Crazy for Craisins: Pistachio Cranberry Cookies and Cranberry Biscotti

Tom loves to snack on Craisins. Last week when I was at Costco and saw that they were selling bulk-size bags, I purchased a few. When I came home, Tom was incredulous that I had purchased nine pounds of Craisins, but I pointed out that they have a long shelf life and I could always use some of them for baking. (And Tom really couldn't have been all that surprised; he knows that I can never resist a bargain and all of those Craisins cost only $20. Tom bemusedly accompanied me to the grocery store yesterday as I cleaned out the entire stock of Land o' Lakes unsalted butter in the refrigerator case -- 22 pounds -- because it was on sale for only $2 a pound.)

Anyway, I figured it was time to start baking with Craisins. First, I tried a recipe for Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies from This is a simple slice and bake cookie flavored with dried cranberries, pistachios, orange rind and a touch of cinnamon. I shaped the dough into a rectangle and chilled it overnight. The next day, the dough was very easy to handle and cut, and it kept its shape well.

The finished cookies were buttery and crisp, like shortbread. I was a big fan, and I thought that the citrus accent added a perfect touch of distinctive brightness to the cookie. This beautiful cookie virtually screams "Christmas!" because of its red and green color scheme, and I am pretty sure these will end up on the menu for our annual holiday party.

The other cranberry recipe I tried yesterday was Dried Cranberry and White Chocolate Biscotti, also from The recipe instructs you to take the dough, divide it in half, and shape it into two skinny logs. I like my biscotti to be large, so I took all of the dough and shaped it into a single fat log. That turned out to be a mistake. You brush the outside of the log with beaten egg white before baking, and the outside of my log became quite dark brown before the inside was cooked through. As a result, when I sliced the log, the inside was a little mushy, and the finished biscotti didn't quite have the right texture.

Nonetheless, these biscotti were tasty. Even though the recipe uses only 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract, the almond flavor is very strong. I didn't even bother with the white chocolate because I didn't think it was necessary. I hope to try making these again soon -- at their proper smaller size -- and I can see how they would look especially festive with a white chocolate drizzle. Maybe next time! I certainly have a lot more Craisins to get through!



Mel said…
wow, is the land o lakes butter really that much better? i bought a bunch on sale too, admittedly not 22 pounds though.
I am a huge fan of Land o Lakes, if for no only reason other than it's incredibly consistent and you can buy it everywhere. I did once try making cookies with Trader Joe's butter and I got horrible results.
Unknown said…
I think you failed to mention that you bought even more Craisins a couple of days after bringing home 9 pounds!

Coming soon -- all Craisin recipes all the time at!

I do like them -- and they are even better in your baked goods!
Mel said…
we just tried a great recipe for dried cranberry bread pudding from one of charlie trotter's cookbooks. the best bread pudding i've ever had. email me if you want the recipe :)