Christmas preparations.

I spent the day buzzing about the house, trying to get as much of my holiday prep work done as possible. It was raining hard for most of the day, so I didn’t want to go out, so I started writing out the Christmas cards, tidied the house up, knit on my nephew’s scarf for a while, and did a little preliminary baking – a test run of sorts. You see, I had recently bought some cranberry pistachio biscotti from Trader Joe’s (my favorite market) – and while they were good, I thought they could be a little better. So I found a basic biscotti recipe, and tweaked it a bit. The aromas wafting through the house were driving me to distraction, and my DH voiced a similar reaction. I was so pleased with the results, I thought I’d share. The recipe is so easy, and it tastes like it wasn’t!

Ria’s Easy White Chocolate, Cranberry, Pistachio Biscotti

3 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon orange extract

1/2 cup vodka (you’ll see why…)

1/2 stick (4 tbs) of butter or margarine – room temperature

4 large eggs

1 3/4 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup crushed pistachio nuts

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder & coarse salt. I used what I had – pink himalayan seasalt – a gift from a few years back, and it works incredibly well in baking.

Cut in the butter or margarine.

In a measuring cup mix the 3 extracts with the 1/2 cup of vodka. The alcohol intensifies the flavors, and then evaporates off, leaving no hint that it was ever used. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients & lightly stir.

In a small bowl, break & lightly beat 4 eggs together & add that to the dry mixture.

Mix well, until a sticky dough is formed. If your mixture is a bit too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of milk or water.

When the dough is well mixed & of a slightly sticky consistency, mix in the cranberries, white chocolate chips, & pistachios. (I got all three from Trader Joe’s.)

Using a pan lined with either silpat or parchment paper, form the dough into a long loaf. Smooth out the sides and flatten the top to create a maximum thickness of 1 inch. The dough will spread a bit when heated.

Bake for 35-45 minutes @ 325 degrees. Take pan out & allow to cool for 20 mins. Slice loaf in half once length-wise, and then slice across to make 3/4 inch slices. Lay these slices flat on another pan & return them to the oven for 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, and turn the biscotti over. Return them to the oven one last time & bake for 10-15 mins more. Let cool & devour!

♥♥♥  ♥♥♥  ♥♥♥  ♥♥♥  ♥♥♥  ♥♥♥  ♥♥♥  ♥♥♥  ♥♥♥  ♥♥♥  ♥♥♥  ♥♥♥  ♥♥♥

The resulting biscotti are relatively low-fat, not overly sweet, and makes a nice treat to have with your tea or coffee. I hope you enjoy the recipe! If you do try them, I’d love to hear how they came out for you.

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