Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti

Makes 30

2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons salted butter, divided (one stick)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon anise extract
3/4 cup shelled whole pistachios, plus 1/8 cup finely chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup half & half (or milk)

1. Preheat over to 325 degrees F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Sift together first three ingredients (flour, baking powder & salt) in a medium bowl.  Using an electric mixer, beat seven tablespoons of the butter and sugar in a large bowl to blend.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add orange zest, vanilla and anise and mix well.  Beat in flour mixture just until blended.  Stir in cranberries and whole pistachios.

3. Divide dough in half.  With damp hands, roll each half into log, about four inches wide and twelve inches long.  Carefully transfer logs onto prepared baking sheet, three inches apart.  Bake until firm to touch, but still pale, about 25 minutes.  Cool logs on baking sheet at least 15 minutes.  (The longer you let them cool, the less crumbly they will be for the next step.)

4.  Carefully transfer logs onto cutting board.  Using a serrated knife and gentle sawing motion, cut logs crosswise into generous 1/2-inch thick slices.  Place slices back on baking sheets and bake until firm and pale golden, about 15 minutes.  Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

5. Melt chocolate, half & half and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a microwave-safe bowl.  Dip one end of each cookie into melted chocolate.  Place cookies on parchment paper and sprinkle with the 1/8 cup chopped pistachios.  Chill until chocolate is firm.

Results: I’m not much of a baker, but around Christmas, I get the urge to make biscotti.  I haven’t made it in a couple of years, because our last dog, Kegger, used to devour every biscotti I made.  It didn’t matter if I left them on top of the refrigerator, she would find a way to get them and eat every last one of them.  And if you’ve ever made biscotti, you know they take a bit of time, so you can imagine how frustrating that was!  I decided to give them another try this year and I discovered this recipe for Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti.  I don’t even remember where I found the recipe, but trust me when I tell you it was so messed up that I had to combine about four different biscotti recipes to have this one make sense.

I usually make 3 or 4 different biscotti, but in the future, I do believe this is the only one I will ever make again.  Salty and sweet…these were amazing!  They didn’t last long in our house, that’s for sure!

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