Twice-baked.

This time of year I tend to go on a flour and sugar bender that results in mountains of cookies.  As much as I love my gingerbread men and sugar cookies, in recent years I have become partial to the more sophisticated cookies.  Enter: the biscotto (pl. biscotti)

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Biscotti literally means “twice-baked” in Italian as evidenced by their two-step baking process.

The bright and lemony dough is laced with pistachios and dried cherries.  The green pistachios and red cherries represent the colors of the season and, as I like to think, the Italian flag.I especially love them because they are not much more difficult to make than a drop cookie and are always a crowd-pleaser.  It is a light, simple dessert to end your meal of prime rib and lasagna (my Christmas is multi-cultural).

Buon Natale Biscotti

Ingredients

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
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dried cherries

Directions

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time along with the lemon zest, add flour-baking-powder-salt mix and mix until just combined, then fold in the pistachios and dried cherries.

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Drop the dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet

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And using damp hands, shape into a log.

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A 13 x 3 inch log to be exact.

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Bake the log for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until light golden.

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Like so:

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Allow to cool for 30 minutes

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Transfer to a cutting board and slice the baked log on a bias into 1/2-inch slices.

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Next, place the sliced cookies back on their respective baking sheets, face up.

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Return to the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.

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Allow to cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

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Biscotti were originally popular among the Romans because they had a long shelf life and allowed for long days of travel.  These days, the dryness of the cookie lends well to dipping.  Preferably in a cup of coffee and ideally in un cappuccino!

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Buon natale/Merry Christmas!

P.S. Buon appetito!

-Girl

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