1 1/3 cups dried cranberries or cherries
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pistachios, salted,shelled natural (green), or you can use almonds. You also can use 1/2 cup nuts, with 1/2 cup white chocolate chips.
Egg, lightly beaten
Course, granulated sugar (optional)
Zest of 1 orange (optional)
Soak cranberries in boiling-hot water to cover in a small bowl until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain, then pat dry with paper towels. This step is optional.
Preheat oven to 325º. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt tin a large bowl with an electric mixer at moderate speed until combined well. Add eggs and vanilla and beat just until a dough forms. Add cranberries and pistachios and mix at low speed just until incorporated.
Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and knead several times. Halve the dough, then form each half into a 13x2 inch, slightly flattened log on baking sheet, using floured hands and spacing logs about 3 inches apart. Brush logs with egg wash.
Bake in middle of oven until golden 25-30 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes. If desired, brush logs again with remaining egg wash and sprinkle coarse, granulated sugar on top. Transfer to a cutting board and cut diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices with a serrated knife. Arrange slices, cut side down, in 1 layer on baking sheet. (It's okay if the slices touch each other).
Bake in the middle of the oven, turning once after 10 minutes, until golden crisp, about 20 minutes.
NOTES: (Biscotti will keep in an airtight container at room temperature 3 weeks.
(2) Because this dough is very stiff, it does not need to be refrigerated before forming into logs.