While blog hopping yesterday I ran across a picture of pistachio biscotti. I looked at several recipes, took the best of each and made pistachio almond pistachio biscotti with orange zest, dipped in milk chocolate and sprinkled with chopped pistachios. It sounds like a really complicated cookie but it really is easy. I must admit I had to make two batches because I burned the first batch.
Biscotti are baked twice and the cooking time was too long for the first baking. They were already too brown on the bottom when I realized that my donkeys were out of water. Heaven forbid they drink from the irrigation ditch. While I was filling the donkey watering trough, my cookies were getting very brown on the bottom. I took them out of the oven, sliced them for the second baking, and put them back in the oven for the second baking. I was still hoping to salvage them. The biscotti death knell occurred when I turned off the oven after the second baking but failed to take the cookies out of the oven. The acrid smell of smoke wafted into the living room, promoting me to step away from my computer to check things out. That is when I realized the cookies were still in the oven. Hmmmm. They were officially beyond hope for humans but still fit for chickens, goats, donkeys and emus. I tried to break them into smaller pieces but they were too hard to break with my old lady hands. I had to drag the food processor in from the service porch to chop these cookies up for the animals. The good news is the animals loved them, except for little Diana who spat hers out on my foot. She's like that.
The really good news is that I made a second batch that didn't burn. This was a bit of a miracle in and of itself. I had to go into town for a dental appointment, leaving Michael to take the biscotti out of the oven after the second baking. I set the oven timer and he set a timer on his cell phone and I drove off, hoping for the best. I returned to the house smelling of almonds and orange and perfectly light golden brown biscotti on the kitchen counter. All that was left to do was dip them in melted chocolate, add chopped pistachios and brew the coffee.
Here are the lovely biscotti, photographed this morning with a cup of espresso and cream and a newspaper article about our beautiful 1800's farmhouse.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 TBS baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup chopped pistachios
- 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk (reserve the white)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 large bag chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate but semi-sweet or dark would work well)
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- In a large mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt, almonds, and pistachios. I used the bowl of my stand mixer. Whisk to mix well. Beat the 2 whole eggs and one egg yolk lightly in a small bowl. Add the vanilla and orange zest. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Using the dough hook on your stand mixer, mix the batter on low setting for a minute then increase to medium and continue to knead the dough for an additional three minutes. You can also do this by hand but the dough is sticky and very stiff so the mixer is an easier alternative. If the batter is too dry add the extra egg white, a little at a time until a stiff but still sticky dough forms.
- Divide the dough into half and spread each half out into a log shape about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. Leave adequate space between the logs for them to expand when baking. The dough is easier to handle if your hands are wet otherwise it will just stick to your hands. Gently flatten each log to about an inch thick because it will rise during baking. If you have any of the egg white left you can brush the tops of the logs with it to aid browning. If you used it, no need to crack another egg, just leave it off. Bake the biscotti for 17 to 20 minutes or until they are lightly golden brown and the top center feels firm to the touch. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Allow the logs to cool slightly then cut into ¾ inch slices. Place the slices with the cut side down back on the parchment paper. Return the biscotti to the oven and bake an addition 8 10 minutes until they are crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe sallow dish and heat for one minute. remove from the microwave and stir. Continue melting the chocolate at 15 second intervals, stirring in between. When the chocolate is completely melted and smooth dip the bottoms of the biscotti in the chocolate and place on a cooling rack, chocolate side facing up. Sprinkle the cookies with the chopped pistachios and allow the chocolate to harden before eating.