The holiday season has come and gone, but the treats we enjoyed don't have to be.
Biscotti has been on traditional food I grew up around, with my dad making fresh biscotti around Christmas time. Biscotti are Italian almond biscuits/cookies that are twice-baked, oblong-shaped, dry, crunchy, and meant to be tipped into your drink, such as coffee or cappuccino.
Biscotti tend to be made with flour, sugar, eggs, pine nuts, and almonds. The traditional recipe uses no form of yeast or fat (butter, oil, milk). The barely wet dough is then cooked twice: once in slab form, and again after cutting in sliced form, with the second baking defining how hard the biscotti are.
Modernized recipes also tend to include baking powder, other types of nuts, dried fruits, and spices like anise. While my dad's biscotti typically included almonds and raisins, I wanted to make these Italian cookies with my twist.
Incoming, cranberry pistachio biscotti. I first tried this flavored biscotti at a family Christmas gathering. Made by my Aunt's sister, she generously shared her recipe with me after I raved about them. With COVID-19 impacting 2020's holiday season, making this recipe connected me back to my dad's tradition while being a really calming and therapeutic activity.
Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti Recipe
You will need: 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 3 eggs 1 cup sugar 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 1/4 cup chopped pistachios (5.5oz) 3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and both grease and flour a large baking sheet.
2. Whisk together your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
3. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a smaller bowl until blended. Then add in the vanilla extract.
4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture to blend together. Then add In the pistachios and cranberries.
5. If your dough is dry, add milk of choice, water or orange juice. Is your dough seems wet, you can add flour or let the dough sit in the fridge for around 30 minutes to become more compact. This will be helpful when forming the two loaves.
6. Separate your dough into two long strips (around 2 inches wide and 13 inches long) onto your baking sheet. Wet your fingertips and smooth the tops and sides.
7. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch. Set aside the baking sheet and let cool for around 5 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Use a serrated knife to cut each strip diagonally into slices. Put the slices sideways on the tray and bake for another 20ish minutes or until lightly toasted.
9. Serve after dinner, for breakfast, or whenever you desire!
Enjoy and tell me how you like your biscotti!
Recipe credit to Lisa Hartounian and Food and Wine Magazine