Jul 122007

Who doesn’t love biscotti? This Italian twice-baked crispy cookie is wonderful with a cup of espresso or an after-dinner cordial, but let’s admit it: sometimes we get tired of the usual almond or lemon flavor.

Enter the humble cranberry and pistachio, the two secret ingredients that make the flavor much brighter and crunch more satisfying. I like this recipe so much that when I recently learned my friend Jeremy was studying for his impending bar exam, I resolved to make him some yummy treats for a morale package. Cookies were a given, but what else to add? And it occurred to me: Jeremy is probably drinking lots of coffee right now, so biscotti were the logical choice to add to the list of goodies. Using this recipe was a no-brainer. I mean, we all love chocolate and I make a mean chocolate-almond biscotti, but I ended up eschewing this because Jeremy doesn’t like almonds in cookies. Surely he has access to lots of great biscotti (he lives in Seattle!) so needed a departure from biscotti boredom.

He, it seems, agreed. They were the highest-rated of the three types of baked goods I sent him, and he called them “exceptional.” The bonus? These are relatively healthy (for a cookie, at least), so feel free to indulge in an extra one or two the next time your nose is stuck in a book and your hand is cramping from all of the essays you’re writing.

Cranberry and pistachio biscotti

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Makes about two dozen cookies

3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour (I use white whole wheat, but you can use all-purpose or a 50/50 mix)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts, chopped (and toasted, if you like)
Preheat your oven to 300 F
In a good sized bowl, mix together oil and sugar until they are well blended. Mix in the vanilla extract and then beat in the eggs.
Combine salt, flour, and baking powder. Slowly stir this into the egg mixture. Mix in the cranberries and nuts by hand.
Divide the dough in half. Create two logs (about 12×2 inches) on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. If the dough is sticky wet your hands with cool water.
Bake for about 35 minutes in the preheated oven. When ready, the logs will be a light brown.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool for approximately 10 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 275 F (135 C).
Cut the logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on their sides on parchment covered cookie sheet and bake about 8 to 10 minutes, flipping them onto the other side about halfway through. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

  One Response to “Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti”

  1. I’m eating a couple with my morning coffee right now!!!

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