MNN Galleries

5 less-decadent desserts and snacks

By: Enrique Gili on Dec. 22, 2011, 1:48 p.m.

Photo: Hannamariah/Shutterstock

2 of 7

Christmas Biscotti

An easy intro to baking that’s no less tasty for being so simple. In this recipe, we've cut back on the amount of pistachios and substituted canola oil for butter.
Christmas Biscotti


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 level teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ounces canola oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, white or brown
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 or 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachios, shelled
  • Zest of 1 orange
Time estimates

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes, plus time to cool


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine 2 cups flour, salt and baking soda in large mixing bowl. In a second bowl, combine oil, sugar and vanilla extract. Blend for a creamy consistency, about a minute. Stir in eggs until blended, about 1 or two minutes.
  3. Indent flour and pour liquid batter into hole. Fold ingredients together until a consistent, sticky dough forms, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add extra flour as needed. Combine cranberries, pistachios and zest. Rinse hands under cold water and gently knead dough. Divide into halves.
  4. Rinse hands under cold water and transfer dough to lightly 
greased foil-lined baking sheet. Shape into 2 small loaves. Place on center rack and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until light brown.
  5. Remove from oven. Reduce heat to 275. Let stand for 10 minutes
 to allow to cool. Slice diagonally into half-inch wedges. Return wedges to oven for 10 minutes, or until golden.
Makes about 30 biscotti