There’s something extra special-like about homemade gifts, don’t you agree? Because you know the person who is giving you the homemade gift really took the time to think about what you like, and make it just for you. Even if it is, say, a lime green crocheted scarf for your cat.
One of my favorite gifts to give are baking mixes in jars — because if you can’t actually bake the cookies/bread/pancakes/snack mix for the person, you can certainly hand her a jarful of the goodies to make herself. And this season, I’ll be giving the gift of cherry, coconut and pistachio biscotti in jar form. It’s gonna be grand.
This particular mix is made with Diamond of California shelled pistachios, which is nothing short of amazing for this baker who hates (read: HATES) shelling all those dang pistachios before adding them to baked goods. See those two bags there? There are no leftovers. What didn’t go into the gift jar mixes went straight to my mouth. You know you’d do the same.
But I digress; let’s talk more about those cookie gift jar mixes. The contents of this jar include flour, baking powder, salt, stone-ground cornmeal (it adds crunch! and yums!), sugar, dried cherries (or cranberries, if you fancy those), shelled pistachios and unsweetened shredded coconut. The smell alone of the mix will make you want to dump it all out into a bowl and make it for yourself, but restrain yourself! ‘Tis the season of giving, remember, and you can always force your friends to make the biscotti immediately upon receiving the gift jar so you can try some. I’m sure they won’t mind.
The combination of tart-sweet dried cherries, shredded coconut and pistachios here, by the way, is divine. It lends the perfect blend of sweet/tart/nutty flavors to the biscotti, as well as awesome texture along with the cornmeal. And of course, being that biscotti is a rather crunchy cookie by nature, it’s best that you recommend serving these with a cup of hot coffee or tea on the side for dunking. Maybe even include a gift card to a coffee shop or something with the gift jar: OOOOOO YES DO THAT. Or bring over a fresh coffee for your dear friend that she can sip on while she bakes you the biscotti immediately as per your polite request. That’s what friends are for.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited to use all that time otherwise spent shelling pistachios making these gift jar mixes and giving them away to friends and family. And eating all that biscotti. This is the most wonderful time of the year.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup dried cherries or cranberries
- ½ cup Diamond of California shelled pistachios
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Zest of 1 small lemon
- To make the gift jar: In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Add mixture to a large (at least 1 quart) mason jar. Top with cornmeal, sugar, dried cherries, pistachios and shredded coconut. Seal jar and gift to a friend with recipe instructions.
- To make the biscotti: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pour all ingredients from mason jar into a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs, oil and lemon zest until combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; stir thoroughly to combine.
- Shape and pat dough into a roughly 14-by-4-inch log on prepared baking sheet. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown and set. Cool completely.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Use a serrated knife to slice log diagonally into ½-inch slices. Place biscotti cut-side down on parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced at least a ½-inch apart. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, rotating sheet and flipping biscotti over halfway through, until biscotti are golden around the edges. Cool completely.
Disclosure: I received compensation from Diamond of California for recipe development purposes. All opinions are my own.