Easy Dessert Recipe: Cranberry Hazelnut Biscotti

by lakeerieartists

Serve these biscotti with coffee or tea, and vanilla ice cream for an easy dessert that will appeal to young and old alike.

This recipe for cranberry hazelnut biscotti combines two of my favorite flavors into a biscotti that is a light dessert appropriate for summer, or for a mid afternoon snack.

From start to finish, this recipe will take about an hour to make, but most of that is baking time, when you can do other things while the biscott are baking.

Biscotti are a Good Dessert for a Summer Picnic or Party

Quick and easy to make, and store for a long time

cranberry hazelnut biscotti

Biscotti are descendents of hard biscuits that were made before refrigeration was available.  They can be stored at room temperature for about 4 weeks in a cookie jar, and even longer in a sealed plastic container.  You can also freeze them for up to 6 months or more. 

Biscotti can be taken on a picnic or trip because they last so long, and make a good snack for children or adults on an outing because of this.  They don't really need any special care other than to keep them out of direct hot sun for long periods of time.

Biscotti are Made for Dipping

Traditionally biscott are dipped in coffee or tea

Biscotti are twice baked cookies.  They are baked once in a loaf, then again after they are cut apart in order to dry them enough to dip in a coffee or tea, and not have them fall apart.  However, you can also eat them without dipping.

I originally started baking biscotti when I didn't like any of the recipes that other people made, and started experimenting.  If you want, you can substitute some ingredients in this biscotti recipe, but be careful of not making the dough too runny, because then it will be very difficult to work with.  Biscotti dough is a little tough, and I have managed to break several mixers making them.  If you are going to make biscotti on a regular basis, I recommend buying a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer KSM150.  In my opinion, the KitchenAid KSM150 is the best choice for making biscotti.

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How to Make Cranberry Hazelnut Biscotti

Cranberry Hazelnut biscotti are a good choice for Christmas due to their color

Cranberry Hazelnut biscotti make a great Christmas biscotti due to their colors, but taste wonderful all year round, and make great gifts and take alongs for outings, parties, and picnics. 

Here are what you need to make the biscotti.

  • A flat work surface
  • Cookie trays
  • Parchment paper
  • Big bowl
  • Mixer
  • Wooden spoon


Cranberry Biscotti Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Frangelico
  • 1/4 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vodka

Hazelnuts: I buy the hazelnuts raw and toast them in my oven. I toast them at 350 degrees for 9 minutes.  Then I place the toasted hazelnuts in a towel to take off the skins. Do not use salted nuts.

Baking the Cranberry Hazelnut Biscotti


Start by toasting the hazelnuts.  They need to be cool when you mix them into the dough, so you can toast them a day before.  While they are toasting, mix the vodka into the dried cranberries to soak.

To make the biscotti dough, cream butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Once the butter sugar combination is very fluffy, beat in the eggs. Then once the eggs are mixed well into the batter, add the Frangelico and vanilla extract. Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly.

Vanilla Extract:  I always use real vanilla extract, the best that I can find, because it makes a huge difference in the flavor of the biscotti.  Avoid imitation vanilla extract.

Next add the dry ingredients--flour, baking powder and salt. These can be added at the same time. Mix them in until well blended. At this point, your dough will be difficult to mix and somewhat stiff unless you have used a lot of liquid. If you have, your dough will be sticky.

Once your dough is completely mixed, you can fold in the hazelnuts and cranberries (just pour in whatever vodka has not been soaked up by the cranberries.

At this point, your dough will be hard to mix, but that is okay because the biscotti will still come out great.

Baking the Biscotti

You can bake right on your cookie tray, but I like to line the baking pan with parchment paper. Parchment paper eliminates the need to butter the pan, and reduces the fat in the cookies. The biscotti will not stick to the parchment paper. You can reuse the parchment paper a couple of times until it becomes brown or brittle.

Make one or two loaves (in a baguette or hot dog shape) on the parchment paper. You can alter the size of the biscotti by the width of the loaves.

Biscotti are twice baked cookies. The first baking is in the loaf shape. Bake the loaves in a preheated 325 degree oven between 25 and 40 minutes. This will depend on your oven so watch the first couple of batches very carefully after 25 minutes.

Each loaf should be lightly browned when you take it out. Let the loaves cool for a minimum of 10 minutes. If the center is too hot when you slice the loaves, they will fall apart.

Once cool enough, slice the loaves crossways with a very sharp knife to create individual biscotti. I use a Santoku knife for this. If you slice on a diagonal the biscotti will be longer. Slicing straight across will make them shorter. You can determine the width as you slice also.

For the second baking, stand the biscotti up on their bottom edge (as if they were still in the loaf) with about a 1/8 inch between them. Bake them this second time at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. The longer you bake them the drier they will be. If 10 minutes isn't enough, bake them longer.

Let the biscotti cool on a rack before you serve them.

How Many Cranberry Hazelnut Biscotti Can You Bake at One Time?

When I make biscotti, I almost always double the recipe.  Many times, I triple or quadruple the recipe.  This recipe can be doubled as many times as you wish, and you just need a big enough oven to bake more loaves.  So even if you need to feed an army, you can make this recipe.

Image credit

More Biscotti Recipes

Updated: 10/01/2014, lakeerieartists
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Lynsuz on 07/07/2011

Love biscotti, add cranberries and filberts what an awesome recipe. Going to have to make it maybe dip in white chocolate. Thanks for sharing.

lakeerieartists on 06/22/2011

@PeggyHazelwood Peggy, you can make these a bit softer by baking them a little less the second time. Perfect for just eating.
@dmcgaw Maybe you can pay a friend to make them?

dmcgaw on 06/22/2011

I'm not a baker but if I was I'd try this. But I'd rather buy it! :)

PeggyHazelwood on 06/22/2011

I'm not a dipper so I like biscotti that is softer. Not a big fun of the dried out stuff. This flavor sounds delicious though!

lakeerieartists on 06/21/2011

I love hazelnuts too. My favorite flavor.

chefkeem on 06/21/2011

I'm not a big biscotti fan but I take anything with hazelnuts. Yup.

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