Biscotti when done properly could be really addicting. I was inspired to make this because of my obsession with Costco ( a huge membership warehouse store) biscotti. They have Coconut Almond and Mango Biscotti which are really, really delicious. They come in 1 large box (because everything in Costo is large portion) with individually packed biscotti inside. They are mini biscotti, really thin and crunchy but not hard. They are so good I started keeping few pieces in my purse for emergency snacking and I also left the entire box at the office close to my desk. I thought something as dangerously delicious as this is meant to be shared, sharing is caring so do share this biscotti ok?
Making a biscotti is a relatively simple process, although it requires baking the cookie twice, the entire process is still pretty simple and easy. One of the characteristic of Biscotti is its dried out crunchy texture, and this is the reason why this cookie is bake two times. Although we want a dried out crunchy cripsy biscotti, we certainly do not want a broken tooth when you bit on the biscotti, we want to make friends by sharing this cookie, not enemy. So let us stay away from hard biscotti, argee? Just so you know, I actually have my fair share of making rock-hard biscotti, and I learned my lesson and vowed never to repeat it again. After carefully and patiently making this cookie over and over again, I finally ended up with a biscotti that I can share with you and with my friends. This is one cookie that I love to add when I am making edible gifts. For once, they last longer and even taste better the following day.
What is Bicotti?
Biscotti is a twiced baked cookie or biscuit (as other people may call it) which originated from Italy. It is a dried out cookie, sometimes sliced thick and sometimes slicked thinly. It could be plain, with nuts or with dried fruits. The cookie is shaped into a log or rectangular shape then baked until cookie is slightly browned. It is then sliced and baked the second time to further dry it out and make it crunchy crispy. Because of it`s dried out texture, this cookie is the perfect cookie for dipping in coffee.
What are the Ingredients for Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti?
- Cake Flour – while a lot of recipe uses all-purpose flour to make biscotti, I decided to use cake flour for this recipe. Cake flour is lighter and my aim for this cookie is to have a lighter crumb, dried out and crunchy but not rock-hard. If you do not have cake flour, you can use all-purpose flour. I have made this using all-purpose flour when I made the plain version of this. Recipe HERE in case you are interested.
- Almond Flour – to give a nice almond flour, I opted to use almond flour. Almond flour also make biscotti slightly soft, I really do not like a hard biscotti.
- Salt – always good to add salt for taste
- Baking Powder – this will give the biscotti a slight rise, but not too much.
- Pistachio – Chop the Pistachio leaving slightly large pieces. Do not chop it too fine. I like the combination of Pistachio with the flavor of Almond. You can replace this with Pecan or maybe Walnut.
- Cranberry – I like chopping the Cranberry into smaller pieces rather than using it as whole. I find the it distributes better and it gave the cookie a nicer look. Cranberry and Pistachio, they are match made in heaven so they have to be together. Plus, it does make a festive cookie perfect for edible gift giving.
- Olive Oil– A lot of recipe uses butter, I like using oil instead to avoid a rock-hard biscotti. If you like to use butter instead, you can do that too but the texture will slightly change. Taste wise, we all know butter taste better than oil.
- Sugar– to add sweetness, nothing much. I wouldn’t recommend using liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup as it will make the dough too wet and I can imagine it will be a disaster handling the dough to shape it into a log.
- Vanilla Extract– for flavoring. You can also use Almond extract as substitute or skip it if you do not have it.
- Egg – Room temperature egg is VERY important so that it mix well when you beat it. Simply submerge the egg in warm water (NOT hot) and leave it for 5 minutes or you can take it out from refrigerator 30 minutes before using it.
How to Make Pistachio and Cranberry Biscotti
As I said earlier, making a Biscotti is a simple process and you can also see that in the video. Here is the quick summary, check the Intructions below for the details.
- First is just combining all the dry ingredients together (flours, baking soda, salt).
- Second is to beat the wet ingredients (oil, sugar, egg, vanilla extract).
- Once done, gradually add the dry ingredient in two addition into the wet ingredients. Manually mix until just combined then add the pistachio and dried cranberry and mix until distributed.
- Shape into 3 x 7-inch Log Shape: Shape the dough into a log shape.
- Pre-Bake at 300F for 30 minutes. This is the first baking, take it out of the oven and lift to check if still sticks to the parchment paper. If t does, return to the oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes more until the bottom is baked and it no longer sticks to the parchment paper. and let it cool. Make sure to cool it completely before slicing to avoid breaking the cookie.
- Once cooled, slice into 1/2-inch and arrange in a cookie sheet.
- Bake each side of the cookie at 275F for 20 minutes each side. For crunchier cookie, you can add 5 more minutes each side.
- Take out from the oven and let cool completely. The cookie will harden as it cools. That it about it. Take a bit and enjoy, no need to worry in breaking your tooth because this Biscotti has a nice light crumb, crunchy but not hard.
Tips in Making Biscotti
Although making Biscotti is quite simple, I have compiled few tips to make sure you end up with a delicious Biscotti just like what is shown in the photo.
- Sift the Dry Ingredients: Sifting aerates the flour, thus giving a lighter crunchy Biscotti
- Room Temperature Egg – Room temperature egg mix easily as compared to cold egg. Leave the egg on the counter at least 30 minutes before using it, or submerge the egg in warm water for 5 minutes before using it.
- Add Dry Ingredients in Two Addition – Adding the dry ingredients gradually will avoid over mixing, and sifting it again will help create a light cookie crumb.
- Manual Mixing – I know we all love convenience, but skip using the mixer when you are mixing the dry ingredient to wet ingredients as it will definitely knock-down or deflate the air that was build up from creaming the egg. Manually mix it, NO mixer pleeeease.
