December 9, 2008

Cranberry - Pistachio Biscotti


I guess these days everybody is busy getting their Christmas trees and gifts, planning for a great Holiday celebration! We are excited too, but this is also the time that we miss our families the most! How I wish I could celebrate Christmas and the New Year with my family! But I guess this time around, its just me and my lil family here.

Oh boy, it sure feels like winter here in Minnesota!! With sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow-falls, you dont feel like doing much!! But then who can resist fresh home-baked goods on a cold wintry day!? And since they have a good storage life, they can be made in advance and makes for a great make-ahead homemade Christmas gift for your loved ones! I baked these Cranberry-Pistachio Biscottis a week before. The smell of these crisp Italian treat filling the house is a treat by itself! I had tried Hazelnut biscottis before, but this is my first experience with cranberries!! And I should say I like those lil cuties. For these, however, I used dried cranberries. I followed the recipe on www.joyofbaking.com. The whole batch disappeared in just two days! Snuggle up on a couch with a cup of hot cocoa and a few of these biscottis and trust me, you will be in heaven!


Recipe (Makes 16-20):

Granulated white sugar - 2/3 cup
Eggs - 2, large
Pure vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 3/4 tsp
Salt - 1/8 tsp
All-purpose flour - 1 3/4 cups
Shelled unsalted pistachios - 1/2 cup, coarsely chopped
Dried cranberries or cherries - 1/2 cup, coarsely chopped


Method:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.

Beat the sugar and eggs on high speed using an electric mixer, until thick, pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes).

When the egg mixture falls back in ribbons when the beaters are raised, add in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt together.

Add to the egg mixture and beat until combined.

Fold in the chopped pistachios and cranberries.

Transfer the dough to your parchment lined baking sheet and form into a log, about 12 inches (30 cm) long and 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) wide. (You might have to wet your hands with cold water to shape the dough into a log because the dough is really sticky).

Bake for 25 minutes, or until firm to the touch.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

Transfer the log to a cutting board and cut at an angle (diagonal) into 3/4 inch slices.

Place the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet.

Bake 10 minutes, turn the slices over, and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool.



Tips:

Based on the past performances of my oven, I made a few changes to the recipe.
  1. Instead of 350F, I preheated and baked at 325F.
  2. The biscotti log was initially baked for 25 minutes.
  3. After slicing the biscotti log, the individual biscottis were initially baked for 8 minutes, turned over and baked for another 7-8 minutes.
  4. I used about 1/4 cup pistachios and 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries.





I am sending these to my own event "Santa's Holiday Challenge". Dont forget that its going to be a giveaway contest with first and second prizes. You can send as many entries as you would like.

I am also sending this to the "Homemade Christmas Gifts" @ My Kitchen Treasures, "Christmas feast event" at Purva's Daawat and "Eating with the seasons" at Maninas: Food Matters.
I am also sending these to Christmas Cookies event at Susan's food Blogga and Cookie Baking event at Sharmi's Neivedyam.

Wishing you all the best this season!!

23 comments:

Laavanya said...

These look perfect JZ... i also love how this has no oil or butter in it!

Mariuca said...

Hola! You’re invited to join us on a BEAR-y special meme, have fun! :)

Mariuca

Sonu said...

Nice cookies...JZ.

Cham said...

Wow that is great for those cold winter days... Pist & cran make a beautiful pair!

DEESHA said...

looks really nice, i loved the pic

Sagari said...

beautiful cookies jz

Happy cook said...

Wow the biscoti looks so perfect and delicious.
Thankyou for sending this to me.

Madhuram said...

How have you been JZ? The biscottis look very good and wonderful presentation as usual.

Aparna said...

Lovely biscotti and picture.
Joy Of Baking is a great resource.

ranji said...

I have the biscotti recipe from joyof baking bookmarked long back..never sat down to make it...they look great...would love to have one from the plate with a cup of cappucino :)..good one jeane....

Usha said...

This biscotti looks so perfect and tempting, would love to have a couple of them right now :-) awesome pictures too !

Vandana Rajesh said...

This looks wonderful with a hot cup of cocoa JZ. Have announced an event "Baking For Beginners" do check out.

delhibelle said...

your biscottis look and sound fantastic J!
I so wish I was better at desserts and baking, u inspire me though

Neha said...

Amazing looking cookies JZ, must have tasted yum too... I am really becoming a fan of urs pic's, such a nice presentation.. Always..

Purva Desai said...

Biscotti looks simply irresistible, would love to have it with a sip of latte...
Thank you for the lovely entry dear...

Kalai said...

Beautiful biscotti, JZ! Perfect for the season! :)

Soma said...

They look so beautiful! I am bookmarking them. Biscottis are my favorite, but with a cuppa coffee:-)

Ivy said...

They sound perfect.

Anne said...

These sound really delicious

Susan from Food Blogga said...

It doesn't feel like Christmas here is San Diego. How about you send some white stuff out here? ;)

Sharmi said...

You have a beautiful blog! the pics a tempting! Thanks for your entry:)

maninas said...

Thank you for the stunning entry for the Eating with the Seasons. This is a fantastic addition to any festive table.

ps. the round-up is now available.

Noor said...

yum I love biscotti and I have been wanting to make some as well. I love your blog, so glad I found it!