Food, Recipes
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Holiday Fun – Pistachio Biscotti

You know the holidays have begun when you randomly start baking things after a long hiatus from baking all year. Inspite of going to culinary school,  I am not much of a baker. Bakers come from a different planet.  They are meticulous and super OCD.  I , on the other hand do not like to follow recipes…I cook as I go along. That would be a complete disaster in the baking arena unless you are a freaky genius.  So, despite my lack of patience to measure things tediously,  this time of the year brings out the Martha Stewart in me.  I also realized that all these years,  I used the excuse of not having the right equipment to mix/whip/cream ingredients as a hindrance to produce baked goods. And that its not healthy to eat sugar and butter.  No more excuses as Trouper got me the Christmas present early this year – Kitchen Aid mixer.  There are really no more places to hide anymore.   I am going to take deep breaths and channel my inner Martha!  

I made these super easy and addictive biscottis to start my baking extravaganza for the season.  They are perfect with a cup of espresso or hot tea (if you are like me) on a cold, winter day.  I’ve already eaten 5 of these while writing the post..God, help me!

Adapted from Food and Wine – Giada Laurentiis

Yield ~ 2 dozen

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 (put less or substitute if you are cheap like me.  They get a little outrageous at $10.99/lb unshelled!)
2/3 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries.

Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.

The biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.

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