Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

cranberry 3

Happy New Year!

Along with a new year comes a whole lot of “firsts.” First big snow storm of the year…first baby born in 2014…first day of not being able to find a parking spot at the gym.

Right now, our house is mostly preoccupied with our son prematurely losing his first tooth. Over a year ago, he thought pretending to be a seal while diving off the couch would be a good idea. He has had a black front tooth ever since. A few days ago while I was tickling him on the very same couch, he slid down the side in what was a temporary fit of giggles, only to get his tooth caught on the couch, yanking it loose. With tears and blood streaming down his chin, he started streaming, “Is my black tooth gone?” He hasn’t stopped asking us since.

A quick trip to the dentist reassured us that it will likely fall out and he will remain toothless for quite some time.

He has depleted our tissue supply trying to pull it out and has persuaded my husband to attempt the same. I think he knows better than to ask me. I cringe at the idea.

Along the lines of “firsts,” these Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti were the first we made in our tiny kitchen many years ago. With my father-in-law looking on, trying to offer his sage advice, and me mostly ignoring him, they were a very mediocre oddly shaped batch of biscotti. I’d say over the years we’ve improved immensely. The traditional combination of cranberries and pistachios, which mimic not only Christmas colors but those of the Italian flag as well, are hard to beat.


Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti 

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

½ teaspoon cranberry flavored oil (We used LorAnn Oils.)

½ cup shelled pistachios

1 cup dried cranberries


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

2.  In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and cranberry flavored oil.

4.  With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together.  Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.

5.  Add the pistachios and cranberries. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.

6.  Separate the dough in half.  Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes. Press tops with sugar.

7.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split.  Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

8.  Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board.  Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.


What to do with the ends #61: Tuck the ends inside the Christmas tree at the curb to create a food maze for the squirrels.


2 thoughts on “Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

  1. Your blog is absolutely spectacular! I really like biscotti because they are easy to make. But as I bake them (the first time around), the “logs” cracks on top. When I go to slice them, the slices fall apart; I guess because of the cracks on top or because of the nuts inside of it. I’m doing something wrong? How can I prevent them from cracking on top? I think maybe they are “spreading” and that is why they break? I am using a serrated knife but when I cut it with the back and forth motion, that is when it cracks, so I end up just slicing them (like if I was cutting a slice of cheese).

    Thank you, and please any ideas or suggestions will be appreciated.

    • Hi Angela. Thanks for your kind words. We are a work in progress around here with much to learn. The cracking and crumbling you are experiencing is not unusual. In fact, when my logs start to crack on the top, which they sometimes do, I know they have baked all the way through. I’ve read recipes that actually tell you to wait until you see the logs cracking to know they are baked through. However, if you don’t want that cracking, try using a teaspoon less of baking powder, which will prevent the logs from rising as much. Another trick that I sometimes use is to thoroughly wet my hands when I form the logs. Ironically this makes crisper biscotti with less cracking on top. There are different lines of thought about when to slice biscotti, cool to the touch or after the logs have completely cooled. If I’ve used whole nuts or other larger add-ins, I generally wait until the biscotti are completely cooled before I diagonally slice the logs, because when they are warm the logs tend to tear when I try to cut through the nuts. However if they are crumbling, one thought might be to cut them while they are still warm? Another idea you might consider is to spray the knife with a Pam or wipe the blade with some olive oil to keep it from sticking so you can cut it with only one slice. Finally, maybe you are adding too many nuts, which sometimes doesn’t allow the dough to stick or bake together enough so that when you slice the logs, they crumble. Let me know if any of these ideas work. If not, we can brainstorm other options. Thanks for joining us!

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