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Dorothy Dean presents: Classic Italian cookie is so nice, it’s baked twice

UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 1, 2020

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

Preheat the oven and tie on your apron – there’s baking to be done!

Friday is National Cookie Day, and what better way to celebrate than to whip up a batch to fill your cookie jar (and belly).

So, get ready to level up your baking game because we’re making a cookie that’s so nice, it’s baked twice: biscotti.

This classic Italian cookie is a must for holiday baking. It’s surprisingly easy to make, and it can be customized with your favorite extracts and add-ins.

This recipe calls for the festive additions of dried cranberries and pistachios, which add a sweet-tart and nutty flavor to the rich vanilla-almond canvas in which they’re speckled.

The simple dough is shaped into two logs and baked. The logs are set aside to cool, then sliced on the diagonal and baked a second time until dry and crisp.

With a hard, crunchy texture, they’re just begging to be dunked, pairing well with hot cocoa, tea or your morning coffee.

(Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please!)

And if you’re looking to spread some holiday cheer, biscotti is super sturdy, making it perfect for gifting and shipping to family and friends.

You can even glamour them up with a dip or drizzle of melted chocolate and festive sprinkles.

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Adapted from allrecipes.com.

¼ cup olive oil

¾ cup white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

2 large eggs

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ cup dried cranberries

¾ cups pistachio nuts

Preheat an oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.

Combine the oil and sugar in a large bowl and mix until well-blended. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts, then the eggs.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder, and gradually mix it into the egg mixture. Stir in the cranberries and nuts by hand.

With damp hands, divide the dough in half and shape into two 12-by-2-inch logs on the prepared baking sheet. (You can smooth the surface of the logs with a wet spatula.)

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the logs are light brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 275 degrees.

Cut the logs on the diagonal into ¾-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, back on the baking sheet and bake until dry, 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer to the rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at spoonandswallow@yahoo.com.

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