It’s only 9 a.m., and I’ve already helped save Christmas for all the Whos in Whoville. I got to work at 8 this morning and was informed that I would be playing the role of Santa Claus today, and we would need to capture the Grinch. The 5-year-old handed me a Santa hat and beard, and we boarded an airplane headed to Whoville. Of course, we had to take a nap on the plane because it was such a long flight, but we eventually made it to Whoville, where the 5-year-old was ready to capture the Grinch (using string, of course). Unfortunately, she had to leave for school before we actually encountered the Grinch, but I’m sure we’ll continue the game this afternoon.
Kids have so much energy in the mornings.
Luckily, I was pretty energetic this morning too. All credit goes to the 6th cookie of the 12 days of Christmas cookies, which I may or may not have eaten for breakfast. After two days of cookie flops, I was excited to see Giada De Laurentis’ Holiday Biscotti as my cookie challenge for the day. First of all, who doesn’t love Giada? If she hadn’t already won my heart through her regular appearances on the Today Show, her line of kitchenware for Target would have really put her through the roof (we may or may not have selected a Giada coffeemaker because it was prettier than all the other coffeemakers). So, knowing that everything Giada touches is awesome, I was pretty pumped about using her recipe.
Of course, once I started reading the recipe, I got a bit nervous. Pistachios? In dessert? I seriously contemplated swapping pistachios for something else, but Eric insisted that we needed to go big or go home with this recipe. So I reluctantly purchased a $10 can of pistachios (seriously, why are nuts so expensive?). Let me tell you, these things are awesome. Hands down, the best biscotti I’ve ever eaten. The pistachios are perfect. And we got enough nuts in that $10 can to serve up this recipe several more times, which you can be certain I will do. And since these cookies make an awesome dessert, breakfast, or afternoon snack (with a nice cup of coffee), I think we’ll go through them fast!
The only change I made from Giada’s original recipe was the white chocolate coating. Apparently white chocolate has something against me, and always refuses to melt. It ends up turning into a big nasty clump. Every single time. Maybe it’s my use of Kroger-brand white chocolate chips, rather than the good-quality white chocolate requested in the recipe. So I used white almond bark instead. It melts so much easier and dries super fast, which is excellent for those of us who can’t wait to try a freshly baked cookie.
I’ll go ahead and apologize for my poorly lit photos. It’s dark here all the time, people. But Eric promises to build me a light box, so hopefully we’ll be snapping awesome photos soon.
Without further ado, here’s day 6’s recipe:
Giada De Laurentis’ Holiday Biscotti
recipe from Food Network
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (okay, so I didn’t have a lemon. I used clementine zest instead…)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dried cranberries
12 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped (I used almond bark)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat until just blended. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries.
Form the dough into a 13-inch-long, 3-inch-wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
Place the log on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick slices. Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
Stir the chocolate in a saucepan over low to medium heat until the chocolate melts. Dip half of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.
There you have it. A wonderful biscotti recipe, perfect for a chilly winter day. I hear there’s snow in the forecast for Lexington this afternoon! Hooray!
Don’t forget to check out Becca’s Spiced Gingerbread cookies from yesterday!