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Help with slicing dried cranberry biscotti?

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Ainadaliel Nov 18, 2013 02:08 AM

Hi, I was wondering if anyone could help me with slicing biscotti with dried cranberry bits?

My problem is that whenever I do slice the logs (after the first bake), the cranberry bits always "fall out" or "stick" to the serrated knife. I've tried a "sawing" motion, and just slicing it through. I always end up with awful-looking biscotti, as the cranberries just fall out! :(

Any help would be appreciated! This is the recipe I use:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

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  1. j
    janniecooks RE: Ainadaliel Nov 18, 2013 03:28 AM

    When you say you are using dried cranberry bits, does that mean you are not using whole dried cranberries? If that's the case, try the recipe with whole dried cranberries and you may find that the whole berries will slice through and stay in place.

    4 Replies
    1. re: janniecooks
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      Ainadaliel RE: janniecooks Nov 18, 2013 04:17 AM

      I use the whole dried cranberries :(

      I've read about freezing the logs before slicing--would that help?

      Would coating them in flour help? I can't imagine it would, but I am running out of ideas.

      1. re: Ainadaliel
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        AGM_Cape_Cod RE: Ainadaliel Nov 18, 2013 05:23 AM

        Have you cooled the logs completely before slicing? Also try a serrated knife like a bread knife. Good luck.

        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod
          tcamp RE: AGM_Cape_Cod Nov 18, 2013 07:08 AM

          Oops, didn't see this before I posted exactly the same thing.

        2. re: Ainadaliel
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          janniecooks RE: Ainadaliel Nov 18, 2013 01:51 PM

          Well, that blows my theory. I've only ever used raisins in biscotti and never had them fall out while slicing. Seems coating the cranberries in flour would only make them more likely to fall out, so unfortunately I have no other advice to offer. I do hope you're able to resolve it, the cookies sound amazing.

      2. tcamp RE: Ainadaliel Nov 18, 2013 06:38 AM

        I notice the recipe says to cool completely after the first bake. If the log is still warm and soft, I can see how a knife might tear rather than cut. Also, would lightly oiling the knife help?

        1. MidwesternerTT RE: Ainadaliel Nov 18, 2013 06:58 AM

          Don't cool, and use a large non-serrated knife. The warm cranberries will then be more pliable and a non-serrated knife has fewer points to catch on the berries.

          3 Replies
          1. re: MidwesternerTT
            babette feasts RE: MidwesternerTT Nov 18, 2013 10:41 AM

            Agree about serrations. I use a chef's knife to cut my biscotti, though I cut them at room temp.

            1. re: MidwesternerTT
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              Ainadaliel RE: MidwesternerTT Nov 18, 2013 01:34 PM

              I've tried slicing while warm, and the cranberries "fall out", or stick to the chef's OR serrated knife.

              Has anyone tried freezing?

              1. re: Ainadaliel
                babette feasts RE: Ainadaliel Nov 18, 2013 05:27 PM

                They get hard and crumbly when frozen. I freeze mine after the first bake, and if they are not completely thawed they don"t slice well.

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              HillJ RE: Ainadaliel Nov 18, 2013 07:40 AM

              On the first bake I made slight angled marks with a wire to help the cutting process later.

              5 Replies
              1. re: HillJ
                tcamp RE: HillJ Nov 18, 2013 07:46 AM

                Interesting. Just a surface mark or down deeper? Is this mainly for neater, more even slices?

                1. re: tcamp
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                  HillJ RE: tcamp Nov 18, 2013 08:18 AM

                  A few reason,
                  -helps me gauge the # of pieces
                  -helps me cut (I'd say midway)
                  -eliminates the 2nd toasting bake because more heat is getting inside the dough
                  -Makes for a neater cut

                  I still cut about 8 mins out of the oven with a serrated knife.
                  I haven't experienced a big difference pre coasting dried fruit with flour so I dont.
                  I do soak dried cranberries in either apple cider or apple brandy about 20 mins ahead of folding them. I use cheese cloth to ring out excess liquid.

                  and if the batch contains a decent amount of nuts, I toast before adding and then I don't twice bake

                  1. re: HillJ
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                    Ainadaliel RE: HillJ Nov 18, 2013 08:10 PM

                    Hmm...any reason for soaking the dried cranberry in brandy?

                    1. re: Ainadaliel
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                      HillJ RE: Ainadaliel Nov 18, 2013 08:18 PM

                      I enjoy the flavor and it helps the cranberries stay a tad moister during baking (I like them to stay as soft as possible).

                      1. re: Ainadaliel
                        sunshine842 RE: Ainadaliel Dec 7, 2013 06:09 AM

                        LOL -- any reason for NOT soaking the dried cranberries in brandy?

                        :)

                2. MidwesternerTT RE: Ainadaliel Dec 6, 2013 09:08 PM

                  A few technique fine points I realized as I made biscotti this week - maybe one of these will help. I cut mine while warm. I cut one slice at a time (not the whole loaf). I hold a wide spatula (pancake turner) against the end I'm slicing, to help stabilize the piece and use the spatula to immediately transfer that cut piece to the second-baking pan, flat.

                  I noticed that I had a lot more trouble with crumbled edges / dropped out almonds when I tried to cut the entire loaf, not using the spatula.

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