Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Each year, right after Thanksgiving, I make out my list … my baking list. There are cookies, candies, snacks, breads, and rolls and I can just visualize my cupboards loaded with the sweets of the season. When my list reaches the length of Santa’s Nice list, I know I’m in trouble. Picking and choosing is inevitable and HARD! There are my husband’s favorites, my kids’ favorite, MY favorites and those made out of respect for tradition. Every year I save a spot or two for a new recipe. That is how, a few years ago, biscotti found its way into our hearts and stomachs.
biscotti: biscuit or cookie?
Is biscotti more of a biscuit or a cookie? It’s really a bit of each. Not as sweet or chewy as a cookie, these treats are dry like a biscuit but traditionally flavored with spices, dried fruits and nuts. The inherent dryness allows them to be stored for long periods of time. The word, biscotti, is Italian for “twice cooked”. The dough is formed into a flattened “log” for the first baking and then, after slicing into elongated pieces, baked again.
Why should you try these oblong, dry cookies? They were designed for dunking! Coffee, tea, hot cocoa, cider, wine … get your mug and let’s talk variety.
NOTE: Looking for a simple, delicious hot cocoa recipe? Here you go: Cozy Cocoa!
fruits and nuts and spices
One of my favorite things about biscotti is the year-round appeal. By simply changing a few ingredients, these cookies have a seasonal appeal. Here are a few examples:
- Christmas: dried cranberries, pistachios, orange zest
- Valentines: dried cherries, hazelnuts, dark chocolate
- Spring: almonds, lemon zest, poppy seeds
- Summer: dried apricots, macadamia nuts, lime zest
- Fall: dates, walnuts, ginger
There are many other sweet versions of biscotti (e.g. pumpkin, mocha) and even some savory ones (e.g. sun-dried tomato, parmesan herb) that require a different base recipe, but simply changing out the fruits, nuts and spices in this one will give you options all year.
hostess gifts and party favors
The fact that these cookies have a long storage life makes them the perfect option for hostess gifts and party favors. Tuck a few into a cellophane bag, add a simple ribbon and tie it onto a bottle of wine or a bag of coffee grounds and you will receive a warm smile in return.