Sunday, December 20, 2009

Get Your Biscotti On

My husband's grandma (my grandma-in-law?) is kind of hard to shop for. It seems that she already has everything she could possibly want! So last year, my contribution to her Christmas present was a gift of food. I made raspberry pinwheels and packaged them in a festive glass jar. (Real Simple and The Container Store have the recipe here.)

This year I wanted to make something different and when I saw this recipe for Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti in the December Real Simple, I knew it was the perfect thing to make. My grandma-in-law is OBSESSED with biscotti right now thanks to Trader Joe's almond biscotti (which is pretty good).

Before I go any further, I didn't use pistachios when making my biscotti. So technically, my biscotti should be called Cranberry Almond Biscotti because of the almond extract. I just figured, my grandma-in-law likes an almond biscotti that has no nuts so let's try sticking to something similar to what she likes. If you use pistachios in yours, let me know how it turns out!

Let's get those ingredients together! You will need:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2. With an electric mixer, (and in a separate bowl) beat the butter and sugar until just smooth. One at a time beat in the eggs. Mix in the almond extract. Add the flour mixture until just incorporated.

3. Mix in the cranberries (and pistachios, if using).

4. Divide the dough in half and shape into two 10-inch by 2-inch logs. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Because of bad weather, I was unable to get to the grocery store for parchment paper, so I went without. No problems.)

5. Bake until just golden around the edges and firm to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes.

6. Reduce oven to 300 degrees F. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake until dry and crisp, 15 to 18 minutes per side.

7. Package in a super cute container, like this one that I picked up at The Container Store. (LOVE that place and the people I meet there - had a super funny conversation with other people in line and then the salesgirl ringing me up was so friendly and asking all sorts of questions about why I was using the container and what I was making.)

These taste divine and the kitchen smelled of cranberries and almonds for days afterward. Delicious! Enjoy your weekend (we got almost a foot of snow) and stay crafty!

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