One of my favorite holiday traditions is getting together with girlfriends for a cookie exchange. Everyone bakes a few of their favorite kinds of cookies and at the end of the day (after enjoying some wine, of course) you all exchange so everyone has many different kinds of cookies to take home with them! (Living in New York City, I haven’t been able to do this for several years as our apartment is spacially-challenged.) I highly recommend picking a Saturday, gathering some friends, and going after some cookie recipes. While you do that, check out some of the Jessup wines that you can still order before the holidays. My favorites with holiday cookies are the Sauvignon Blanc or the Pinot Noir.
Here is one of my favorite cookie gift recipes shared with me at my first cookie exchange by my cousin-in-law Shanon. These biscotti are great to wrap up and give as gifts or keep yourself to have with your morning coffee.
Dried Cranberry and White Chocolate Biscotti
Makes about 28 (double the recipe, you will want a bunch of these)
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
1 egg white
6 ounces good-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Baker’s), chopped, or white chocolate chips (for topping)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/ tsp salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, 2 eggs and almond extract in large bowl until well blended. Mix in flour mixture, then dried cranberries. Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, shape each piece into 2 1/2 inch-wide, 9 1/2 inch-long, 1 inch-high log. Transfer both logs to prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly. Whisk egg white in small bowl until foamy; brush egg white glaze on top and sides of each log.
Bake logs until golden brown (logs will spread), about 35 minutes. Cool completely on sheet on rack. Maintain oven temperature. Transfer logs to work surface. Discard parchment. Using serrated knife, cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on same sheet. Bake 10 minutes; turn biscotti over. Bake until beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Transfer biscotti to rack.
Stir chocolate on top of double boiler over simmering water until smooth. Remove from over water. Using fork, drizzle chocolate over biscotti. Let stand until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.