Saturday, December 12, 2009

12 Days of Cookies - Day 9 - Holiday Biscotti

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
(honorary member and our founder but not participating this year)
Courtney of Coco Cooks
Kelly of Sass & Veracity
Michelle of Big Black Dog
Tiffany of The Nesting Project


  1. I loved this biscotti recipe - my favorite of the group! The dark chocolate is a good choice, although I think any chocolate would go with these. Can you see dipping them in hot cocoa? Mmmm.... :-)

  2. This biscotti looks beautiful! Sounds delicious, too. I'm compiling my list of goodies and really enjoy making biscotti, so these are in the running!

  3. Those look amazing Di! The colours and chocolatey dip, make them really appetizing! Mmmm...

  4. I've seen so many delicious biscotti combinations using pistachios! I don't like pistachios so I've never baked with them but I think I'm going to make it my mission to find someone to give biscotti with pistachios to this year. Love your pictures - these look wonderful!

  5. Those look so good! I love the tip about baking them standing up which would remove the flipping process!

  6. I made a biscotti recipe that had cranberries and pistachios recently too and loved it. I really like how you dipped these in dark chocolate, I bet they tasted great.
    They look delicious.

  7. These look so tasty. I really like the way the dark chocolate looks on the biscotti and with the pistachios and cranberries. So pretty.

  8. These turned out so beautifully! I just told my husband I probably just made my last cookie (which would mean I'm calling Uncle on this) and then I saw these. Mmmm...

  9. I have been wanting to make cranberry pistachio cookies or biscotti since last Christmas, but haven't done it yet! Your biscotti look quite tasty and I'd say you made a great call on the dark chocolate. Lucky Italian group - biscotti and focaccia.

  10. These look so festive and just like a party all by themselves! I always find it interesting to hear about the adventures everyone else has in their kitchens each week with mis-read ingredients, etc. as it happens here all the time and I feel like I am not alone. I can just feel and smell that lemon being rubbed into the sugar, isn't that best idea ever from TWD??? Love love love that.