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Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

¾ cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste/extract
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup dried cranberries, diced
½ cup unsalted pistachio kernels, diced
150g white cooking chocolate, melted

Beat sugar, eggs and paste in a small bowl of an electric mixer for about 3 minutes, or until light and creamy.
Sift flour and baking powder into the sugar mixture along with the cranberries and pistachios. Beat on a low speed until the ingredients are combined and form soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Divide in half. Roll each half into a log 22cm by 6cm. Placed on a oven tray lined with baking paper.
Bake at 150˚C/130˚C fan-force for 30-35 minutes or until light golden brown and firm to touch. Cool for 5 minutes and then cut into 1.5cm-thick slices. Place on oven tray.
Cook in a very slow oven 120˚C or 100˚C fan-force for 20 - 25 minutes, or until firm. Cool on trays.
White Chocolate Icing: Place white chocolate in a heatproof, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50%) for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, or until smooth. Dip half of each biscotti into white chocolate. Place on a tray lined with baking paper. Stand at room temperature until set. Store in an airtight container.

The red, green and white make a perfect Christmas cookie.

Biscotti is a classic Italian cookie. The word "Biscotti" comes from bis and cotti, the Italian terms for twice-cooked or twice-baked. The dough is rolled into logs and baked once. They are then sliced and baked a second time to make them firm and crunchy.
Biscotti have been baked for centuries. Biscotti was the perfect food for sailors who were at sea for months at a time as all moisture is drawn out during the cooking process.
Italians favour them as dipping cookies dunking them in coffee, tea or an Italian wine – Vin Santo. The shelf-life of biscotti is 3-4 months.

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