December 22, 2009 | Desserts
It’s cookie time, that’s for sure! I try to avoid making many holiday cookies anymore because I know I’ll just want to eat them all and I’m struggling with the tightness of my jeans already. But these biscotti hold up well in the cookie jar (where I don’t see them everyday) and they go perfectly with a cup of coffee on Christmas morning.
I made Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti for my final course (of nine to ring in 2009) last year, and I just varied that recipe to switch out the hazelnuts for the pine nuts and dried cranberries. At this time of year, a cranberry and pistacchio biscotti is also festive. The key to perfect biscotti is the double bake technique. First bake the dough in a long loaf, then slice into the shape you’re familiar with and lay them flat to bake again.
I actually wrote the recipe saying to bake the second time for 10 minutes, but it really depends on your oven, how moist they are when you slice them, and the humidity that day. Yesterday I baked them this second time for about 30 minutes, then left them in the oven overnight. You don’t need want them moist at all – that way they store for a longer period and are perfect for dunking!
Yields about 24 cookies
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, extra dark
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Combine oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs with a mixer on low. Sift together flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder and add to wet ingredients to combine. Stir in nuts. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough in half and shape into two logs about 12 inches long and 2 inches around. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly golden, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 275 degrees.
Cut logs into slices about 3/4 inch thick and return to baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until dry, about 10-30 more minutes. Let cool before handling.