...a bite of Biscotti

I know, I know, two recipes back-to-back but hey, it's that time of year -- if ya can't indulge now, when can you? Besides, I freaking love dessert AND biscotti are a personal favorite of mine so when my baker buddy Jen from Piece of Love Pastries suggested them for our collaborative holiday feature, "cookies, schmookies" I told her "...make me some biscotti!"

We decided that pistachios and cherries were a cute, holiday color scheme/tasty idea for the holidays. That's about as much input as I had in this post. Jen came up with the recipe (adapted from Martha Stewart) and promises PISTACHIO CHERRY BISCOTTI are a quick and easy way to impress your fruit-loving friends. Baked goods are also a thoughtful gift idea for those you are unsure about what to get. 

The "double bake" suggested in this recipe may seem like an extra step but I'm told it's what gives the biscotti their wonderful extra crunch! Jen put it best when she said "amid the sugar overload of the season, biscotti are a lovely reprise...they pair perfectly with coffee and tea, or as dessert for that family member who just doesn't love sweets (timidly raising hand)."

Follow these steps for PISTACHIO CHERRY BISCOTTI success...

What you'll need

  1. 1/2 cup dried cherries
  2. 1/2 cup boiling water
  3. 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  7. 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  8. 3 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  9. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Pistachios, cherries, eggs, butter and other good stuff...

Pistachios, cherries, eggs, butter and other good stuff...

What to do

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place cherries in a small bowl; add boiling water. Let stand until plump, about 15 minutes. Drain, and set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. **If you're really in a hurry to get these going, you can skip this step without any major noticeable difference**
  2. In electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating each time. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in cherries and pistachios.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. The dough will be very sticky at this point. That's ok! Shape each piece into a rough 16-by-2-inch log (you don't really need to measure), and transfer to prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart...they will grow during baking. With the palm of your hand, flatten logs slightly. Brush beaten egg over surface of the dough logs, and sprinkle generously with sugar.
  4. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until logs are slightly firm to touch, about 25 minutes. Transfer logs on parchment paper to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 15-20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  5. Place logs on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down, on rack. Bake again until firm to touch, about 15-20 minutes. Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on rack. 
Mix, beat, mix!

Mix, beat, mix!

Spread, bake, cut!

Spread, bake, cut!

Biscotti can be kept in an airtight container for up to one week but I assure you these lovelies won't last that long because they will be gone, baby, gone in no time. I'm telling you, they're tasty!

Holidays got you busy but you want some sweet treats? Don't have time to make your own? Check out Jen's site Piece of Love Pastries. She can pretty much make anything. All Jen's goodies are made-to-order, with fresh, organic ingredients...and they are always tasty!

Now go have a bite of biscotti and a spot of tea!