Cranberry Orange Biscotti for Thanksgiving

We always have a tray of biscotti as part of our Thanksgiving desserts. We add a little of our Italian heritage to each course of our dinner. I use an orange lemon biscotti recipe of my grandmothers and add chopped dried cranberries to keep the biscotti in the Thanksgiving tradition.

I picked up a bag of dried cranberries at a market here on Cape Cod where they are grown. They were beautifully moist and added lovely color to the biscotti. Most of the time the dried cranberries are a little hard. Use a good quality brand with supple cranberries.

There are a lot of eggs in this recipe and you will find that the biscotti are not hard even after double baking.

Cranberry Orange Biscotti

Recipe Summary
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes @350º F
Yield: 12 Dozen

Dry Ingredients
10 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups dried cranberries, chopped

Wet Ingredients
12 eggs, beaten
1 lb. melted butter
1 zest and juice of a large lemon
1 zest and juice of a large orange

1 cup confectionary sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons milk
2 drops of lemon juice
2 drops of extract (of your choice)
1 tablespoon orange juice
Zest of the orange

Mix the flour with the baking powder. Beat the sugar and eggs and butter together and mix well. Slowly mix in the flour mixture. Fold in the orange and lemon zest and the chopped walnuts. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for one hour.

Form loaves about 1 1/2” x 12”. Place them on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.

Bake in the oven until they turn brown at the bottom approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on a rack. Slice on the diagonal and return them to the oven, toasting them for 3 minutes on one side. This will harden them but not toast them.

Do not cut them if you are freezing them, but freeze the loaves whole.

Frost when they are cool. Use Orange and lemon zest in the frosting and replace the milk with orange juice.

NOTE: Add 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries and drizzle with melted chocolate for a different variation.

NOTE: When making them for myself, I do not frost them but slice them thinly so that you can see the cranberries on the inside. They are very flavorful without frosting.

Add lemon juice and extract to the confectionary sugar. Slowly add in the milk until all confectionary sugar is mixed in and frosting is smooth. It should not be too thin or it will all drip off the cookies and dry transparent. The frosting should be thick enough so that it sits on the top of the cookie.

If you are freezing them, do not cut on the diagonal, but freeze the loaves whole.

Put the loaves on wax paper and frost and allow them to dry. Cut them on the diagonal. You can cut them first and then drizzle the frosting over the top letting the frosting drip a little down the side. Of drizzle a little melted chocolate over the top.

NOTE: This recipe will frost approximately 3 dozen cookies.


~ by Patricia Turo on November 11, 2010.

7 Responses to “Cranberry Orange Biscotti for Thanksgiving”

  1. Mumm…I’m salivating at the thought of getting these made.
    You must have quite a large family Patricia…the recipe can feed a tiny army. LOL.

    I love dried cranberries in baked goods…and yes, at times they do tend to get a little hard. That’s when I re-moisten them with a little bolied water and strain them…voila, the perfect little gems are back and perky ;o)

    Thanks so much for sharing all your great experience with cookies.

    Ciao for now,


    • Almost all of our recipes are from family members. And at the time that they made them families were huge. Plus with many of these because they were double baked they could keep them for a long time. However that doesn’t happen in our house. I freeze several loaves to use at Thanksgiving. But of course we have our share!

      Lots of these recipes also were used for big events in the family and huge trays were made so people could take their share home. All of our recipes are very big and I cut them in half some times. But freezing them is better, then I always have them on hand to take out when I feel like treating myself.


  2. It’s getting cooler even here in Texas and this is the time to bake biscotti again. The recipe looks good so I have to try making it for this Thanksgiving. And for Christmas, I will also substitute the pitaschio for the walnut. Just a question , please. Most biscotti I baked require at least 30 minute baking time. with only 15 minuts of baking time, did it cook all the inside of it?


    • The baking time really depends on the biscotti and all of my recipes are different. Also the oven temperature plays a roll. If the bottom is brown and the top is just beginning to brown then they are usually done. Pitaschio’s will wok well and you don’t have to use nuts at all. These are very flavorfull without nut or frosting. The frosting does dress them up but I often don’t frost them.





  4. Some Recipes I can’t overlook. There is so much to make and new dishes to try. Some attract my attention of course, more than others. I had to scale the recipe down by a lot, I never quite have such a great crowd for dinner but it’s nice to have them handy for a snack. Great cookies!


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