Recipe: Cranberry-pistachio biscotti
With speckles of green pistachios and sweetened dried cranberries, these are my all-time favorite Christmas biscotti. For complete indulgence, I like to dip one end in melted white chocolate.
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/3 cup (2/3 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
3/4 cup shelled natural pistachio nuts
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 Position 1 rack in the center and another rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking liners, or use nonstick baking sheets.
2 In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until blended. Stir in the cranberries and nuts.
3 Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface. The dough will be a bit sticky. Divide the dough in half. With lightly floured hands, roll each half into a log 1 1/2 inches in diameter and about 15 inches long. Place both logs on 1 of the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 3 inches apart. Bake on the center oven rack until lightly firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
4 Transfer the logs to a cutting board. With a sharp serrated knife, and using a sawing motion, carefully cut 1 log on a slight diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Lay the slices on their sides in a single layer on the baking sheet. Repeat with the second log, arranging the slices on the second baking sheet. Bake until dried out and lightly golden on top about 7 minutes. Turn each slice over and bake until lightly golden on the second side, about 7 minutes longer. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.
5 Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water in the lower pan, or in a heatproof bowl set over barely simmering water in a saucepan. Slowly melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Stir in the canola oil and continue to stir until the chocolate is smooth. Remove the top of the double boiler or the bowl from over the water and wipe the bottom to prevent any water from coming in contact with the chocolate.
6 Line rimmed baking sheets with waxed paper or parchment paper. Holding it vertically, dip 1 cookie at a time into the chocolate, coating about one-third of the cookie and letting the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. As the cookies are dipped, carefully place them on the prepared baking sheets. Let dry and harden for about 1 hour. The cookies will release from the paper once they are dry. (The biscotti can be made up to 5 days ahead. Layer them between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container and store at room temperature.)
Makes about 3 dozen biscotti
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Excerpted from The Christmas Table by Diane Morgan. Copyright 2009 by Chronicle Books. Excerpted with permission by Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.