I tweaked this recipe by adding 1/4 cup of toasted almonds and desiccated coconut, 1/8 tsp almond essence and dipped them in chocolate.When I make them again I will increase the essence to 1/2 tsp for a richer taste of almonds.
150g plain flour (all purpose flour)
½ tsp baking powder
1 large egg (about 70g) – at room temperature
70g castor sugar
Pinch of salt
50g dried cranberries
⅛ tsp vanilla extract, more or less (optional)
Grated orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
Rehydrate cranberries – put in a plastic bag, pour water inside and immediately pour it out retaining some. Leave at room temperature for at least 2-3 hours or overnight. Before using, remove cranberries from the bag and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Rinse pistachios lightly. Pat dry with kitchen towel. (This step is optional)
Roast pistachios in a preheated oven for 2-3 minutes at 160°C. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour and baking powder and sieve. Add in orange zest and mix well. Use finger tips to break the lumps if any.
In another bowl, beat the egg lightly with a hand whisk or electrical mixer. Then add in sugar and salt. Beat until the mixture is fluffy and pale.
Add in vanilla extract (if used) and mix.
Add in flour and baking powder (from step 4). Use a plastic scraper to mix all the ingredients until well combined. You can use technique such as cut, press and scrape to mix.
Then add in the pistachios and cranberries. Mix until well combined and form a dough. At this stage, the dough is quite sticky. So, dust your hands and counter top with more flours before proceeding to the next step.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal portions, roll into log shapes (20cm length x 5cm width x 2cm thickness) and then flatten slightly. (refer to note 4)
Place the logs on a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper. Transfer the tray to oven, place at the lower rack and bake at 160°C for 30 minutes or until well risen and firm. If your logs show uneven colour, rotate them at 180 degree towards the last 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
When the logs are cooled, use serrated knife to cut it diagonally into thin slices (0.8cm thickness or lesser). Arrange slices on the lined baking tray, transfer to oven, place at the lowest rack and bake for a further 150°c for 12 minutes (6 minutes for each side) or until slightly golden brown.
Cool on rack and keep in an air-tight container for several weeks.
Dried cranberries can substituted with dried cherries.
You can substitute pistachios with other nuts (such almonds) or dried cranberries.
After keeping the biscotti for some time, they may turn soft. To crisp them, bake in a preheated oven at 150°c for 5-10 minutes.
Modified, prepared, tried and tested by: Preshana Singh