Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti



Life is just a bowl of cherries, don't take it serious, its mysterious. 
Life is just a bowl of cherries, so live and laugh and laugh at love, 
love a laugh, laugh and love. 
                                                                    – Bob Fosse      


    Biscotti more correctly known as  Biscotti Di Prato in English .   Prato Biscuits or Coffee bread are   twice baked originating from Italy.  The name Biscotti means bis- twice and cotto mean baked. Said to have originated from Columbus's time and credited to an Italian baker who originally served them with Tuscan wines.

These oblong shaped crisp biscuits are made dry and crumbly a process of cutting the loaf when warm and returning them to the oven to be baked again.

Biscotti is very dry and have long shelf life.These were very useful during wars and on long journeys.

The traditional Biscotti recipe is composed exclusively of flours,sugar,eggs,pine nuts and almonds that are not roasted and skinned.   It does not use yeast or fat.

The barely wet dough is twice cooked in a slab form.

Biscotti is dry in texture , hence served with tea/coffee to dunk. 

The sticky dough is first shaped into a log and baked till firm. Then it is sliced into diagonal slices and baked again to draw out the moisture and produce a crispy textured  biscuit.   





   































The pics above show how the biscottis look mid way in baking and sliced to be rebaked.

The  pics below show how they appear after the second baking.





















                  



Ingredients:


  •  2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour .
    1 cup coarsely chopped pistachios and some cranberries (dried will do)  Some coarse white sparkling sugar for sprinkling on top,( optional...)

    You can choose any available nuts and dry fruits of your choice

    6 tablespoons butter

    2/3 cup sugar

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract and pistachio flavour if you wish.

    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

    2 large eggs (  I used yogurt instead ) works just as well.


    Method:


    1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) one large baking sheet.

    Beat  the butter, sugar, salt,  vanilla, pistachio flavour if you are using it  and baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs.

    4) At low speed, add the flour, stirring until smooth; the dough will be sticky.

    5) Stir in the pistachios and cranberries

    6) Divide the dough in half, and plop both halves onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between them.

    7) Shape each half into a long rectangle about 10 1/2" x 2" wide x 3/4" tall; you need to leave space for expansion between the pieces of dough.

    Straighten the rectangles, and smooth their tops and sides; a wet spatula . Helps to smoothen the tops.

    8) Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven.  

    I read somewhere that you can use  a spray bottle filled with room-temperature water, lightly but thoroughly spritz the two pieces of dough, making sure to cover the sides as well as the top. 

    This will soften the crust a bit and will make slicing the biscotti without crumbling easier. 

      I think this is a good tip to be used later.

    9) Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.


    10) Wait 5 minutes, then use a serrated knife to cut the biscotti crosswise into 1/2" to 3/4" slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal, for fewer, longer biscotti.

    11) Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 35 to 40 minutes, until they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden.

    They may still feel a tiny bit moist in the very center, if you break off a piece; but they'll continue to dry out as they cool.

    Although my biscottis turned out perfect in texture and taste I wasnt too happy with the shape as I couldn't slice them properly so some of my biscottis in the pics look like logs! Next time may be!