Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Nothing goes better with a fresh cup of coffee than crunchy biscotti. Although I usually prefer a chocolate version, this time I went for this cranberry pistachio version that is SoGood. If you've never made biscotti, I recommend trying it. It's very easy and a nice change-up from regular cookies.

Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti (from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup coarsely chopped pistachios, toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and sent aside. Combine eggs and sugar in mixer and beat on medium speed until light in color, about 3 minutes. Beat in melted butter, orange zest, vanilla and almond extracts on low speed until blended. Add dry ingredients and beat until incorporated. Stir in nuts and cranberries. Dough will be soft and sticky.

Scoop out half of the dough onto one half of the prepared baking sheet, and form it into a log 10 inches long. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing logs 3 inches apart. Press logs gently to make them 3 inches wide. With damp fingertips, gently smooth the surface of the logs.

Bake the logs until they are crisp and golden on the outside, about 20-25 minutes. Centers will be soft. Remove from oven and let cool on on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Transfer logs to a cutting board and, with a serrated knife, cut each log crosswise on the diagonal into slices 3/4 inches thick. Arrange slices, cut side down and at least 1/2 inch apart, on the baking sheet.

Bake until crisp and brown on the outside, 17-22 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Interiors become crisp as they cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

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