After pretty much going non-stop from Thanksgiving on, I am done with finals. I am trying to not gloat too much because some of my friends aren’t done until the 18th or even the 22nd. I can’t help it that my 4 finals managed to wrap up by the 2nd day of exam period. Now I am just working my last few days at my law clerk job and looking forward to spending some time in Texas. I have been admiring all the cookie posts that have been piling up in my Google reader, eagerly anticipating getting to try my hand at them.
Dave had a simple request that I made at least one batch of ginger cookies and I was happy to oblige but personally, I was more excited for these. It was no surprise that I was beaten to the punch because they just look so tasty and festive. Since I already needed to buy pistachios and cranberries I thought I would also give a biscotti recipe a try.
The ginger cookies turned out perfectly crunchy and a cream cheese frosting with just a hint of orange. The icebox cookies unfortunately decided to crumble when I sliced the logs, so I only got about half in cookie form but they were all tasty (I baked the crumbles).
However, the real winners in my book were the biscotti. They are perfectly chewy with just a little bit of crunch from the pistachios and the cranberries add just a little bit of tartness.
And the red and green makes them perfect to leave for Santa by the chimney ;-) I will be making a batch to take with me to Orlando just after the New Year for a trip with Dave’s family.
Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Adapted from Gourmet-Dec. 1992
1 1/3 cups (about 1/4 pound) dried cranberries (available at specialty food stores and some supermarkets)
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
(I added a tablespoon of butter because the dough wasn’t coming together)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shelled natural pistachio nuts
an egg wash made by beating together 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon water
In a bowl combine the cranberries with enough hot water to cover them and let them soak for 5 minutes. Drain the cranberries well and pat them dry with paper towels. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment blend the flour, the sugar, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt until the mixture is combined well, add the eggs and the vanilla, beating until a dough is formed, and stir in the cranberries and the pistachios.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead it several times, and halve it. Working on a large buttered and floured baking sheet, with floured hands form each piece of dough into a flattish log 13 inches long and 2 inches wide, arrange the logs at least 3 inches apart on the sheet, and brush them with the egg wash. Bake the logs in the middle of a preheated 325° F. oven for 30 minutes and let them cool on the baking sheet on a rack for 10 minutes. On a cutting board, cut the logs crosswise on the diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick slices, arrange the biscotti, cut sides down, on the baking sheet, and bake them in the 325° F. oven for 10 to 12 minutes on each side, or until they are pale golden. Transfer the biscotti to racks to cool and store them in airtight containers.
Makes about 36 biscotti.