I love Christmas baking and can't wait to get going on it the minute Halloween is over! This Christmas Biscotti recipe is one of my favorite Christmas baking recipes and always one of the first things I make.
This festive-looking Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti cookie is the ultimate holiday biscotti, makes a great edible gift, and is perfect for sharing at a holiday cookie exchange. And although they are a little indulgent, they’re still Weight Watchers friendly!
This recipe inspired me to create more biscotti recipes, including my Chocolate Marble Biscotti, Pumpkin Biscotti, and my Black Forest Biscotti. This biscotti is very popular during the holiday season, but delicious any time of the year!
This festive-looking Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti cookie makes a great edible gift and is perfect for sharing at a holiday cookie exchange. And because I only make it once a year, I make a lot of it - it's very popular around here. The pistachios and cranberries give it a really festive look, making it perfect for a Christmas brunch, or just for dunking in your own morning coffee!
- unsalted butter *you can substitute salted butter, but leave the salt out of the recipe
- white granulated sugar
- baking powder
- baking soda
- whole eggs
- vanilla extract
- almond extract
- all-purpose flour
- anise seed (aniseed)
- dried cranberries
- dried apricots
- pistachio nuts (shelled and unsalted)
*See recipe card for quantities
Heads up: There is a 2-hour chilling time before baking this Christmas biscotti cookie
Chop the pistachios and apricots (separately) into small pieces in your food processor. Set aside
In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds,
Then add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat until combined
Beat wet ingredients with dry ingredients until combined
Beat in the 3 eggs, vanilla, and almond extract until combined.
Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a large spoon.
Mix until blended.
Stir the anise, fennel seed, cranberries, pistachios, and apricots into the mixture
Stir with a wooden spoon until blended. *If dough is wet and sticky, add a little more flour until it feels like cookie dough
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (17 6 degrees C). Divide dough in half.
Shape each half into a 12-inch long log about 1 ½ inches thick on a greased cookie sheet or an ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place logs on separate cookie sheets or 1 large (jelly roll pan) pan 3 inches apart.
Flatten each log to a wide log that's a ¾ -1 inch thick loaf.
In a small bowl, combine the 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Brush egg mixture over loaves.
Use a pastry brush to brush loaves with egg wash (you will only need about half of the egg wash, so if you double the recipe, don't make extra egg wash)
Bake in preheated oven for 25- 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool loaves on cookie sheet for 10 minutes
Then move to cooling rack for 50 minutes or until completely cooled
When the loaves are cool, preheat oven temperature to 325 degrees F ( 176 degrees C) . Transfer loaves to a cutting board. Cut each loaf diagonally in ½ inch slices with a serrated knife (bread knife).
Place slices, cut sides down on prepared baking sheet (I wash them in between 1st and 2nd bake).
Bake a second time in the preheated oven for 7-10 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom.
Turn slices over and bake 7-10 minutes more or until the biscotti are dry and crisp.
Transfer to wire rack. Cool.
📖Variations & Substitutions
- Butter- you can use salted butter, but skip the salt in the recipe!
- Pistachios- you can use almonds instead, but you won't get the festive green color
- Cranberries- you can use dried cherries as a substitute
- Add-ins - add in a little orange zest, if you desire
In fact, I LOVE this cranberry pistachio biscotti recipe so much that I actually go into a withdrawal after the holidays are over and I'm trying to get back on a healthier eating plan. And that was the catalyst for the creation of these Healthy No Bake Post Holiday Energy Bites! These energy bites have all the same wonderful flavors as this holiday biscotti, but they are vegan, gluten-free and most importantly, not cookies!
For this Christmas Biscotti, you'll need a mixing bowl, an electric mixer, (either a hand mixer or a stand mixer), baking sheets, a sharp serrated knife, a cutting board, a food processor also comes in handy (for chopping the apricots). One of my favorite tools is a cake lifter/extra large spatula (in photo below) -I use it for so many things! (affiliate links).
I also love my high-heat silicon trivets! (affiliate link), pictured below. Unlike the cork or fabric ones, they are so easy to clean and come in round and rectangular (for larger pans) and multiple colors! And they are ON SALE (Black Friday) right now!
💭 Top tip
Use a serrated knife (affiliate link) to cut biscotti - it works the best!
As I mentioned, I give this Christmas Biscotti as an edible gift. I wrap them in festive packaging (a clear bag with a festive pattern) and put them inside Christmas mugs, with candy canes and coffee shop gift cards (a great gift for teachers), and add them to my platters of assorted baking and/or bring it along to holiday potluck dinners or brunches as a hostess gift, along with some delicious gourmet coffee. And it's perfect for a holiday cookie swap!
👪 Serving Size
This recipe makes up to 36- 48 servings (depending on how thick you slice). You can also cut this recipe in half by adjusting the serving size on the recipe card. Just click on the serving size (it's highlighted in blue) and select the number of servings you’d like. But you'll probably end up wanting to double it because they go fast, especially if you are giving away some as gifts. I always double the recipe, then I have biscotti way beyond the holidays!
- This biscotti can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
- This recipe freezes well (in an airtight container) for up to 3 months.
For years I didn't think I liked this twice-baked cookie because I had only tried it in coffee shops, where I found it too hard (like break-a-tooth-hard) and it was almost always stale.
I've had people tell me they love my biscotti because it is softer than most and has a really nice flavor (again, anise and fennel get a little more playtime here!) But it is still pure deliciousness and won't fall apart when dipped in coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cider, or warm milk (or any hot drink of your choice).
But the wonderful thing about this biscotti is that you don't HAVE to dip it - it is soft enough to eat without dipping! So, if you are looking for Christmas biscotti recipes, or a unique cookie exchange prospect, then give this Christmas biscotti a try!
Did you make this Christmas biscotti recipe? Please RATE THE RECIPE below!
📋 Christmas Biscotti Recipe (with cranberry and pistachio)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon anise seed
- ½ teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup pistachios (shelled and unsalted)
- ½ cup dried apricots finely chopped
Garnish: Egg Wash
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Heads up: There is a 2 hour chilling time before baking!
- *Instruction images are set to NOT print unless you select print images
- Chop the pistachios and apricots (separately) into small pieces in your food processor. Set aside
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds,
- Then add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined.
- Beat in the 3 eggs, vanilla, and almond extract until combined.
- Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a large spoon.
- Stir until fully incorporated
- Stir the anise, fennel seed, cranberries, pistachios and apricots into the mixture.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until blended.*If dough is wet and sticky, add a little more flour until it feels like cookie dough
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Divide dough in half.
- Shape each half into a 12 inch log about 1 ½ inches thick.Place logs 3 inches apart on the lightly greased large jelly pan or 2 separate baking sheets.Flatten each log to a ¾ -1 inch thick loaf.
- Combine the 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Brush egg mixture over loaves.
- Brush loaves with egg wash (you'll only need about half of it).
- Bake in preheated oven for 25- 30 minutes or until light brown.
- Allow loaves to cool on pan for 10 minutes before moving to cooling rack.
- Cool for 50 minutes on a cooling rack.
- When the loaves are cool, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Transfer loaves to a cutting board. Cut each loaf diagonally in approximately ½ inch thick slices
- Lay slices, cut sides down on cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned on bottom.
- Turn slices over and bake 5 -10 minutes more or until biscotti are dry and crisp.
- Move to wire rack until completely cooled.