Cranberry pistachio biscotti is the perfect homemade gift for friends and family. Studded with sweetened cranberries and pistachios, these crunchy double baked cookies are the perfect holiday treat. They are drizzled with melted white chocolate to make them extra festive.
I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.
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Why you should make this recipe
- Perfect for holiday gatherings – A great addition to Christmas cookie platters or parties. The recipe makes 2 dozen, enough to share with friends and family.
- Sturdy – Biscotti are a very sturdy cookie, so they are the ideal cookie to ship because they are not prone to breaking.
- Make ahead – Biscotti can be made ahead. It will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Cranberry pistachio biscotti
The holidays are upon us and that means cookies. I love making homemade gifts for friends and family, especially those that live far away.
If you are wondering how to ship cookies to loved ones this holiday season, check out my post showing you the best way to mail cookies so they arrive intact. These cranberry pistachio biscotti are great for shipping in care packages because they hold up really well.
Speaking of holding up really well, they are perfect for that holiday cookie exchange you signed up for and now you’re not sure what to make. They are festive, pretty and easy to make.
They only take about an hour from start to finish and it’s nice to have something different to add to your holiday cookies.
Easy to make, with common pantry ingredients, you will be enjoying homemade biscotti in no time.
- Flour – Weighing your flour is the most accurate way to measure. I highly recommend using a scale to measure flour.
- Sugar – Provides just enough sweetness to our cranberry pistachio biscotti.
- Eggs – Provide moisture and structure to the dough.
- Baking powder – Baking powder gives the biscotti a bit of lift.
- Sea salt – All baked goods need salt.
- Vanilla extract – Gives baked goods that familiar warm flavor we all love.
- Substitutions: Use almond extract in place of vanilla for a slightly nuttier flavor.
- Butter – Use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt in your baked goods.
- Pistachios – Pistachios are delicious and they give the biscotti green pops of color to go with the red from the cranberries.
- Substitutions: No pistachios? Try almonds instead. Nut allergy? Omit them and add extra dried fruit.
- Sweetened dried cranberries – Red pieces of dried cranberries (Craisins) to go with the green of the pistachio to make these biscotti very festive, and they add sweet and tart flavor.
How to make
Here’s a quick summary of how to make cranberry pistachio biscotti. Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
As with any and all recipes, read it through before you begin. Gather all of your ingredients and measure everything ahead of time. This is your “mise-en-place“. You want to make sure you have everything you need BEFORE you begin.
- Prep – Preheat oven to 375°F // 190°C. Make the dough while the oven is preheating.
- Form – On a parchment lined sheet pan, form two loaves of dough roughly 3 inches wide and ¾ in. thick.
- Bake – Bake biscotti, then cool slightly.
- Slice – Gently slice the loaves of biscotti and place them back on the baking sheet for the second bake.
This is the scale that I own and use daily. It is easy to use, plus it measures in pounds, ounces and grams.
Measuring ingredients by weight, ESPECIALLY in baking, is much more accurate than cup measurement.
How to cut biscotti without breaking
If this is your first time making biscotti, this is a great place to start because it is a simple recipe. The first time I made biscotti, I held my breath the entire time I was slicing because I was *sure* that they would shatter into a thousand pieces. They did not.
The key to slicing biscotti without breaking them is a two-parter.
- First, you must be gentle. They will be warm when you are slicing them. If you try to cut biscotti when they are too warm, they will break apart. Let them cool enough to handle before trying to slice. Try not to “saw” through them, but do it in two motions if you can. Push the knife forward for your initial cut and drag it back through to finish. Don’t apply too much downward pressure – let the knife do the work.
- The other issue to consider is using the proper knife for the job. My go-to serrated knife for this task is a wavy edge knife. The blade is thin enough to slice through biscotti and other delicate items without breaking them.
Pro Tip: If you want to make your biscotti extra crunchy, let them dry out after baking in a warm oven for 20 – 30 minutes with the door barely cracked open.
Cranberry pistachio biscotti FAQ’s
Yes! Biscotti freezes really well. If freezing, do not drizzled with melted chocolate. Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Absolutely. Omit the pistachios and add extra dried fruit, or mini chocolate chips.
Variations and substitutions
- Use what you have – If you are out of dried cranberries, but you have dried cherries, use them! No pistachios? Use chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts.
- Citrusy – Add a tablespoon of orange zest to the dough.
- Chocolatey – Add 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips to the dough.
Holiday biscotti with cranberries and pistachios are a great homemade gift to share with friends, coworkers and neighbors. I use these cellophane holiday cookie bags to gift them. It’s a quick, easy and inexpensive option, especially for cookie exchanges.
We make dozens of cookies, but I also like to have biscotti on hand, especially for dunking into a strong cup of coffee.
Helpful tools and equipment
- Heavy duty sheet pans that hold up to high temps without warping.
- Parchment paper sheets are MUCH easier to use than tearing pieces off of a roll.
- Wavy edge serrated knife – A well-priced knife that will last for years.
- Silpat baking mat – Worth every penny and a GREAT gift for bakers.
- stand mixer – If you like to cook and/or bake, this is a must have.
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- 3 c. all-purpose flour // 360g
- ¾ c. granulated sugar // 150g
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ½ sticks butter, softened // 170g // 12tbsp.
- ½ cup shelled pistachios //75g
- ¾ cup sweetened dried cranberries // 125g
- 2 ounces white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled // 1/4 cup ( I used a Lindt white chocolate bar)
- Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C / Gas mark 5.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or medium bowl), beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. About 4 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time, incorporating fully before adding another egg.
- Add vanilla and beat to combine, then add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Mix in pistachios and cranberries until mostly combined, do not overmix. You can press them into the dough when forming the loaves, if needed.
- On a parchment lined sheet pan, form two loaves of dough roughly 3 inches (8cm) wide and ¾ inch (2cm) thick.
- Bake for 22 – 24 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes.
- Slice loaves into ½ inch slices and lay the slices on their sides.
- Reduce heat to 300°F and bake for an additional 20 minutes (Add an additional 5 - 10 minutes if you want the biscotti EXTRA crunchy).
- Move to cooling rack to cool completely before drizzling with melted chocolate.
Melt white chocolate in microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Stir. If it is mostly melted, set aside. If not, microwave in 10 - 15 second increments. The residual heat will finish melting the rest of the chocolate. Be careful not to burn your chocolate, it can happen rather quickly if you aren't keeping an eye on it.
Dip one end and place on parchment paper to set, or drizzle melted chocolate with a piping bag, or snip a corner from a zip top bag. Let the chocolate set up for about an hour. To reduce that time, you can slide them into the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Store biscotti at room temperature in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks. If freezing biscotti, do not drizzle with chocolate.
Serving Size:1 biscotti
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 184mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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Originally published 12/4/17, most recent update 11/21/23.