Biscotti is a wonderful treat with a cup of coffee or tea any time of the year, but the addition of red cherries and green pistachios make these cookies a festive holiday treat. Cherry Pistachio Biscotti are a lovely hostess gift, too. Who wouldn’t want these crunchy, double baked biscuits to dip in their morning coffee?
Holiday Food Gift Ideas
My December is filled with days in the kitchen, stirring pots of fudge, rolling balls of cookie dough, and dusting pans of English toffee with chopped pecans. Next comes the packaging and delivery to friends and neighbors. Our kitchen perpetually smells like vanilla…and nobody has lodged one single complaint. Besides the standards, I like to try new recipes, like these cherry pistachio biscotti. The remainder of this batch will be drizzled with white chocolate before packaging as hostess gifts. Till then, they will stay fresh in the freezer.
What is Biscotti?
Those who frequent coffee shops may have purchased biscotti for tea or coffee dipping. The word biscotti translates to twice baked or cooked and that’s exactly how you make these crunchy little devils. They originated centuries ago in Italy; the double stint in the oven helped to dry the cookies and prolong their shelf life. The cookie dough is formed into a rectangular log and baked for about 10 minutes. Then this cookie mass is sliced while still warm and rebaked, flipping once, so that each side is hard and crisp. I made a short version, but you can easily increase their length by patting the dough into a wider mass. Packaging this biscotti in cellophane bags with a colorful ribbon will delight any recipient’s day. Stock your freezer with some of these cookies for unexpected company or as a gift for the host or hostess of any holiday gathering.
How to Make Cherry Pistachio Biscotti
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Cherry Pistachio Biscotti
Cherries and pistachios are festive additions to these twice baked cookies.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 34 minutes
- Total Time: 54 minutes
- Yield: 3 1/2 dozen
- Category: Cookies, Dessert
- 6 tablespoons butter,at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried tart cherries
- 3/4 cup pistachios
- 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 325. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar till well blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in ginger and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt till just blended. Stir in cherries and pistachios (dough will be sticky). Dump the dough onto a floured surface and press together into a mass. Divide in half and roll each half into a 15 inch log. Flatten tops slightly to increase width of each log to about 1 1/2 inches. Carefully transfer logs to one of the baking sheets.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then cool for 10 minutes.
- Carefully place logs on a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut into 1/2-3/4 inch slices on a slight diagonal. Place slices onto the two baking sheets.
- Bake for 9 minutes, then flip and bake for another 9 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool.
- Gently melt white chocolate in the microwave, stopping to stir at 30 second increments till smooth. Add vegetable oil and stir. Scrape into a quart sized zip top bag and seal. Snip a small hole in one corner of the bag and drizzle chocolate over cooled cookies.
- Let rest at room temperature till chocolate is firm.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.
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