If you have not noticed, I’m not a big recipe round-up person. Some food bloggers are really good about going back through their old posts and listing out, say, all the recipes that would work well for Christmas cookies. I love reading those posts. But me? Writing one of my own? Not so much. I often get asked how I have time to keep up with this blog and the truth is that I have time because I make time. Writing here and connecting with all of you is important to me, and so I make time. It’s not that coming up with the perfect list of Christmas cookies isn’t important to me, but I’d rather use my precious blogging time to just write. And avoid doing laundry.
You are most likely up to your eyeballs in cookie recipes these days but I thought I would send just one your way. These are a favorite of mine. I like that they look holiday-ish but aren’t the traditional cut-outs with frosting and sprinkles. (I hate making those but my kids and husband love decorating and eating those, so guess who wins that battle?) I made these a few years back for a cookie exchange with my preschool co-op friends and I was surprised at how quickly they flew off my tray. They have been a staple ever since. I have always dipped one end in the white chocolate but feel free to dip the whole bottom part in as Gaby did. Much prettier. And speaking of dipping, white chocolate can be a little temperamental. I suggest buying the good stuff, like Lindt, which melts up better.
Holiday Biscotti with Cranberries and Pistachios
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Makes about 3 dozen
2 ¼ cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. whole aniseed
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
¾ cup natural unsalted pistachios (salted and roasted work fine too)
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift first three ingredients into a medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl to blend well. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in lemon peel, vanilla, and aniseed. Beat in flour mixture just until blended. Stir in cranberries and pistachios – dough will be sticky.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gather dough together; divide in half. Flour your hands and pat each half into a 15-inch log, about 1 ¼ inches wide. Carefully transfer logs to one of the prepared sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake logs until almost firm to touch but still pale, about 28 minutes.
Cool logs on baking sheet 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature. Carefully transfer logs to cutting board, leaving the parchment paper on the baking sheet. Using a serrated knife, cut logs crosswise into generous ½-inch slices. Use a sawing motion to start each cut and then apply gentle pressure to finish, this will minimize crumbling. Place slices, 1 cut side down, on the paper lined sheets. Bake until firm and pale golden, about 12 minutes per side. Transfer cookies to racks and cool.
Place the white chocolate in a tall deep bowl and place the bowl over simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, and do not let any steam get into the bowl (that would make the chocolate seize.) Remove from over water. Dip 1 end of each cookie into melted chocolate, tilting bowl if necessary; shake off excess chocolate. Place cookies on a waxed paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. (Can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight between sheets of waxed paper at room temperature.)