Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

Friday, February 26, 2016

The most amazing tea time 'cookie' ... biscottis are great with coffee (black or not), with tea (milk or not). Or simply on its own. 

It's a burst of flavours and textures. Love the slight tart of the cranberry and the zing of the lemon zest, coupled with the aroma of aniseed; the crunch of the pistachio and the overall crisp of the biscotti.

Been buying these and now kicking myself for not making them at home. It was easy and speedy, and I would make them again and again. Oh ... and when packaged in pretty cello bags with a cute bow, they make beautiful edible hostess gifts too.

435 g (3-1/2 cups) all purpose unbleached flour
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
125 g (1 stick + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
200 g (1cup) sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1 tbsp aniseed
1-1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup pistachios (unsalted, shelled)

1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Into a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt, mixing to combine.

3. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and doubled in volume.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until fully incorporated before adding the next one. Scrape down the bowl as necessary.
5. Mix in the vanilla extract, lemon zest and the aniseed.

6. Fold in the flour in three batches, just until there are no visible pockets of flour, taking care not to over mix.
7. Stir in the cranberries and pistachios.
Yes, the dough will be super sticky. Trust me, it will still work out.

8. Preheat the oven to 325º F.
9. Place the dough onto a floured countertop and divide into 4.
10. With your floured hands, roll or shape each into a 1-1/2 inch wide by 12 inch long log. 
Yes, it's still a bit sticky. It's fine.

11. Place the logs, two to a baking sheet, with enough space apart.
12. Bake for 30-35 minutes, then cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. It won't be necessary to turn off the oven.

13. When sufficiently warm enough to handle, gently lift each log onto a cutting board and with a super sharp knife, cut the log on the diagonal to make 1/2 inch wide slices.
14. Return the slices, cut side down, onto the baking sheet and bake a further 10 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway.
15. Remove from the oven, flip the biscotti over to the other cut side and bake again for 8 to 10 minutes, rotate the sheets again to make sure they are all evenly baked.
16. They are done when slightly golden on the edges.

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