This week’s Cookie Month assignment was to share a recipe that ships well, one that stays fresh and doesn’t end up as crumbs during its journey. After some thought, it occurred to me that a traditional biscotti would be perfect. After all, biscotti, or twice-baked cookies, in ancient Rome was used as a convenience food for travelers because of its long-shelf life. Properly stored, Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti will stay fresh for up to a couple of weeks. But, you’d better not plan on them sticking around for that long as they tend to disappear quickly–at least that’s the case around my house!
I’ve tried several biscotti recipes, but this one by Giada is my absolute favorite. I think the combination of cranberries and pistachio just works, but also believe that the recipe could be easily adapted by substituting other nuts or dried fruit. (Maybe next time I’ll try almonds and dried cherries!). This time I chose to stick to the original recipe, except I did opt for dark instead of white chocolate for dipping just because I like it best. I also made this batch with Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Organic Flour, one of our Cookie Month sponsors, and was very pleased with the results!
If you’ve never attempted biscotti, here are a few tips that I’ve learned from my experience:
1. You probably know this already, but if the recipe says soften butter at room temperature, don’t try to soften it in the microwave. Trust me on this.
4. Draw an outline on the back side of the parchment paper to get the perfect size log which will result in a nice size and shape of the finished biscotti.
Once the dough is prepared, the hardest part is done! Just be sure to follow the recipe steps for baking, cooling time, slicing, and baking again which will result in a dry and crunchy biscotti perfect for dipping in coffee if you like it that way.
Now for the shipping of these goodies…I stacked the biscotti in quart size zip lock bags with the chocolate ends opposite each other and was able to fit ten pieces snugly inside the bag. The number may be different depending on the size of your slices. I also used a priority mail carton from the post office with some tissue paper added to make sure there was no sliding around.
This particular package was sent to my daughter who reported it arrived safely with no broken biscotti, even after going through security and x-ray in her government office!
Be sure to check out my cookie month partners and their amazing recipes: Jess at The 104 Homestead – Kathie at Homespun Seasonal Living – Tessa at Homestead Lady – Chris at Joybilee Farm – Wendy at The Monday Box – Nikki at Nik Snacks – Shari at Pure Grace Farms – Angi at Schneiderpeeps – Lauren at Wicked Spatula
The following companies generously sponsored various cookie month projects. I may not have used all of them in my recipes, but this project is in no small part thanks to them and their incredible contributions: Bob’s Red Mill, The Daily Meal, India Tree, KerryGold, King Arthur Flour, Product of GIR, KaTom, SunButter & Wilton.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup pistachios coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 12 ounces good-quality white or dark chocolate chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Mix together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt to a large bowl and blend with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides.
- Add the flour and mix just until blended. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the pistachios and cranberries.
- Empty the dough onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet and form into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden. Cool on the pan for 30 minutes.
- Carefully place the biscotti log onto a cutting board and cut into 1/2 to 3/4-inch slices with a sharp serrated knife. Place the slices cut side down back on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Carefully transfer the biscotti to a wire rack to cool.
- Coarsely chop the chocolate and melt in a double boiler over simmering water. Dip one half of cookie into the melted chocolate and gently shake off the excess. Place the biscotti on wax paper or parchment and allow the chocolate to set. Refrigerate the cookies until the chocolate is firm.