Pistachio Cranberry Biscotti

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I love Christmas time because it’s really the only time of year that I bake cookies. In fact you could say that I run a cookie baking marathon during the Christmas season, baking a different batch every other evening after work during the month of December. I have traditional cookies that I always make and sometimes I’ll try something new.  I’ve only made this particular biscotti once before and I’m not sure why I've waited so long to make it again because it's so delicious. It’s also very festive with all the colors of the holiday baked right into the cookie, and it's perfect for decorating your Christmas cookie tray. This biscotti just may become part of my Christmas cookie tradition.

Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2003




 


Ingredients

  •     2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
  •     1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  •     3/4 teaspoon salt
  •     6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  •     3/4 cup sugar
  •     2 large eggs
  •     1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  •     1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •     1 teaspoon black anise seeds (alternatively you can use 1 tablespoon of pure anise extract)
  •     1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  •     3/4 cup shelled natural unsalted pistachios
  •     6 ounces imported white chocolate, chopped



 


Instructions


Step 1: Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2: Sift first 3 ingredients into medium bowl.

Step 3: Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl on medium speed until creamy about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in lemon peel, vanilla, and black anise seeds (or anise extract if using instead).

 



Step 4: Beat in flour mixture just until blended. Stir in cranberries and pistachios (dough will be sticky).



Step 5: Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Gather dough together; divide in half.

 

Step 6: Roll each half into 15-inch-long log (about 1-1/4 inches wide). Carefully transfer logs to 1 prepared baking sheet, spacing 3 inches apart.



Step 7: Bake logs until almost firm to touch but still pale, about 28 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.



Step 8: Carefully transfer logs still on parchment to cutting board. Use a serrated  or very sharp knife to gently cut logs crosswise into generous 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Step 9: Place slices, 1 cut side down, on remaining 2 prepared sheets. Instead of a baking sheet, you can also use a cookie rack and turn in upside down and place the cookies on the rack. Bake until firm and pale golden, about 9 minutes per side. If using the cookie rack, it's not necessary to turn the cookies over. Transfer cookies to racks and cool.



Step 10: Line another baking sheet with waxed paper.

Step 11: Stir white chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water just until smooth. Remove from over water.

Step 12: Dip one end of each cookie into melted chocolate, tilting pan if necessary; shake off excess chocolate. Place cookies on prepared sheet. Chill until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. (Can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight between sheets of waxed paper at room temperature.)




 

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