cookies for Santa—Italian-style

orange pistachio biscotti
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orange pistachio biscotti
Baked loaves
Orange pistachio biscotti

I‘ve been making these biscotti for a decade, and I’m not sure why I still think of them as “holiday” goodies, because they’re delicious all year round. Nevertheless, friends and family start queuing up in the fall, making sure they’re still on Santa’s “Nice List” to receive a bag in December. This is truly a treasured recipe. Buon Natale!—Amy Gross, Editor

Orange Pistachio Biscotti

These biscotti have a softer, easier-on-the-teeth texture than typical biscotti. Mountain dwellers should use the high- altitude version of the recipe, or you’ll end up with flat sticks rather than nicely rounded cookies. (The original recipe is included as well.) I like to prepare the batter in the evening and let it refrigerate overnight, then bake the cookies in the morning.

Makes about 58 cookies High-altitude recipe (6,000+ feet)*

3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt plus a couple of dashes
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 T. finely chopped orange zest (2–3 oranges)
4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 T. juice from the oranges
4 eggs
2 cups roasted salted or unsalted pistachios, shelled

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Beat butter until soft, then add sugar slowly, beating until fluffy. Add flour mixture slowly and at low speed, beating to combine. Stir in pistachios. Cover and chill for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.

Preheat oven to 360 degrees and line two baking pans with two sheets each of parchment paper. Divide dough into four sections. Roll each section onto a floured surface into logs about 13” long and 1 3/4” in diameter. Bake 2 logs on each pan about 4” apart for 25–28 minutes, until light golden brown.

Remove from oven. Using a serrated knife, slice the logs, which will have spread, into cookies 1/2–3/4” thick. Place the cookies, upright, back on the parchment-lined baking pans and bake for another 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks and store in tightly closed baggies or containers.

*Original recipe (low altitude)

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 T. finely chopped orange zest (2–3 oranges)
3 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups roasted, salted or unsalted pistachios, shelled

Follow instructions above but bake at 350 degrees.