Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

I admit it.  I watch Food Network t.v. all the time.  I mean, all four of my kids are in school now.  It's *quiet* in my house during the day!  While I'm busy with chores and such, I'll often click on the t.v. and watch cooking shows in the afternoon.  I'm a fan of Giada DeLaurentiis and her homey Italian recipes.  I've made quite a few!

Recently, on one of Giada's holiday specials, she made Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti.  I love making biscotti, and I thought this would make a perfect gift for my kids' teachers for Christmas (along with a Starbucks gift card!).

Pistachios and dried cranberries give the dough a festive red and green-speckled appearance which is perfect for Christmas!!

The biscotti recipe is straight-forward and easy to mix together.   It's formed into a log about 13 inches long and 3 inches wide.

It's baked the first time for 30 minutes until lightly golden.

After the loaf has cooled for a little while, it is sliced into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch slices, which are then baked again.

The result?   Crunchy sweet biscotti, perfect for dipping into your favorite cup of coffee!!

Here's the recipe from Giada!   I omitted a portion of her recipe (dunking the biscotti into melted white chocolate and sprinkling with colored sugar), and used orange zest instead of lemon zest.  

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, orange zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries.

Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife or electric knife cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.

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