T his cranberry pistachio biscotti isn't what you would consider a traditional Italian biscotti recipe - since it strays a bit from the *normal* biscotti ingredients ratios. (I'm just mentioning that since those food purists and advanced chefs will immidiately say this may not be traditional.)
It's kind of interesting to see how biscotti came about. It was initially made for those that travel before our days of refridgeration. And you can read about it on my history of biscotti page.
I will say these make a super presentation for gifts at Christmas, or coffee trays for meetings, or really "just because". Put them in little bags, tie it up with a fancy ribbon. Or use bright colored napkins to serve with coffee. Just the way these look makes them seem extra special.
In case you are playing food trivia this week - here's where this cranberry pistachio gets unique and strays a bit from a standard Italian biscotti recipe
Authentic biscotti recipes call for no oil. Because biscotti was prepared with traveling in mind oil wasn't used much - if at all. The double baking procedure was done to dry the cookie out. And this adds the oil in which makes it tough to thourouhly dry out like they would do in the olden days. So no packing this for a month long trip, OK?
Also for this cranberry pistachio biscotti recipe, we have cranked it up a level by adding a couple of the extra non-tradtional goodes:
There are few substitutions that can be made with this recipe.
Enjoy! And remember, have a little sugar everyday!
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* 1/4 cup light olive oil (Yup seriously - read FAQ's about olive oil first!)
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 2 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
* 2 eggs
* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
* 1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
* Mix together oil and sugar until well blended.
* Mix in the almond extract, next beat in the eggs.
* In another bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder - gradually stir this into egg mixture.
* Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
* Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches - or whatever makes you happy).
* Place logs on lightly greased cookie sheet.
* Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven
* Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes or until you can handle.
* Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F
* TIP: I put a marble slab in the fridge and transfer the log to the slab to speed cooling.
* After the logs have cooled, cut the logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices.
* Lay the slices on their side - on cookie sheet.
* Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.
* Store in an airtight container.
* Give yourself about hours for baking, prep and the double cooking times.Adapted from allrecipes
Sometimes these cranberry pistachio biscotti take a longer time to dry for a couple of reasons
Every climate has a different humidity ratio. I live in a very humid climate and almost always have to bake longer for the second baking than what is mentioned. Flip side, in the winter generally the climate is drier and it may actually be what is listed. Bottom line - you can figure it out. Dry is dry. Don't over analyze. When the cookie is dried out, then take 'em outta the oven! No special college degree needed for this.
It will be gross IF
This is a whole subject within itself. BUT without getting scientific and going into labeling the IOOC guidelines and regulations (of which the USA in NOT a part of and 80% of my readers are USA) So, just say, you don't want your olive oil to have a distinct smell and flavor. Thus you are looking for a good quality.
You want the label on the bottle to read:
Some day I will devote an entire page to olive oil and processing, the flavors, and the refining, and how to know what is pure unadulterated crap olive oil (which we are saturated with here in the USA).
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