Yay! It's nice to have a Saturday off after working the past couple. Finally, I have a chance to get caught up on Christmas decorating and baking. The girls and I put some more ornaments on the tree before breakfast this morning. =) (Still more to do this evening.) And I made my selection for Day 9 of the 12 Days of Cookies. This Holiday Biscotti with Cranberries and Pistachios has been on my list from the beginning. It wasn't even that hard to make--what slowed me down was the need to shell the pistachios. I wish I'd thought to check at Central Market to see if they had any already shelled. At least Brianna helped me with a few of them. As picky as she is about a lot of things, she absolutely loves pistachios. I'm sure she'll help me eat the leftovers.
I mostly followed the recipe as written. I left out the aniseed because I really dislike all things licorice. And a la Dorie, I rubbed the lemon zest into the sugar so it was evenly dispersed, then creamed the lemon sugar with the butter. Then it was just a matter of mixing in the eggs (one at a time), then mixing in the dry ingredients. I stirred the cranberries and pistachios in by hand. I formed the dough into two long, thin logs on a parchment-lined baking sheet--the dough was surprisingly easy to work with. I put the sheet in my oven (preheated to 325 degrees F) and baked the logs for about 25 minutes. When I took the sheet out of the oven, I was surprised that the dough hadn't spread as much as I'm used to with biscotti. That's when I realized that I'd added too much flour (2 1/2 cups rather than 2 1/4).
I decided that an extra ounce of flour wouldn't cause a complete disaster, and proceeded with cutting the logs into pieces. I cut on the diagonal so I'd get longer pieces. Rather than laying the biscotti pieces on their sides on two sheets, I left them standing up and was able to fit them on one sheet. I had to bake them a bit longer (about 25 minutes) for them to start to brown, but it was worth it since I didn't have to mess with turning the pieces over. Once the biscotti had cooled, I coated one end of each piece with dark chocolate. (I took a poll, and Brianna and Gillian both voted for dark instead of white chocolate.)
The verdict? Tasty! I definitely like the dark chocolate much more than I would have liked white chocolate. I think the dark goes nicely with both the cranberries and pistachios. The plain biscotti also has a distinct but pleasant flavor of lemon that goes nicely with the other ingredients. I'm going to take these to an potluck tomorrow (our Italian genealogy friends); I'll have to report back later on what they think.
If you'd like to give these a try, you can find the recipe here. And be sure to check out the other bakers participating in the 12 Days of Cookies to see what they've baked up recently! =)
Andrea of Andrea's Recipes