- Flour the Working Surface as well as Your Hand – The cookie dough is really sticky. Generously adding flour on your work area and your hands will make the shaping easier and less sticky.
- Let it Cool Before Slicing – The Biscotti is only halfway cook, so it is still soft especially when hot. Cutting the Biscotti while hot could break it apart.
- Use a Serrated Knife in Cutting – To get a nice clean cut and to avoid breaking the Biscotti, a serrated knife is recommended.
- Be Patient – Biscotti is a twice baked cookie, so do not take a short cut on this. The second baking is what will make the Biscotti dry and crunchy. Bake it twice, let it cool completely to allow it to harden. It is worth the wait, promise 🙂
- 3/4 cup Cake Flour (sifted)
- 2 tablespoon Almond Flour (sifted)
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 2 tablespoon chopped Pistachio (or Almond)
- 2 tablespoon chopped dried Cranberry (or Raisins)
- 2 tablespoon mild Olive Oil (or any flavorless oil)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (or Almond Extract)
- 1 Large Egg (room temperature)
- 80 grams Chocolate (optional)- melted
Note: Almond Flour can be substituted with Cake flour. The texture will be slightly different but it will still be ok. Almond Flour gave a nice grainy texture that dries up nicely when baked in a low temperature. This gave the lighter and airy Biscotti texture that snaps when you break.
- Prep: Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the Dry Ingredients: In small bowl, sift together the cake flour, almond flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- Mix the Wet Ingredients: In a stand mixer, mix the olive oil and sugar on medium speed until blended. Switch the machine to low, and add the egg and vanilla extract and continue to mix until well blended and pale in color.
- Dry Ingredients + Wet Ingredients: Sift the the dry ingredients onto the wet ingredients in two addition and manually mix until blended.
- Add Chopped Nuts and Dried Fruits: Add pistachio and cranberry and mix to distribute throughout the batter. Expect the dough to be really sticky.
- Shape into 3 x 7-inch Log Shape: Using a spatula, give the mixture a final stir to be sure that everything is incorporated from the bottom of the bowl and well blended. Lightly flour your hands and sprinkle also flour on the working surface. Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it into the floured working area. Shape the dough into a log, about 7 inches long and 3 inches wide. The cookie is going to spread a little bit more as it bakes, so you will get a wider log. Transfer in a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Pre-Bake the Log: Place the log in the pre-heated 300°F oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the dough is just cooked through and the side is lightly browned. Remove from oven lift to check if still sticks to the parchment paper. If it does, return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes more until the bottom is baked and it no longer sticks to the parchment paper. Let cool about 10 – 15 minutes. Meanwhile, turn the oven down to 275°F.
- Cut into cookies: Make sure that the cookie is properly cooled before cutting, do NOT cut while still warm as it could break. This cookie is quit fragile and light because it uses cake flour and oil (instead of butter). Carefully lift the parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Using a sharp, thin, preferably serrated knife, cut the log into 1/2-inch slices.
- Bake until lightly browned: Arrange the sliced cookie in the baking sheet, arranging them cut side down. Bake for another 20 minutes each side, until lightly browned and crunchy. For drier crunchier cookie, you can add 5 more minutes each side.
- Cool and store: Cool the Biscotti on a rack. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks or freeze for several months.
- Dip in melted Chocolate (Optional): Make sure the cookie are completely cooled before dipping in chocolate. This is totally optional, but it is also a great idea to dip the Biscotti in melted chocolate. For this one, I think white chocolate works best to highlight the pistachio and dried cranberry. Simply melt 1/3 cup white chocolate and dip the cookies (bottom or the tip). To make it even beautiful, sprinkle some chopped Pistachio and dried Cranberry after dipping in the chocolate. Sprinkle it while the chocolate is still wet so that it sticks better.
How to Dip Biscotti in Melted Chocolate
Make sure the cookie are completely cooled before dipping in chocolate. This is totally optional, but it is also a great idea to dip the Biscotti in melted chocolate. Melt the chocolate in 30 seconds interval, it took about 2 minutes in my microwave when I did it. Do NOT do it in one blast of 2 minutes, chocolate could get burn quickly with continuous heat. Stir on the 3rd 30 seconds interval ( 1.5 minutes) and on the last. Stop as soon as chocolate is fully melted. Microwave time could vary depending on your microwave wattage, so it is always best to do it gradually and adjust as needed. Once melted, dip the bottom of each Biscotti or dip the tip in melted chocolate. If dipping the bottom of Biscotti, use a wide bowl with the base equal to or bigger than the size of the Biscotti, this was the bottom of the Biscotti gets coated easily. If dipping the tip, use a deeper bowl to melt the chocolate. Arrange in a parchment line baking try or on a silicone mat and leave until the chocolate solidify. If you are in a hurry, you can chill it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Don’t skip sifting the flour. Sifted flour tends to give a lighter Biscotti cookie.
- If you do not have Almond flour, you can replace it with cake flour, but bear in mind that the texture will be slightly different. Almond gave the light grainy crumb to the Biscotti.
My Other Cookie Videos:
Checkout my video collection of cookies and other treats that are great for holiday gift giving or for everyday baking. All the recipes can be found in my website. Enjoy!
- Small Batch Cranberry and Raisins Irish Soda Bread
- Classic Skillet Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
- Pumpkin & Raisins Buttermilk Biscuit
- Herbed Feta Buttermilk Biscuits
- Small Batch Cream Scones (Makes 4)
- Small Batch Orange Biscotti
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