I am so sorry I haven’t been keeping up on my personal rule to update this weekly. I’ve had things sitting in my archives ready to be written up but I’ve got the winter itch and even though it’s cold and snowy out. I’ve been trying to keep busy…Not to mention last weekend House of Cards Season 3 was released and every second I get to watch that I have been.
Now today we are getting hit with yet another storm (hopefully our last). And since my office is closed as of now, I am stuck at home and avoiding starting up netflix to continue my HoC marathon to share these delicious biscotti with you!
I was inspired to make something like this after having coffee with my friend at a local shop a few weeks back. We shared a cranberry pistachio biscotti and it was so good and such a perfect treat to go along with our lattes, that I knew I had to have some for myself!
I hand shelled all my pistachios which was fun….actually it was awful, but the main reason I made these was because I had a plethora of pistachios given to us a Christmas time. You can actually buy pistachios, shelled in the store.
Biscotti means “baked twice” and were intended to be dry so that they kept longer. Twice baked breads were a staple to the Roman Army since non-perishable foods were ideal for long journeys and during war times… But now I’m going into history lesson…back to eating.
If I didn’t mention it, they’re great with coffee because of their dryness. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth either so I really liked these as they aren’t too sweet- the icing is just enough!
I made a huge mess, as usual, but the dough is actually very easy to work with. It’s firm but still soft. Easy for making into 2 logs and then pressing down to make a loaf shape. That’s how you get the usual oblong shape you see with biscotti.
I find biscotti, in general very easy to make, and there is such a wide variety that you can create. I actually made black peppercorn and Parmesan cheese ones a few years back as an alternative to your traditional loaf of bread for a dinner party. Maybe I should revisit that…
Once your baking, cutting, baking,flipping, baking…is over you can cool them on a rack and be done or, like I did, add some icing.
My icing was a simple lemon zest icing andddddd word to the wise….line your counter tops after dipping in icing….
…because I yet again made myself a huge mess.
These came out delicious. My husband isn’t a huge fan of biscotti so I brought most of them to my office the next day and they did a fast disappearing act! Which was a good enough review for me.
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl (or mixer) beat the butter sugar and lemon zest together until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time and fully mix in before adding the other and then add vanilla. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add your flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend thoroughly. Stir in the nuts last. Your dough will be soft but manageable to remove by hand.
Lightly flour a working surface and divide your dough in half. Shape each half of the dough into a log about 1 1/2″ wide and 8″ long. Place both logs on a baking sheet and then press down to make them about 3/4″ thick. Bake until slightly puffed and a light golden brown on top. Around 20 minutes.
Cool the logs on the pan for about 10 minutes and slide them onto a cutting board. Using a long sharp knife cut across the logs and into your desired thickness (about 3/4″ is usual). Make sure to cut each one with a single swoop of the blade and avoid using a serrated knife and sawing into them…that will break them and crack them..they are still soft enough to cut but should be close to dry when cutting.
Place the cookies back on your baking sheet and bake another 8-10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and with tongs turn them over to the opposite side and bake for another 8-10 minutes. They should be a golden brown once they are done and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing: in a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, zest and lemon juice and mix until smooth. You can add a little less or more lemon juice to the icing depending on how thick you’d like it to be. Additionally, if you do not have enough lemon juice you can add a few drops of water or milk.
I dipped the top of my biscotti by simple “swiping” the tops across the top of the icing and then placing back on the wire rack until the icing sets.
Tip: place a piece of wax paper under your wire rack, because some excess icing may fall down and make a huge mess. (Like I did not do)