Cranberry Almond Chocolate Biscotti

I make all of the gifts I give to friends and family each year, well, except for the gifts I give to my children. I’m sure they would be verklempt if I gave them a gift basket of cookies, caramel, mustard and liqueur…after all they can have that stuff anytime so it’s nothing special. This past weekend I decided to make some holiday gifts for the kids in my life. My kids are grown and it’s been a long time since I was a room mother and did things like this all the time but I’m hoping I haven’t lost the touch completely and that they’ll enjoy the decorated biscotti done just for them.

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I’m hoping to catch my neighbor Sally’s grand-daughter Skylar who seems to have gone from a baby to a young lady overnight and who I made the Christmas tree biscotti for and packaged in this cute bag. I missed Skylar over Halloween; hope this makes up for that!

For Aaron, the 16 year old boy down the street who I’ve known since he was old enough to walk up to my door and sell me something to support his elementary school (I do believe I still have some of the rolls of wrapping paper I’ve purchased over those many years). Aaron’s family is Jewish but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like homemade holiday goodies and I did my best to make some with Hanukkah colors just for him.

When my friend Ansh comes to visit this week she’s bringing her young daughter who I’ve wanted to meet for some time. Ansh is Indian and makes the most amazing food…albeit SPICY so I thought something about the orange conveyed a bit of heat (although they were actually my favorite – orange and chocolate M&M’s? YES!) but also a lot of sweet; just like Ansh.

I’ll be honest. This is a sponsored post that I took on as a challenge for a couple of reasons. One because it included biscotti and I had never made them. Secondly because the requirement that we use Dove Chocolates to dip the biscotti in was good with me. Not only do I personally love them but my daughter mentioned to me that America’s Test Kitchen has recently chosen Dove Chocolates as some of the best. They were perfect to work with. I made something last week that required melted chocolate and twice it seized on me, the first time when trying to melt it in the microwave and again in a 2nd attempt using a double boiler. The Dove Chocolates melted easily in the microwave and even as the chocolate cooled a bit, was easily warmed and melted again.

As it turns out, we weren’t required to make our own biscotti for this post and I could have just purchased some from the store. Ahem…how boring is that!!?? I put a call out to some friends for recipes and a friend on Twitter, Sarah James provided me with a recipe that sounded perfect; a chocolate biscotti with cranberries and almonds. My plan was to dip the biscotti in more chocolate and them make them kid friendly by decorating them with M&M’s. I have to tell you…M&M’s never seemed so huge until you are trying to use them to make a decoration on a biscotti! Next time? I need more landscape or much smaller M&M’s!

I hope Aaron, Skylar and Ansh’ daughter enjoys these holiday treats; I truly enjoyed making them!



Click to sweeten the holidays with Silky Smooth Dove Chocolate.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Mars via Glam Media.
The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mars.

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  1. as usual, Barb – you go above and beyond – I love that you made your own biscotti, and I would have expected nothing less!

    these look and sound wonderful, I especially love the orange M&Ms!

    1. I love the orange M&M’s too…they were actually a holiday flavor; showing an orange stuffed in a stocking but they mostly reminded me of that ball orange thing that separates into pieces…but in either event, the orange flavoring with the chocolate was the best.

    1. Have given out two packages so far; the kids have loved them! Thanks so much Sarah…now for me? Can’t wait to try them with white chocolate!

  2. I haven’t gotten around to making biscotti yet this December but it’s on my list. I love giving it as hostess gifts with a nice bag of coffee beans or ground coffee. Add a Starbucks gift card and it is a nice gift for teachers too. I am sure you’ve made your special friends really happy with this thoughtful surprise!

    1. I have no idea why I’ve not done them before. Minus the decorations of sparkling sugar and M&M’s they were a piece of cake…I mean biscotti!

    1. Thanks Laura…now to make some adult ones. IE minus the M&M’s and maybe with a touch of booze? 🙂

  3. This is an absolutely perfect gift for young folks, and your decorations on the biscotti are wonderful! They will love the biscotti and your thoughtfulness.

    1. Thanks Skye; it’s been a while since I made something decorated for younger kids but they were fun to do and the kids loved them. Whew! 🙂

    1. I can’t wait to meet her; so looking forward to it. PS…she got the best chocolates; I just LOVE the orange flavored M&M’s.

    1. Let’s just say you helped; deciding to go kid specific sure helped with the process; it was mostly just thinking of the kids who I wanted to give them to! Thanks…a bunch!

    1. I hope so…two already gone and the third being gifted Sunday when a friend comes over. I worried about the M&M’s being dorky; the kids loved them. 🙂

  4. These are just gorgeous Barb! Lucky, Lucky neighbors you have. I too and am fan a Dove Chocolates, didn’t realize you could use them without tempering and all of that, great to know 🙂 Lovely post–I have a pan just for making biscotti and this recipe has my name all over it!

    1. Thanks Wendy…I had my moments of doubt but it all came together nicely in the end. You have a biscotti pan? I want one! 🙂

  5. My mom buys dove chocolate and I steal them every time I visit 🙂 And I have to try these biscotti! I love putting dried cranberries and almonds and chocolate chips in my biscotti but haven’t done it with chocolate biscotti… and then dipping in chocolate? And the m & m’s? Those lucky kids are going to love them! I would love any of your homemade gifts! I think what you make is fabulous and so much more meaningful than buying something…

    1. I have always loved Dove chocolate too; so this was a no brainer; seriously easy than some other made for baking chocolates I’ve used lately; go figure huh?

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