I couldn't decide what kind of biscotti to bring to my sister's house on New Year's Day, so I decided not to decide at all.
Instead, I just made both kinds I was considering.
I was accompanied on the bus to Manhattan by my tin of dark chocolate-hazelnut biscotti and cranberry-hazelnut biscotti. It was the perfect company. There were five other people on the bus who were as crazy and as sober as I to take an 8am bus on New Year's Day. They slept the whole time.
I tasted my biscotti. First the dark chocolate-hazelnut. What can I say about that combination .... other than "Baci" and "Nutella"?
Then the cranberry-hazelnut. Chewy and sweet. Slightly more tame but no less delightful.
Hazelnuts provided a great crunch to these biscotti, but you don't have to limit your flavor combinations when baking up this treat, either. It's a New Year, so take some new chances. Perhaps you enjoy peanuts and chocolate? (I do) Or little bites of dried apricots with almonds and white chocolate?(Yum, sounds good!) Do it all.
But in the meantime, here is the recipe for my Biscotti Two Ways, which is code language for "Biscotti Your Way."
Nonna's Biscotti Two Ways
1/2 cup oil
2.5 cups flour, plus 1 extra cup for adding in
2 1/3 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, sift the flour, cinnamon and baking powder. In another, mix the sugar, eggs, and oil. Combine all the ingredients together, then add enough flour until the batter is just no longer sticky and pulls away from the sides. Divide the batter into two bowls. To one, add 1/2 cup dark chocolate and 1/2 cup hazelnuts. To the other, add 1/2 cup hazelnuts and 1/2 cup dried cranberries. Stir until fully combined.
Form two relatively flat, long loaf and place on a floured baking sheet.
Bake about 25 minutes, or until the loaf is just baked but still soft. Cut on a slight diagonal into 1/2 inch wide cookies, turn each cookie on its side, and bake for another 5-10 minutes per side or until crunchy and golden brown. Cool on wire racks.