Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

November 13, 2017

These Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti are a perfect cookie to accompany a cup of hot coffee during the holidays.  The basic dough can be changed up to include any variety of dried fruits or nuts allowing you to customize this Italian treat to whatever flavors you desire.

COOK + BAKE   |   Published November 13, 2017

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti and coffee

Even if you don't consider yourself an avid baker, the Christmas season likely gets you into the kitchen to make a few batches of holiday cookies.  There is something magical about the countertops being lightly dusted with flour, dough stuck to your hands, and the smell of treats baking in the oven.

Today the Tastes of the Season blog hop continues with each of us sharing a favorite Christmas cookie recipe.  (Catch up on all the previous posts and recipes.)   I always love finding a few different cookie recipes and trying different techniques during the holidays that I can make in addition to my traditional favorites.  You can find links to what everyone has shared after my recipe in today's post.

Biscotti sitting on top of a cup of coffee

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For many years, one of my favorite cookie recipes has been for Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti.  It is a delicious combination of flavors and the red and green ingredients add a festive touch for the holiday.

I can still remember many years ago watching the episode of Martha Stewart Living where she learned how to make it from her baking friend John Barricelli.  It sounded delicious, seemed easy enough to make, and was one of those recipes I knew I just had to try myself.

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti with Chocolate Drizzle

Biscotti is a traditional Italian cookie and it's name means twice cooked.  The dough is baked into a log, then cooled, sliced, and baked again resulting in a crunchy, dry cookie.  However, some people prefer the softer cookie you get before putting it back into the oven.  It is a matter of preference and is worth trying both ways to see which way you enjoy more.

Even though the thought of making a complicated cookie scares many people, this recipe is actually incredibly easy to do.  It can be prepared with almost no working time involved.  And the biscotti can be made ahead of time and kept in the freezer so you can get some of your holiday baking done early.

What you end up with prior to adding the cranberries and pistachios is a base dough that you can customize according to your favorite ingredients.  Try different dried fruits or nuts.  Add chocolate chips.  Or sprinkle the top generously with sugar to form a crisp crust rather than adding the chocolate drizzle.

Christmas biscotti with white chocolate drizzle

A few things to remember....


  • You must soak the cranberries in boiling water before preparing the dough.  This will ensure that when you bake the biscotti the second time the cranberries don't dry out and become crunchy.

  • When adding the cranberries to the dough, do not over-mix the ingredients.  Because the cranberries are soft from being soaked, they will tear apart easily.

  • The amount of biscotti that you will end up with depends on how you slice the logs.  I prefer a long cookie so I slice it with more of a diagonal cut than if I were making smaller cookies.  You should get between 1 1/2 and 2 dozen long slices of biscotti or up to 4 dozen smaller slices.  However you choose to make it, you'll want to use a serrated knife and take very little off of the end of the log before you being making your uniform slices.

Holiday Cranberry Biscotti


Adapted from John Barricelli's recipe shared on Martha Stewart Living
Makes about 2 dozen cookies


  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, plus 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Steps to making Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place cranberries in a small bowl and add 1/2 cup or boiling water to cover.  Let them stand about 15 minutes until the cranberries are plump.  Drain and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add 3 of the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate after each egg.  Add in vanilla.  Then add the flour mixture and beat on low until fully combined.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the cranberries and pistachios by hand.
  5. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide it into two.  Roll each into a 2 inch by 12 inch log and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Leave about 3 inches between the logs.  Flatten each log slightly with the palm or your hand.  Brush the logs using a pastry brush with the final egg that has been beaten.  This will allow the crust of your biscotti to become golden brown in the oven.
  6. Bake the logs for 25 minutes.  They should be completely baked and firm to the touch, but not overdone.  Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes until just warm to the touch.
  7. Place the logs on a cutting board and slice them diagonally into long slices of biscotti that are 3/4 inches wide.  Return the slices to the baking sheet cut side down.  Bake until they begin to brown around the edges, about 12 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  8. When the biscotti has cooled, place the chocolate chips in a bowl and melt them in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted.  Transfer the chocolate to a pastry bag or ziploc bag and cut the tip off.  Drizzle the slices of biscotti with the melted chocolate and allow it time to harden before storing.

Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container on the counter and kept fresh for up to one week or put into the freezer.


Coffee and biscotti on cloth napkin

Whether you're baking alone or with family, I hope that today's recipes will inspire you to spend a little time baking during the upcoming holiday season.  A tin of freshly baked cookies is always a welcomed gift at Christmas and your friends and family will no doubt appreciate your effort.


Christmas Cookies

Cranberry Orange Cookies by Ella Claire | Chocolate Shortbread Cookies by A Burst of Beautiful | Cinnamon Cookies by Zevy Joy | Gingerbread Houses by Miss Mustard Seed

Christmas Cookies

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti by anderson + grant | Paleo Double Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies by Nesting with Grace | Chocolate Crinkles Cookies by So Much Better with Age | Cranberry Rosemary Butter Cookies by Nina Hendrick Design Co.

Holiday cookies

Gluten Free Coconut Fudge Bites by City Farmhouse | Maple Sugar House Cookies by Finding Home Farms | Honey Nut Rugelach by Love Grows Wild | Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake Cookies by Nest of Posies

Holiday cookies


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