Biscotti. There is no secret I love to eat those crunchy twice-baked cookies. I love to make them too as one of the best cookies this time of year! They are quite simple to create and versatile for any season. For example, take last fall’s biscotti recipe on Cleverly Simple. I made them with whole wheat flour, pumpkin, toasted walnuts and lots of maple flavoring. Now that autumn is nearly over, it’s time for a winter biscotti. Giada De Laurentis from Food Network takes the blue ribbon here. She has the recipe for the BEST Christmas biscotti cookies. Made with dried red cranberries and shelled green pistachios, these biscotti are made with white flour, a touch of fresh lemon zest and a layer of snow white chocolate. They are festive to lay out on a platter and just as fun to eat.
There are a couple adaptations I made to Giada’s recipe. One is in how I prepare the dough before baking and the other is in the final decoration. I spread the chocolate across the entire biscotti and leave off the red and green sanding sugar. I want the dried fruit and nuts to speak for themselves in color.
Come on in to my kitchen!
Here are the ingredients. You’ll need sugar, flour, butter and eggs. (Remember to use unsalted butter!) Grab some salt, baking powder and the four unique ingredients for this recipe: dried cranberries, shelled pistachios, one lemon and quality white chocolate.
First, whisk 2 cups flour, and 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Next, using a mixer, cream together 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature), 1 tsp. lemon zest and 1/4 tsp. salt. Beat in your two eggs, one at a time until smooth. Slowly add your flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in 3/4 cup coarsely chopped shelled pistachios and 2/3 cup chopped dried cranberries. The batter will be thick.
Using floured hands, form the dough into one large log, diagonally, on a cookie sheet, leaving at least 2 inches on each end to allow the dough to spread a bit while baking. Baking the log on a diagonal will make it easier to cut a vertical line after it is baked.
Bake the log in a preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 40 minutes or until the log is a pale golden color.
Let the log cool for 30 minutes. Then using a serrated knife, cut vertical 1/2 inch slices. I didn’t measure and ended cutting my slices at 3/4 inch. This gave me thicker, but less biscotti in the end.
Lay your slices flat on another cookie sheet and bake them another 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Melt 12 oz. of good quality white chocolate and dip one side of each cooled slice into the sweet, creamy confection. If needed, use a spatula to smooth out any ripples. Let dry, chocolate side up, on a cooling rack.
There you have it! Grab a cup of coffee and a crunchy Christmas biscotti cookie with hints of lemon, nuts and fruits.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temp
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup shelled pistachios coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 12 oz. white chocolate
- Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside.
- Using a mixer, cream the sugar, butter, lemon zest and salt. 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 diagonal log on a cookie sheet. Bake the log for approx. 40 minutes in a 350˚ F oven until pale golden.
- Cool for 30 minutes, then cut vertical ½ inch slices with a serrated knife. Place the slices flat on a cookie sheet and bake another 15 minutes.
- Melt 12 oz. of good-quality white chocolate and dip one side of each cooled slice into the chocolate. Let dry, chocolate side up, on a cooling rack.