Sunday, December 21, 2008

'Nicholas Cage' Pistachio-Cranberry Biscotti

Yesterday I spent almost 2 hours shelling and pealing the skin off of a bag of pistachios -to get just under a cup of nuts. I think it was doing it in front of the Nicholas Cage movie my husband was watching that made it even more painful -- but the results were delicious!

I admit, I usually lose a couple slices in between the first and second bake. The ends and anything that crumbled during slicing is devoured. MMMM... hot cookies.

Emily's recipe for Chocolate Dipped Cranberry - Pistachio Biscotti:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 stick salted butter + 1 tablespoon
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon anise extract
3/4 cup shelled whole pistachios + 1/8 cup finely chopped
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 325°F. Sift first 3 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl to blend well. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in orange zest, vanilla, and anise. Beat in flour mixture just until blended. Stir in cranberries and whole pistachios. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into log. Carefully transfer logs to 1 prepared baking sheet, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake logs until almost firm to touch but still pale, about 25-30 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet at least 15 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

Carefully transfer logs to cutting board. Using a chefs knife and gentle sawing motion, cut logs crosswise into generous 1/2-inch-thick slices. Stand slices on baking sheets, bake until firm and pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool.

Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Put chocolate and tablespoon of butter in micorwaving for 30 second intervals, stirring in between each. Microwave until fully melted. (Be careful to no overcook!) Dip 1 end of each cookie into melted chocolate. Place cookies on prepared sheet. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Chill until chocolate is firm.

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