Welcome to Monkeyshines in the Kitchen! This inaugural recipe is based on a chocolate biscotti recipe from a Ghirardelli chocolate bar wrapper, adapted to include cranberries, pistachios and cardamom.
2 c flour
1/2 t ground cardamom*
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3/4 c light brown sugar
4 oz butter, softened
1 t vanilla essence
2 large eggs
3/4 c pistachio nuts (unsalted, shelled)
3/4 c dried cranberries
* Freshly ground cardamom is vastly superior to the pre-bottled stuff; grind the seeds from ~8-10 green cardamom pods using a mortar and pestle to yield 1/2 teaspoon.
Preheat oven to 325º F
(i) Sift the flour into a bowl and mix with the baking powder, ground cardamom and salt.
(ii) Mix the butter and sugar using a hand mixer or a stand mixer until it's light and aerated.
(iii) Lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla essence and gradually beat into the butter/sugar mixture.
(iv) Add the flour mixture ~1/2 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly. The resulting dough will be firm but still a bit sticky.
(v) Mix in the cranberries and pistachios.
(vi) Divide dough in two and, on a lightly floured surface, form into 2 roughly equal logs, each about 12" x 2" x 3/4". Place 6" apart on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake at 325º F for 30 minutes, or until light brown and starting to crack a bit on top.
(vii) Remove from oven, transfer to a cutting board and slice diagonally into ~3/4" wide biscotti. Return to the cookie sheet (cut side down) and bake a further 10-15'.
The above yields biscotti that are a bit softer than the traditional kind; to add crunch, increase oven temperature to 350º F and/or cook for 10 minutes more.