I both love and dread this time of year. It’s such a merry, festive time with Christmas songs playing wherever you may be and the scent of cinnamon filling the air. Everybody seems to be full of Christmas joy and we suddenly lose all of our inhibitions (and taste) by proudly donning jumpers that look like they have been knitted by someone with a severe allergy to wool, but a disturbing fetish for snowmen and reindeer.
However, it can also be such a stressful time with the daily routine blasted to smithereens, desperately searching gifts for loved ones, and then there’s the annual “elbow wars” to get to the best brussel sprouts and claim that prize turkey. If you’re anything like me – and yes I know there are some of you out there!! – you are also having to deal with all of the above whilst suffering the hangover from hell!
So this weekend take some well deserved time out to put your feet up with a hot mug of comforting eggnog (with plenty of rum!) and these delicious Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti.
I’ve never made biscotti before. I bake cookies all the time, but biscotti is one of those foods I thought would be really complicated to make. But when I spotted this Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti recipe on Allrecipes.com I thought I’d give it a go. It’s terribly easy to make and the results are nothing less than Bellissimo!
One big tip before we get started: it REALLY helps if you put your hands into a bowl of cold water before handling the wet dough. The dough can be S-T-I-C-K-Y with a capital ‘S’, and cold, wet hands will help to prevent them morphing into giant dough balls. Also, if using salted pistachios you should omit the ¼ teaspoon of salt from the recipe.
Before you start to make the dough (and get your hands into a sticky mess!), you’ll want to pre-heat the oven to 300°F (150°C) and line a baking tray with a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oil and sugar.
Once completely blended, stir in the vanilla and almond extracts, and then beat in the eggs.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder, then gradually stir into the wet mix. Now dip your hands into the cold water and mix in the cranberries and pistachios by hand.
Divide your dough into two halves and form into two logs on the baking tray.
Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove them from oven, set aside to cool for 10 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 275°F (135°C).
Once baked, cut the logs into ¾” thick slices diagonally. Lay the slices on their sides and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes to achieve that wonderfully crisp biscotti consistency. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
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Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
¼ Cup Olive Oil
¾ Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Almond Extract
1¾ Cups All-Purpose Flour
¼ Tsp Salt (omit if using salted pistachios)
1 Tsp Baking Powder
½ Cup Dried Cranberries
1½ Cups Pistachio Nuts
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
Line a baking tray with a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs.
Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture.
Wet hands with cool water (to handle dough more easily), then mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
Divide dough in half and form into two logs on the lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown.
Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275°F (135°C).
Cut the logs into ¾” thick slices diagonally. Lay slices on their sides and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com