T‘s annual cookie party was Sunday.

Rather, it was supposed to be Sunday. Falling ice meant she had to cancel.

No such restrictions on me! I rolled up my sleeves and turned out a few dozen of the cookies I’d planned to take. Only difference? Instead of sharing these beauties with a couple dozen women, I’m keeping them all to myself.

Don’t judge me. These biscotti, found in the Gourmet Cookbook, are perfect for the holidays. Laden with biscottisred cranberries, green pistachios and white chocolate (my addition), they achieve the crunchy, chewy texture that is cookie nirvana. The little boy and I eat a couple for breakfast; I grab one (or two) to pair with some afternoon tea.

I’ve made lots of biscotti in my day. I love to offer them on dessert buffets: They’re sweet but not cloying — a nice break from the usual Christmas treats.

Yet most recipes require a chunk of time, primarily because the dough has to be chilled before baking.

Not so these lovelies. Devoid of butter, you simply mix the dough, shape it into logs and bake (once, then twice). A scant hour passes from your first inkling of biscotti to actual cookies on your plate.

We only have a few of these delectable bars left, but they’ve fed me well. I’m so glad I went ahead and made them.

(And to think I might have had to share!)

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

As with most cookie recipes, this one is infinitely adaptable. I added melted white chocolate to my batch, but white chocolate chips would be delicious, too. I plumped the cranberries in water as called for but next time, I may plump them in rum. Dried cherries would be good in place of the cranberries. Macadamia nuts would be a welcome addition, too. And don’t worry about quantities! I only had a cup of cranberries in the cabinet and a little under a cup of pistachios. My cookies were fine.

  • 1 1/3 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shelled, salted pistachios (Do not use the dyed red version!)
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, melted

Soak the cranberries in boiling water to cover until plumped and softened — 5-10 minutes. Drain and blot dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla, then beat at medium speed until you have a crumbly dough. Add the cranberries and pistachios and mix at low speed until they’re incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead it a few times until it hangs together. Divide it in half.

Form each half into a 13- by 2-inch log. Place the logs on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. (Keep the oven on.)

Tranfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices back on your baking sheet, one cut side down. Bake, turning the slices over once, for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely, then drizzle with melted white chocolate.

***

All I want for Christmas …

prydes

… is a trip to Pryde’s!

We head to the Midwest shortly for the holidays. The husband is giving me a shopping spree at the kitchen store of my dreams … Pryde’s Old Westport in Kansas City, MO. Visions of Fiestaware dance in my head. And bundt pans. And serving trays. And all manner of gadgets and linens and cookbooks. My sister-in-law and I are blocking out a day to spend riffling through what the uninitiated surely would call clutter, oohing and ahhing and dreaming of how we’d outfit the perfect kitchen — if only we had the money. (Sigh.)

We’ll drive like we did a couple of summers ago (although the children insist they will not tolerate another fast-food-less vacation). We’ll sample delicious, local fare from local artisans and chefs. And we’ll be greeted by my mother with platefuls of homemade cookies.

Perhaps I’ll take some biscotti!

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