When it comes to cookies, biscotti ranks pretty low in my book, somewhere between vanilla wafers and those bizarre bacon-flavored cookies that are so popular in the foodie world right now. When I think about a store-bought (or more commonly Starbucks-bought) piece of biscotti, I think dry, jawbreaker-style cookie with the texture of sandpaper. Having become an occasional coffee drinker over the past few years, I can better understand their appeal with a nice espresso or latté, but not enough to really want to crunch into one in place of a piece of pumpkin bread or cranberry bar.
Now that I've completely turned you off of ever eating one of these things again, let me reign you back in. Here's the secret: Homemade biscotti is a totally different breed of cookie. It has just the right crunch without being too tough, and is anything but dry. Plus, you can decide what you want in it and control (read: go out of control with) the amount of chocolate drizzle or dip being used.
And the holiday bonus: Biscotti is a perfect gift! Wrap a few pieces up in a plastic cellophane bag, tie a pretty bow on it, and pair it with a nice bag of coffee for an excellent, affordable present.
Adapted from Diamonds for Dessert
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pistachios
6 oz. white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine olive oil and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients into wet and stir until no streaks of flour remain. Fold in cranberries and pistachios.
With wet hands, divide dough into two equal portions and form into logs roughly the length of the cookie sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.
Lower oven temperature to 275 degrees F. With a serrated knife, the logs into half-inch slices. Toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, flipping once. Cool completely.
In a shallow bowl, melt white chocolate in the microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring well after each one. Be very careful not to scorch the chocolate. Dip one side of the cooled slices in the chocolate.