Mimi’s Christmas Biscotti

I’m not the first person to come up with the festive combination of dried cranberries and pistachios. They’re red and green, which, of course, is all about Christmas and the holiday season.

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Biscotti are twice-baked cookies. They’re first baked in flat logs, then sliced and baked again to dry them out.

I’ve always loved making different variations of biscotti, because they lend themselves to limitless variations. Because of that, I wanted a cookie base I could depend on, and this is my recipe for that base.

To it you can add dried cranberries and pistachios, or any other fruit and nut combination.

I’m going to type up my recipe as it was published in a local cookbook called “Cooking by the Boot Straps” – A Taste of Oklahoma Heaven Cooked Up By The Junior Welfare League of Enid, Oklahoma. I was honored that they included a few of my recipes in their book, which was published in 2002.

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So here’s the recipe:

Mimi’s Biscotti

Cookie Base:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour

Fruit and Nut Additions:
1 cup chopped dried fruit
3/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts

Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add the sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add 2 cups of the flour and beat just until combined.

Fold in the dried fruit and nuts with a wooden spoon. Chill, covered, 4 hours or overnight.

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Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Place 1 portion of the dough on a hard work surface. Use a small amount of the remaining scant 1/4 cup of flour to shape 1 portion of the dough into a log approximately 2 inches in diameter.

Arrange the log along the long side of a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Repeat the process with the remaining portion of the dough.

Pat each log into a rectangle about 1/2 inch in height.

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Place the logs in a preheated 350-degree oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Do not over brown. Remove from oven.

Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees and let the cookie logs cool for about 10 minutes.

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Slide the logs on to a cutting board using a metal spatula. Cut each log diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. My kids always begged for the “rejects,” which are the ends and any broken biscotti!

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Arrange the slices cut side down on a baking sheet.

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Dry in the oven for 30 minutes; turn. Dry for 30 minutes longer. Both sides should be hard and dry.

If necessary reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees and dry for 1 hour longer. Remembering that you are drying the cookies, not toasting them.

Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in re-sealable plastic bags. May freeze for up to 1 month.

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You may use dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried apricots, dried blueberries, dark or golden raisins as well as coconut and crystallized ginger for the chopped dried fruit.

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For the nuts, they all work – almonds, walnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, pecans, pine nuts, and hazelnuts.

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Be creative. Try cherry almond, cranberry pistachio, golden raisin pecan, hazelnut apricot or your favorite combinations. You may also add cinnamon, poppy seeds, sweet citrus oil, citrus zest and any extracts.

Makes 5 dozen biscotti.

By Published On: December 22nd, 201634 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

34 Comments

  1. anyone4curryandotherthings December 22, 2016 at 7:06 AM - Reply

    thank you Mimi for this – delicious and sounds easy to make !??Will be back in January 2017 but for now I wish you from my kitchen to yours a lovely peaceful and especially safe Christmas. Carina

  2. sallybr December 22, 2016 at 7:06 AM - Reply

    I want the biscotti. Two will be good for starters. And I am keeping that coffee cup. Mimi, where did you get it? I saw it on Facebook a few days ago and have been in love with it!

    • chef mimi December 22, 2016 at 3:20 PM - Reply

      It’s like a fake Mackenzie Childs – good it in some five and dime!

  3. apuginthekitchen December 22, 2016 at 7:45 AM - Reply

    Merry Christmas Mimi love that combination they look wonderful❤

  4. Ester December 22, 2016 at 7:55 AM - Reply

    Seems very good!

  5. Gerlinde @ Sunnycovechef December 22, 2016 at 8:43 AM - Reply

    I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. Your biscotti and photos look fabulous.

  6. StefanGourmet December 22, 2016 at 1:07 PM - Reply

    Hi Mimi, great recipe. I’ve never made them dried like this, my second bake has always been roughly equal to the first in terms of both time and temperature. That keeps them tender yet crunchy. I don’t like the tooth-breaking store-bought variety. I wonder what difference your technique will make.

    • chef mimi December 22, 2016 at 3:19 PM - Reply

      They don’t break your teeth, I hate that. The dough doesn’t allow them to be super hard even when dried out – maybe because of the eggs? But I also like dunking them…

  7. Laura @ Feast Wisely December 22, 2016 at 3:45 PM - Reply

    Happy Christmas 🎄- biscotti is something I’ve often wanted to try but haven’t for fear of it being a disaster – you make it look so easy!

  8. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso December 22, 2016 at 7:31 PM - Reply

    The crispier the biscotti, the better it is for me. Love dried cherries and pistachios together. Happy Holidays! :)

  9. anotherfoodieblogger December 22, 2016 at 7:43 PM - Reply

    I love your timeless recipes you post Mimi! I have so many favorites from my older recipe books. I’ve been munching on Trader Joe’s salt and pepper pistachios all day. :)

  10. Archana December 22, 2016 at 8:19 PM - Reply

    Looks amazing!! Cant wait to try these!!

  11. chezlerevefrancais December 23, 2016 at 12:45 AM - Reply

    I’ve never made these but it doesn’t look so daunting now. Yours look yummy! Happy Christmas Mimi

  12. Sumith December 23, 2016 at 1:58 AM - Reply

    Thank you Mimi for this great share.

  13. Sarah 'n Spice December 23, 2016 at 1:32 PM - Reply

    Your biscotti is beautiful! Merry Christmas :)

  14. Cocoa & Lavender December 23, 2016 at 4:28 PM - Reply

    Che bellissimmo biscotti!

  15. fatsochef December 23, 2016 at 9:07 PM - Reply

    I can’t wait to make these!!! 😍😍
    Thank you for the recipe and a Merry Christmas to you🎄!

  16. Karen December 25, 2016 at 11:31 AM - Reply

    The biscotti recipe is very appealing and I’m going to give it a try. Merry Christmas Mimi.

  17. sippitysup December 27, 2016 at 7:40 PM - Reply

    I’m missing the biscotti gene. I just can’t make them crispy in the right way. Next Christmas add me to your list. GREG

    • chef mimi December 28, 2016 at 6:23 PM - Reply

      You’re funny. Mine probably aren’t crispy enough for your tastes because of the eggs in the dough. They don’t crisp up in a tooth-breaking way!

  18. ChgoJohn January 3, 2017 at 8:21 AM - Reply

    Little late to the biscotti party,Mimi .. well, unless you stashed some in the freezer like i did …
    Your base recipe is similar to the one favored by Zia. I like the combo of pistachio with cranberries here for Christmas. The flavors are wonderful and the coloring very festive.

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