Biscotti are great all-around cookies. I like that they’re easy to make and keep for a week or two on the kitchen counter, so you can bake them ahead of time. It’s also a cinch to take a basic recipe and play around with themes and variations – you could mix in any kind of nut, chip or dried fruit in endless combinations. Think apricots and almonds, cranberries and pecans, hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
Sometimes I like to drizzle my biscotti with melted chocolate, as I did here. They look especially festive on the Christmas cookie tray.
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoons orange extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups shelled raw pistachios, chopped
4 ounces chopped white chocolate
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating well; beat in orange zest and extract.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in 1 cup each cranberries and pistachios until evenly mixed.
Divide dough in half. Using lightly floured hands, shape each portion into a 14″ x 2″ log. Place both logs 3″ apart on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Cool logs on baking sheet 10 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Cut each log into 1/2″-thick diagonal slices with a serrated knife using a gentle sawing motion. Stand slices on their sides on baking sheet. Bake 15 more minutes. Transfer biscotti to wire racks to cool completely.
Melt chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl on medium-high heat in 2 15-second intervals, stirring in between. Try not to overheat, because white chocolate can burn easily.
Dip one end of each biscotti into the melted chocolate and sprinkle with reserved cherries and pistachios. Allow to set about 1 hour before serving.