These crunchy twice-baked Italian cookies are made for dunking in coffee or tea. To make them, cranberries and pistachios are folded into a not-too-sweet dough, which is baked in long rectangles, then cut into slices and baked again until very crisp. We recommend cutting these biscotti a bit smaller than the classic size so they’ll easily fit on a holiday cookie plate. Since they have a long shelf life and are quite sturdy, these biscuits also ship well in a Christmas cookie tin.
What to buy: Make sure to read the package ingredients and buy white chocolate that contains cocoa butter; this will ensure that the chocolate melts properly. Do not buy white chocolate chips.
Game plan: The biscotti can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
1Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2Whisk the measured flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to break up any lumps and aerate; set aside.
3Place the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until fluffy and light in color, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the beater and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
4Add the eggs, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the beater and the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula.
5Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the reserved flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Add the cranberries and pistachios and mix until evenly combined.
6Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 2 equal portions. Using your hands and flouring them as needed, shape each portion into a 10-by-1-1/2-inch rectangle. Transfer the rectangles onto the prepared baking sheet.
7Bake until light golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
8Remove the rectangles to a cutting board (reserve the baking sheet and parchment). Using a serrated knife, cut each rectangle crosswise on a slight diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick pieces that are about 4 inches long. Discard the end pieces. Place the remaining pieces flat on the reserved baking sheet, spacing them at least 1/4 inch apart.
9Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the biscotti and bake until the tops are dry to the touch and light golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Place the baking sheet on the wire rack and let the biscotti cool completely on the sheet, at least 30 minutes.
10Melt the chocolate, if using, in a small saucepan over low heat. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds to avoid burning.) Transfer it to a small resealable plastic bag, cut about 1/16 inch off one bottom corner, and drizzle the chocolate over the biscotti in a zigzag pattern. Let the biscotti sit until the chocolate has set, about 30 minutes. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.