This recipe is from my book in progress, AN ITALIAN HANDFUL. A reminder of my mom, Grandmother, aunts and cousins, sitting around Grandma’s big round table talking, the coffee grinder loudly cranking … as Grandpa ground more beans…attempting to drown their conversations out. The clear glass percolator bubbling magically up above the blue gas flames and the clear bubbles bursting then dripping into dark aromatic coffee, that needed lots of sugar and cream and homemade biscotti ready to dip.
Biscotti with Pistachio Nuts and Cranberries*
Yield: about 2 dozen Biscotti
Preheat oven 350°F
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup butter (room temperature)
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1¼ cups unsalted pistachios coarsely chopped
¾ cup dried cranberries chopped
1 egg beaten with a fork for the egg wash glaze.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In medium bowl, cream the butter, add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla, beat on medium until blended.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir with large wooden spoon until thoroughly blended, don’t over mix.
Stir in pistachios and cranberries.
Spray with oil and lightly flour a large baking sheet.
Spoon the sticky dough in two strips about 4 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheet, about 13 inches long and 2 ¼ inches wide and about 1½ inches high.
Wet your fingers with cold water and smooth the tops and sides of the strips (they will smooth more in baking.)
Brush top and sides with egg wash glaze.
Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Set baking sheet on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 275°F.
With a serrated knife cut each strip on the diagonal into 1 to 1½ inch thick slices.
Stand the slices ½ inch apart on the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly toasted (depending on preferred dryness.)
Set the baking sheet on wire rack to cool completely.
Call your friends and start making the coffee or pouring the wine for dipping!
*This recipe can be altered using raisins, pine nuts, almonds, chocolate chips, let your creativity be your guide. The cranberry-pistachio combination is great for holiday giving with its colorful combination of red cranberries and green pistachios.