Archive for December, 2010

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti with White Chocolate

Monday, December 20th, 2010

If you haven’t forgotten about me entirely, I bet you were saying “I wish that broad would post already.” Well I am here to answer the plea of no one with a brand new post. With a perfect holiday treat, no less. All hail the Festivus pole. This recipe comes to us via my long-time friend inside the computer / long distance running buddy, Brenda. (That is to say, we run far apart. Not long distances.) I suspect she’s trying to fatten me up so that she can be faster than me. Sadly, it’s working.

One thing I hate is Biscotti you can buy at the store/coffee shop that’s so hard you could kill a man if you hit him with it. This is not that Biscotti. Sure, it’s still got some crunch to it. But, it shouldn’t knock any teeth out, at least unless they were already loose to begin with. I love it for the holidays, especially since the pistachios are green and the cranberries are red. How quaint.

The best part is, it looks like it was hard to make, but it totally isn’t! Don’t forget where you are – we don’t do complicated here.

Lets get busy!

What to gather: Cranberries, Pistachios (shelled if you can find them / are lazy), flour, sugar, baking soda, salt (only if your nuts aren’t salted), eggs, vanilla extract, orange extract, extra light olive oil (more on this later).

Now it’s later. Make sure you use “extra light” olive oil. Not to be confused with extra virgin. You do not want the taste of olive oil overpowering your biscotti, so trust me on this one. Extra Light Olive Oil. Do it.

And then combine it with the sugar in a bowl. Tricky so far, I know.

Then, we’re going to add our extracts! It originally called for vanilla and almond. But I was out of almond thought that orange would beautifully complement the cranberries, and I was right. So, from now on, vanilla and orange it is.

Stir that all together, and add 2 incredible, edible, eggs. (Did I just date myself? Worse yet, do you have no earthly idea what I’m talking about?)

In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients. Including the salt, if you are using salt. I didn’t, as my pistachios were pre-salted. If yours aren’t, make sure you add it! So, flour, baking soda, and salt (optional). Then, add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix to combine.

Now we need to add the nuts and cranberries. Before adding mine, I gave them a rough chop. Not chopped to smithereens or oblivion or anything. Just a couple wacks will do. Some will remain hole, some will get cut. It’s ok. Don’t get too wound up about it, really. It’s Christmas!

This dough is sticky, so if you want to mix the nuts and cranberries in by hand, make sure you’ve already readied your pan already. Otherwise, you’re going to have messy hands and no where to turn. Except the sink of course, but you won’t feel like washing your hands right that second. Don’t ask me how I know this. You can mix this with the spoon if you’ve done your pushup(s) today.

If I had a picture of the mixed dough, it would be here. Just imagine it. It’s quite beautiful.

Moving along… line a baking sheet with parchment paper and have it ready to go. Then, we’re going to roll the dough into “logs”. Before we attempt this feat, we’re going to flour our work surface. VERY LIGHTLY!! Don’t be going all Swedish Chef on me with flour flying everywhere. That will dry out your biscotti and make you very sad. Just a very light dusting of flour on the board:

Use one hand to swoosh it around…

Then rub the other hand with the first hand. Now, using just that tiny bit of flour, you’ve floured your work surface, both hands, and make the universe smile. You might consider taking your rings off first. Don’t be like me.

Now form your dough into 2 equal size logs. How wide/long you make your logs is up to you. I wanted smaller pieces of biscotti so that they could go on my cookie platter and not be 6″ longer than any of the other cookies. Wouldn’t want them to feel bad, you know. Sometimes size does matter. So, my logs are about 2″ wide.

Now move them, gently, to the parchment lined cookie sheet, and place in the oven for about 30 minutes. Or until it’s JUST starting to brown. Or really even just shy of starting to brown. You don’t want those death sticks we talked about earlier, remember! In case you need a picture of them again…

Once they’ve finished that first bake cycle, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes or so. In the meantime, reduce the heat on the oven to 275­° and make some coffee or something. Or take the baby doll away from the dog. Or re-roll your parchment paper that a kid just sent spiraling down the stairs. Or, whatever it is you do during 10 minutes of cool down time.

Once 10 minutes has passed, slice both logs, on the slight diagonal (It just took me 5 tries to spell diagonal. Apparently I should have used my 10 minutes to make coffee.) into slices around 3/4″ thick. Use a fairly decent knife so you aren’t obliterating it!

This is one of the end pieces. Yummy looking, yes? Eat all 4 end pieces immediately.

What?

Line up the slices, on their sides, on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Back into the oven they go, for another 10 minutes, or until they’re dried. Not much will change, appearance-wise, so make sure they aren’t on fire in there! No, they didn’t move during the second baking cycle, I shooshed them together for the purpose of this photo. I’m rebellious that way.

Now, you could stop right here and be done. Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti, a perfect holiday treat. Or, you could get ridiculous. Guess which one I chose?

What?

Keep in mind, if you’re going to drizzle chocolate on yours, they need to be COMPLETELY cooled first. If you try to drizzle on warm biscotti, it will be a calamity of epic proportions. Or, just a mess. Either way, don’t do it. Have another cup of the coffee you made and wait patiently.

Melt the white chocolate however you usually melt white chocolate. That’s another post for another day. Some people use a double boiler, I use my microwave. If you do the latter, just make sure you check it every few seconds. This is not a time to start the microwave and wander off. This can go ugly fast. I used about 1/3 of the bag, and it took just 90 seconds to melt.

It was a little bit thicker than I wanted for what I was doing, so I added about a teaspoon of Crisco, which made it perfect.

There are 1001 ways to drizzle chocolate. I prefer the crudest, most ghetto way possible. A sandwich baggie. Pour it in, zip it up, and cut a SMALL hole in the corner.

Hopefully you’ll be able to find scissors that aren’t these:

Now, just zig zag back and forth across each piece. You gotta move fast, once you start that stuff pouring out, it doesn’t stop. Unfortunately, I don’t have any live action shots of me doing the drizzling, as while I do have mad drizzling skills, I do not have mad drizzling with one hand while taking photos with the other skills. So, imagine me, thin, gorgeous, perfectly dressed and made up, and drizzling like a pro. One half of 25% of one of those things will be how it actually happened.

Oooh. Ahhh. Etc.

Make some today!

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti with White Chocolate

1/4 cup extra light olive oil
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (unless using salted pistachios, then omit)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup dried cranberries – roughly chopped
1 cup pistachio nuts – roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and orange extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.

Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12×2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough is sticky, lightly flour your work surface and hands, if necessary. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees.

Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool completely. Drizzle with melted white chocolate, if desired.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

All content © 2010 how2stayfat.com
Blog Design by Graffiti Chicks