutes until golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Eat them as is…or holiday style, dipped in white chocolate. It looks like Taylor has her own plans for the biscotti and they’re not going to last until Christmas! 

They are great without the added white chocolate. But if you want to go one step further….

Jury rig a double boiler best you can: a big pan with water, a smaller pan set inside with the white chocolate. Heat up the water, keeping an eye on the chocolate. Once it begins to melt, add the Canola oil. Stir until smooth. The perfect melting temperature is critical. If it gets too hot the chocolate starts to solidify. 

Dip each slice into the chocolate coating 1/3 of the slice. Lay on parchment paper to dry completely. If it’s cold outside, let them dry in the cockpit.

Then enjoy! Now, with tomorrow morning’s coffee…or save until the holidays! Biscotti will last that long!








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