Erica’s Christmas Biscotti


(Photo courtesy of Jennifer Corbett)

My sister has been making many varieties of biscotti for years, so when I was looking for a Christmasy version, I knew she’d be my best resource. This is one of her favorite biscotti recipes, and now one of mine, too. Incorporating roasted pistachios, chewy dried cranberries, and sweet white chocolate morsels, they are not only pretty, but also delicious enough for dessert or a snack served with coffee or tea. In addition, unlike many biscotti, these are surprisingly tender and delicate. They still satisfy with their crunch, but their firmness quickly gives way to a more cookie-like consistency.

Makes about 36 biscotti

1 cup dried cranberries or cherries

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

3/4 cup shelled roasted pistachios (salted or unsalted)

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Put the cranberries in a small bowl and pour enough boiling water over them just to cover. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and light, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, drop in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixing speed to medium low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just nearly incorporated. Drain the cranberries and add them, along with the pistachios and chocolate chips, to the batter, mixing until just incorporated. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and pat into a disc. Divide the dough in half, transfer both halves to one of the prepared baking sheets, and shape both pieces into 13-by-9-inch logs.

Bake until fragrant and light golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool slightly on the pan, about 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut each log on the bias into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices on the prepared baking sheets and bake until golden brown and firm, 20 to 25 minutes, switching the pans on the racks about halfway through baking. The biscotti might require more or less time in the oven to crisp properly, but watch that they don’t brown too much on the undersides. Set the biscotti on wire racks to cool completely on the baking sheets. Store in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.

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