Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

November 22, 2023

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

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   |   Updated November 19, 2023



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 seasonal treats baking in the oven.


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. And I've enjoyed it almost yearly it ever since.









Biscotti sitting on top of a cup of coffee
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What Is Biscotti


Biscotti is a traditional Italian cookie and it's name means twice baked. The dough is baked into a large almost flat log, then cooled, sliced, and baked again resulting in a dry, crunchy, oblong shaped cookie which is unlike the softer, chewy treats we typically think of.


When twice baked, they are considered ideal for dunking in your coffee or warm beverage, making the crisp cookie easier to bite through.


However, some people prefer the softer cookie you get before putting it back into the oven and choose to bake them only once. It is a matter of preference and is worth trying both ways to see which 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.





Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti with Chocolate Drizzle




What You'll Need


Want to try making these cookies? Here's the ingredients you'll need:

  • dried cranberries
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • kosher salt - decrease the amount of salt used if you are substituting regular salt
  • unsalted butter - at room temperature
  • granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • shelled pistachios - coarsely chopped
  • white chocolate chips - optional, for adding the drizzle on the finished biscotti





Steps to making Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti




How to Make Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti


For your convenience, a full ingredients list, directions for making Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti, and a printable recipe option appear further down in this article. Allow me to walk you through the steps of preparing these cookies.

Begin by preheating your oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper and set aside.


STEP 1: REHYDRATING THE CRANBERRIES


You'll want to begin the baking process by rehydrating your dried cranberries. This will make them plump and keep them from drying out further and becoming chewy once they are baked.


To rehydrate the cranberries, place them in a small bowl and add 1/2 cup of boiling water to cover. Let them stand about 15 minutes until the cranberries are plump. Drain the water and set the bowl aside.



STEP 2: MIXING THE DRY INGREDIENTS


Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Set aside.



STEP 3: MIXING THE WET INGREDIENTS


  • 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 three of the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each egg. (Reserve the fourth egg for an egg wash to use before baking the logs the first time.)

  • Add in the vanilla, then the flour mixture and beat on low just until fully combined.

  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the cranberries and pistachios by hand using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.





STEP 4: ROLLING THE LOGS


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 it onto the prepared baking sheet. Leave about three inches between the logs. Flatten each slightly with the palm of your hand.

Beat the remaining egg, then brush the tops using a pastry brush. This will allow the crust of your biscotti to become golden brown in the oven.



STEP 5: FIRST BAKE OF THE BISCOTTI


Bake the logs for 25 minutes on the middle rack of your oven. They should be complete cooked and firm to the touch, but not overdone. Remove the pan from the oven and cool it on a wire rack for about 15 minutes until the logs are just warm to the touch.



STEP 6: CUTTING AND BAKING THE SLICES


Place the logs on a cutting board and slice them diagonally into long slices that are 3/4 inch wide. Return the slices to the baking sheet cut side down and bake for about 12 minutes until they begin to brown around the edges. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool.



STEP 7: ADDING A CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE


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 with the tip cut off. Drizzle the slices of biscotti with the melted chocolate and allow it time to harden before storing. You can also dip the biscotti pieces in the melted chocolate if you'd prefer that over a drizzle.



READ NEXT: Easy and No-Fail Way to Melt Chocolate in the Oven









Tips for Making This Recipe


A few things to keep in mind as you prepare this Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti Recipe:

  • 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.


  • For this recipe, you want a short time of about 2 minutes spent creaming the butter and sugar. It should have a light and fluffy texture, and any longer will change the texture of the finished biscotti.


  • 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. Fold them in gently along with the chopped pistachios using a wooden spoon or silicone spoon after all the other ingredients are incorporated.







  • Bake your biscotti with the rack in the middle of the oven for best results. It is likely to get burnt or over-brown baked in the lower or top third. (Learn more about the correct oven rack to use for all your baked goods.)


  • After the first bake, you need to allow the biscotti to cool just until the log is warm to the touch, about 15 minutes. If you let the log sit too long, the dough becomes hard and difficult to cut, whereas if it is still hot when you slice into it, the slices with crumble.


