I have never been much of a baker -- especially cookies. Especially at holiday time. I always hear about the people that have to "get ready" for holiday baking and then spend weeks baking dozens upon dozens of cookies.
But now that I have a fabulous new kitchen with a dreamy double wall oven, I can't stop myself. Thankfully, The Mayor can take them into his web design class so that we aren't stuffing them into our faces night and day.
My latest foray into cookie-dom is the Holiday Biscotti with Cranberries and Pistachios from Epicurious. The picture with the recipe looked so festive I couldn't help myself. So, after two hours of back-to-back episodes of Bones, I started baking and dipping. Start to finish, it took about two and a half hours -- and they are perfect. Delicious, festive, a little unusual. For me, the perfect Christmas cookie.
When They Mayor brought these into class, one person asked, "Where did you buy these?" He replied, "Well, you can't buy them, the wife made them."
The Mayor is incorrect: you can buy them... for a price. ;)
Holiday Biscotti with Cranberries and Pistachios
Adapted from Epicurious
2 1/4 cups flour (281g)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2 cup teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
3/4 cups shelled natural unsalted pistachios
12 ounces imported white chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift first three ingredients into a bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in mixing bowl until light and creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in lemon peel and vanilla. Beat in flour until just blended. Stir in cranberries and pistachios (dough will be sticky). Divide dough in half and shape into two logs on prepared baking sheet, spaced 4" apart. Each log should be about 15" long and 1 1/4" wide.
Bake logs until almost firm to the touch but still pale, about 28 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Keep oven on at 325.
Carefully transfer logs still on the parchment to cutting board. Using a serrated knife, gently saw the logs crosswise into 1/2" thick slices. Place slices, on one cut side down, on baking sheet with new layer of parchment. Bake until firm and pale golden, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer cookies to rack and cool.
Stir white chocolate in top of double boiler of barely simmering water just until smooth. Dip one end of cookie into melted chocolate, tilting pan if necessary and then shake of excess chocolate. Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. (Can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight between layers of waxed paper at room temperature.)