These crunchy Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti combine a luxurious, festive combination of flavors: Orange, cranberry, and pistachio. Nobody can resist it!
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What the rest of the world knows as biscotti are called cantucci in Italy, their country of origin. (In Italian, “biscotti” means cookies of any kind.)
Cantucci are almond cookies originating from Tuscany. Traditional cantucci are made with only flour, sugar, eggs, pine nuts, and almonds—the original recipe does not use any yeast or fat. The thick dough is shaped into a flat slab, baked, then sliced and baked again. The second baking period is what makes the cantucci dry and very crunchy.
This double baking process is probably what caused the cookie to be called biscotti beyond Italy’s borders. Indeed, as I said, although modern Italian uses “biscotti” to refer to any variety of cookie, the word originates from a Latin word that literally means “twice cooked.” This term was used for baked goods that were baked twice, which turned them very dry and suitable for long storage periods and for travel.
Nowadays, biscotti exist in countless variations. After avoiding tins of stale biscotti when I was growing up, I fell in love with the treat when, as a young adult, I had the chance to travel to Tuscany. Rare were meals that didn’t end with a biscotto and a glass of vin santo, an amber-colored fortified Tuscan wine you’re meant to dip your cookie in. Vin santo and cantucci is a harmonious combo, a lightly sweet pairing that concludes a hearty meal in a simple, unfussy way.
I can rarely serve vin santo at home (it’s hard to find where I live), but you better believe this isn’t stopping me from baking and enjoying biscotti. The crunchy, nut-based cookie is just as good dipped in coffee or tea!
This recipe showcases my favorite flavor combination: Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti.
To me, pistachios make any dessert look and taste extraordinary, so they’re my nut of choice for biscotti. I like to add dried cranberries to the mix; their sharp and juicy flavor not only make the biscotti beautiful, but even more delicious as well. Finally, because I can rarely resist adding citrus to any dessert, I incorporate orange zest and a bit of juice in my pistachio biscotti.
Orange, cranberry, and pistachio is such a luxurious, festive combination of flavors. Nobody can resist it!
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