Sunday, December 9, 2007

Day 8: Orange Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Orange Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Biscotti always struck me as a very sophisticated, grown-up cookie, also one that would be difficult to make at home. Little did I know that these elegant cookies are actually very easy to make (you don't even have to use a stand mixer!). This holiday variation decorated with red cranberries and green pistachios makes a festive cookie that's perfect for dunking in hot chocolate. These cookies also make a great holiday gift because not only do they look impressive, they ship well and keep for a long time. You can dip the cookies in melted dark chocolate or white chocolate for even more wow factor (I got a little lazy towards the end of the day). I will eventually dip them in chocolate because I love the way the chocolate slightly melts in espresso or hot chocolate.

Biscotti doughs all contain the basic flour, sugar, baking powder, flavorings, and eggs but can be divided into 3 categories: dough that uses whole eggs, only egg whites, or whole eggs with additional fat such as butter or extra egg yolk. Cook's Illustrated tested all 3 doughs and had a great summary of their findings. Egg white dough created a toothcrackingly hard cookie - not the best choice. Whole eggs dough made a great cookie that keeps very well. Better yet, the cookies seems to improve with age. Dough made with whole eggs supplemented with butter or additional yolks had the best flavor. However they should be eaten quickly (best the day they are made) because they tend to go stale more quickly due to the butter. For shipping and gifting, I would recommend using the whole egg dough. However, if you plan to eat these regularly like with your morning coffee, go for adding a little extra butter (modified recipe at the end)



Orange Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

2 C AP flour
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp grated orange zest
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C pistachio halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, pistachio halves, and cranberries. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until everything is evenly incorporated.

Divide the dough in half and form two logs that are about 10 to 12 inches long and 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide. Bake for 30 minutes, rotate the pan halfway into the baking time.

After baking, cool the loaves on a rack until they are cool enough to handle.

Then using a serrated knife cut the cookies about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick at an angle. The length of your cookies will depend on the angle at which you cut the cookies.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Place the cut biscottis on a rack placed on a sheet tray and continue to bake for about 20 minutes, until the cookies have completely dried. If you don't have a rack for your pan, place the cookies directly on the pan and bake for 10 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes.

Let the cookies cool completely before storing them. Or dip them in some chocolate if you prefer.


Orange Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti (butter dough)

2 C AP flour
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp orange zest
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C pistachio halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and orange zest and mix. In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, pistachio halves, and cranberries. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the dough comes together and everything is evenly incorporated.

Proceed shaping and baking same as the recipe above.


Day 1: White Chocolate Cashew Macadamia Butter Cookies
Day 2: Shortbread Bars with Mango Jam
Day 3: Pumpkin Butter Thumbprints
Day 4: Butterscotch Cookies with Hazelnuts
Day 5: Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever with Chocolate Chunks, Pecans, and Dried Cherries
Day 6: Torta Sbrisolona
Day 7: Alfajores



I will be submitting these to Susan for her Eat Christmas Cookies Event. So head on over for even more Christmas Cookies!

7 comments:

Bellini Valli said...

Your perfectly festive biscotti would be perfect with my mid morning coffee or maybe tea!!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Your biscotti look so beautiful, Amy - I love the red/green speckles, so Christmassy!

Bettina said...

whoa!! you made biscotti! that is soooo cool!!! yummy! they look absolutely gorgeous!

Pam said...

MMM.. I love biscotti! And your picture is absolutely gorgeous. I will definitely have to give these a try.

Kevin said...

Great combo of flavours in the biscotti. Nice photos.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Orange and cranberry are perfect Christmas flavors.

Dayna said...

I've just finished baking these up for the kids teacher's gifts.
They are good and perfect for Christmas... I just hope they make it that long!

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