CRANBERRY-PISTACHIO BISCOTTI Makes about 4 dozen These red-and-green flecked cookies are particularly festive at Christmas; Martha likes to bake several batches to give away as gifts. 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup boiling water 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling 3 large eggs, plus 1 large egg lightly beaten 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place cranberries in a small bowl, and 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. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add the flour mixture, and mix on low speed until combined.
Mix in the drained cranberries and the pistachios. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide in half. Shape each piece into a 16-by-2-inch log, and transfer to prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, flatten logs slightly.
Brush beaten egg over the surface of the dough logs, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until logs are slightly firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Transfer logs on parchment paper to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Place logs on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down, on the rack. Bake until firm to touch, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on the rack. Biscotti can be kept in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Marian's notes: I use sanding sugar for sprinkling my Biscotti rather than regular sugar.
In my opinion Biscotti keeps well almost indefinitely! I bake several different kinds of Biscotti early in December for enjoying all month. Biscotti, if packed in moisture-proof packaging in a sturdy box, travels very well. I once sent a large box containing about 10 different kinds to a cousin in Ontario. It arrived in great shape and was enjoyed for many weeks. Sure it gets a little drier and harder over time but when dunked in a cup of tea or coffee it is still delicious. Marian Fulton , Windsor Branch