Merry Christmas Eve and Merry Christmas to others!! Christmas is upon us. The tree is up, the decorations fill the house with joy, and the food, oh the food...fills the house with that wondrous smell. So, get out those pajamas and those fuzzy slippers, find your cameras and video recorders, get off your diet and splurge a little bit, and get ready to have some fun.
Christmas is always full of fun but food preparation may be stressful but I can help with your desserts. Do you still need a last minute cookie recipe to fill up your cookie tray? Why not make a cookie with the colors of Christmas, red and green? Holiday Biscotti is the cookie that will round out your tray. Simple to make and rather quick to bake. Aren't you impressed with how they look? Well, I hope so!
Once again, Happy Holidays everyone! Remember, it's not about the presents, it's about spending time with family and friends (and the food of course! :D).
Tips-When you form the dough into a log, I find that having it be about 1/2 inch thick created the best thickness after being baked.
-When baking for the second time, I like to flip the biscotti half way through the baking process.
-Don't bake the biscotti for too long. I notice that baking dried fruit for too long can cause it to become hard instead of chewy
Taste: The biscotti has a light lemon flavor with a nuttyness from the pistachios, a tart, sweetness from the cranberries and a vanilla flavor from the white chocolate.
Texture: The biscotti has a "light crunch" and not the "hard crunch" of store bought biscotti which is nice. The pistachios gave a slight "soft crunch", the cranberries gave a chewiness and the white chocolate gave a creaminess to tie the whole cookie together.
Holiday Biscotti (Makes 2 dozen)
Recipe by Giada de Laurentiis
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dried cranberries
12 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped
Red and green sugar crystals, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. 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 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip half of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.
The biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.