Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti with White Chocolate
Whip up a batch of cranberry pistachio biscotti for Christmas! The nuts and dried fruit add festive flavor and satisfying texture. Drizzled with white chocolate, the Italian biscuits taste delicious dunked in coffee or tea.
One of my favorite treats to gift during the holiday season is biscotti. They keep well for up to two weeks if you can make them last that long! This Christmas variation features dried cranberries and pistachios. The natural red and green colors add a festive touch (just like my cranberry pistachio oatmeal cookies).
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Perfect for gifting! Biscotti recipes tend to make large batches, which is great for sharing.
- Keeps for two weeks. Since the biscuits are twice baked, there is less moisture in them. As a result, the dry texture makes them last a couple weeks if stored properly.
- Excellent flavor. The tart dried cranberries and crunchy pistachios taste delicious against the rich white chocolate drizzle.
- The right texture. Good biscotti should be crunchy and crispy, but soft enough to bite into. This is exactly what to expect with this recipe!
- Tried-and-true recipe. I started with my basic biscotti recipe, which I’ve perfected over the years. Adding some mix-ins and a white chocolate drizzle provides a festive touch!
- Butter: Use unsalted butter that is room temperature. It helps make a slightly soft texture.
- Baking powder: This leavening agent helps the dough rise in the oven. Check that it’s not expired!
- Eggs: Two large eggs help bind the dough together.
- Almond extract: This is a classic flavor often found in biscotti (I use it in this almond variation too). It also complements the nuts and dried fruit well.
- Pistachios: Use unsalted nuts and remove the shells if necessary. Measure first, then chop.
- Cranberries: If possible, use unsweetened dried cranberries so the biscotti doesn’t turn out too sweet.
- White chocolate: For the finishing touch, melt some white chocolate and drizzle it on top.
Refer to the recipe card for ingredient details and measurements.
Swap out the mix-ins. Almonds, walnuts or macadamia nuts also taste delicious with dried cranberries. Alternatively, use a different dried fruit, such as raisins or dried currants.
Add a different drizzle. If white chocolate isn’t your favorite, swap it out for the dark chocolate drizzle I use on my chocolate biscotti! Another option is to make a simple icing. Whisk together 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 Tablespoon milk or cream.
Make a small batch. Cut the recipe in half and bake one log of dough. Baking times remain the same (yields 15).
Add some orange flavor. This complements cranberries really well. Include 1 Tablespoon orange zest in the dry ingredients. You could also make an orange glaze, like I do for my cranberry orange scones.
How to Make Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
- Whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and almond extracts.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients just until combined.
- Stir in the chopped pistachios and dried cranberries.
- Form the dough into two logs, about 8 inches by 3 inches. Bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Cool loaves for 10 minutes, then use a serrated knife to cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces.
- Bake biscotti at 325 F for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Melt white chocolate and use a spoon to drizzle over cooled biscotti.
Let the logs cool only for 10 minutes after first bake. You want them to still be warm so it’s easy to cut. If it’s too hot, the biscotti will crumble. If it’s cooled completely, it will be too tough to cut.
Use a serrated knife and cut in a sawing motion. I find that this method is easiest and creates the cleanest cut.
Flip the biscotti during the second bake. This guarantees a crunchy biscotti that is evenly baked.
Cool completely on a wire rack after the second bake. This helps the cookies crisp up a bit.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Make sure the biscotti is completely cooled before storing so no moisture is trapped inside the container.
Freeze biscotti for up to 3 months (it freezes really well!) Wrap 5 to 6 pieces in plastic wrap, then place in an airtight container or freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature.
Make ahead the dough and keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Alternatively, you can wrap the dough logs in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for 48 hours or the freezer for 3 months. Bring to room temperature before baking.
I don’t suggest frozen fruit in biscotti. It will add too much moisture, which will make the dough soggy and the biscotti too soft.
Most likely they were not baked long enough during the second bake. If you like extra crisp biscotti, I suggest baking for 20 minutes during the second bake.
If the logs are crumbly while cutting them, it’s likely they were baked too long. I also suggest waiting 10 minutes for the logs to cool slightly. If they’re hot, it’s more likely they will fall apart when cut.
Did you enjoy this recipe? Try these festive treats next!
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Get the Recipe: Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti with White Chocolate
- 2 cup (250 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons (67 g or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- ¾ cup pistachios, chopped
- ¾ cup dried cranberries, preferably unsweetened
- ½ cup (85 g) white chocolate or melting wafers for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time until combined, then the vanilla extract and almond extract if using.
- Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in the pistachios and dried cranberries by hand.
- Halve the dough and turn both portions onto the prepared baking sheet. Using floured hands, quickly shape each portion of dough into a rough 8-inch by 3-inch log. Place the loaves about 4-inches apart on the baking sheet, patting each one smooth.
- Bake until the loaves until are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. Cool the loaves for 10 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 325° F.
- Transfer the loaves to a cutting board. With a serrated knife cut each loaf diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Lay the slices about 1/2-inch apart on the baking sheet, cut-side up.
- Bake at 325° F, turning over each cookie halfway through baking, until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Melt white chocolate wafers in the microwave on 50% power level, stopping to stir every 15 seconds until smooth. Drizzle melted chocolate over the cooled biscotti. Add additional chopped pistachios and dried cranberries for garnish if desired.