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
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.