Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

My job for Thanksgiving this year was to bake my heart out.  I was in charge of baking something for everyone in my family to bring (it's just easier if I do it rather than have us all fight over time in the kitchen!).  I asked Rachael if she had any specific requests of what I should make for her to bring, and after a look on Pinterest, she chose cranberry pistachio biscotti.   I'd never made biscotti before, and we happened to have everything we would need, so I decided that I would give them a try.

The thing about biscotti - which most people probably already know - is that you make the cookie dough and pat it into logs, which are partially baked.  Then you cut the logs on the bias to make the traditional biscotti shape, and they get baked again so they're crunchy.  My family all claimed to prefer them before they are baked the second time, but I was strict about making biscotti the right way, so even though they all stole pieces when they were soft, I did bake the rest again.

These biscotti are very good; the crunchy pistachios mixed with the soft, chewy cranberries make a great texture contrast.  The cookies themselves are crunchy, crumbly and sweet with a touch of orange taste (I did not have orange oil so I used vanilla extract, but the orange zest did the trick).  They are perfect with a cup of coffee or tea, and the red and green from the berries and nuts in them make them perfect for Christmas too :)


cranberry pistachio biscotti
from How to Cook a Wolf

3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon orange oil (or vanilla extract)
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup dried cranberries


1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients.

3) In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the orange zest and orange oil.

4) With mixer on low speed, gradually stir in the flour mixture until smooth, then stir in the pistachios and cranberries.

5) Divide the dough into thirds.  Shape each piece into a 12-inch log.  Place 2 logs on one sheet (apart) and the other in the middle of the other cookie sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes, until the logs turn a light golden color and are somewhat firm to the touch.  Remove from the oven to a cooling each and reduce oven to 300 degrees.

6) Let cool about 15 minutes; then using a serrated knife, slice diagonally into 1/2-inch slices.  Place upright on cookie sheets and bake for about 20 minutes, until dry and lightly golden. Let cool on rack and enjoy.

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