Wholemeal Cranberry, Pistachio and White Chocolate Biscotti for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap
11/12/2011 21 Comments
Few things come close to getting real, handwritten snail mail. Especially when the parcel is stuffed with holiday cookies. Three dozen of them, from other bake-happy food bloggers, to be exact. That was the premise of Lindsay (Love and Olive Oil) and Julie’s (The Little Kitchen) idea for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.
Sign up, receive three bloggers’ details, send them three dozen scrumptious cookies and receive three dozen in return. Eating + befriending new bloggers: wonderful! When Amanda from Easy Peasy Organic asked if I’d be interested in bringing the swap to Oz, I could hardly resist.
After a bit of back-and-forth (Christmas-themed? Middle Eastern? Classic?) I decided on something festive but also travel-friendly for delivery to my fellow swappers interstate: whole wheat biscotti with plump, tart cranberries and crunchy pistachios, drizzled with sweet, melty white chocolate.
Biscotti usually call for white flour, which I attribute to their occasional hardness. In this adaptation I used whole wheat flour plus raw sugar, resulting in a subtly sweet cookie with a bit extra give (read: easier on your teeth). They’re just right, doused with white chocolate warm from the oven, and dunked into your daily espresso (or 3-4 dailies for you Melburnians)… being sure to linger for an extra moment or two to soak in the hot coffee.
Biscotti make ideal holiday gifts for friends or coworkers, too. Place a few in a little tulle bag and tie with ribbon, or stack them high in mason jars for a sweet takeaway gift.
Big thanks to Lindsay and Julie for hosting the swap in the US, and a big hug + thanks to my Aussie bloggers – Amanda from Easy Peasy Organic, Sherilyn from Whole Promise and Steph from Bondville – who shared in the fun with me.
WHOLEMEAL CRANBERRY, PISTACHIO + WHITE CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup boiling water
3 cups wholemeal flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup raw caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whole unsalted pistachios
1 cup white cooking chocolate
Preheat oven to 190C / 375F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, soak cranberries in the boiling water for 10 minutes, until plump. Drain and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl to use with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well to incorporate after each egg. Beat in the vanilla.
On low speed, sift in the flour and salt, mixing until just combined. Add the cranberries and pistachios, mixing again slowly to combine.
Turn out the dough on a floured surface and divide in half. Form into two long logs, about 16″ x 2″, flattening the tops slightly. Bake, rotating halfway through, for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Reduce heat to 150C / 300F.
Using a serrated knife, slice crosswise into 1/2″ slices. Place back on the baking sheet, sliced sides down, and bake another 25 minutes until firm to the touch and lightly browned. Place back on the wire rack to cool.
Melt white chocolate over a double boiler. Using a spoon, drizzle chocolate all over, and allow them to set another 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Audio pairing: Mr Scruff, “Get a Move On”