  • How much biscotti you 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 cut more like a loaf of bread.

    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, use a serrated knife and take very little off of the end of the log before you begin making your uniform slices.







Holiday Cranberry Biscotti




Recipe Variations


Biscotti is a versatile type of cookie.

What you end up with prior to adding the cranberries and pistachios in this recipe is a base dough that you can customize according to your favorite ingredients.

  • Try different dried fruits or nuts. Raisins, chopped apricots, sliced almonds, and walnuts are great choices.

  • Add chocolate chips.

  • Include spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom for enhanced flavor.

  • Try another extract, like almond, in place of the vanilla.

  • Sprinkle the top generously with sugar after adding the egg wash to form a crisp crust rather than adding the chocolate drizzle.





READ NEXT: Pumpkin Pie Biscotti Recipe





Christmas biscotti with white chocolate drizzle




CRANBERRY PISTCHIO BISCOTTI


The perfect cookie to accompany a cup of 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.


MAKES ABOUT 2 DOZEN COOKIES

PRINT RECIPE





INGREDIENTS

  • 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, optional for drizzle


INSTRUCTIONS


STEP 1: Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper and set aside.

STEP 2: Place cranberries in a small bowl and add 1/2 cup of boiling water to cover. Let them stand about 15 minutes until cranberries are plump, drain, and then set aside.

STEP 3: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

STEP 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 eggs one at at time, beating after each to incorporate. Add vanilla, then the flour mixture and beat on low until fully combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the cranberries and pistachios by hand.

STEP 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 of your hand. Brush the logs with the beaten egg using a pastry brush.

STEP 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 15 minutes until just warm to the touch.

STEP 7: Place the logs on a cutting board and slice 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.

STEP 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 zip-top bag with the tip cut off. Drizzle the slices of biscotti with the melted chocolate and allow it time to harden before storing.







Frequently Asked Questions


Have some questions about making Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti? Here are some frequently asked questions that you may have.

WHAT TO DO IF THE DOUGH MIXTURE SEEMS TOO SOFT


When rolling your logs, if the dough seems to soft or sticky, refrigerate it in the bowl for about 30 minutes or add a little bit more flour.


HOW LONG DOES BISCOTTI LAST


Because it is twice baked, biscotti tends to stay fresh longer than other cookies. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks for the best flavor. The cookies also freeze very well for up to three months. Allow the slices to thaw at room temperature before serving.

DO YOU HAVE TO DRIZZLE THE BISCOTTI WITH CHOCOLATE


Not at all! I love the pairing of the white chocolate with the cranberry flavor, but it is not necessary. And if you want the pairing of the two, but not the hassle of trying to do the drizzle you can simply dip the individual slices into the melted chocolate instead.





Coffee and biscotti on cloth napkin



Enjoy this holiday biscotti for dessert or a snack, add it to a tray of Christmas cookies when entertaining, or pack it in a decorative tin to give as a delicious homemade gift.






Some Other Baking Recipes To Try This Season



VANILLA WALNUT CRESCENT COOKIES - From scratch rugelach packed full of nutty flavor

PUMPKIN GINGER MOLASSES COOKIES - Three flavors perfect for fall and Christmas combined into one delicious cookie

SOUR CREAM COOKIES - A family recipe similar in texture to a sugar cookie, but way more flavorful!

CRANBERRY CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES - Chocolate chip cookies with a holiday twist

CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHUNK GINGERBREAD COOKIES

RAISIN OATMEAL COOKIES - An Old-Fashioned Favorite at the holidays or anytime of the year















SOME MORE DELICIOUS HOLIDAY COOKIE RECIPES SHARED BY MY BLOGGING FRIENDS.....




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

Mexican Spicy Chocolate Cookies by Maison de Pax   |   Coconut Sugar Cookies by My Sweet Savannah   |   Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies by House 214   |   Cinnamon and Sugar Lattice Pie Crust Cookies by Craftberry Bush



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