Cherry Pistachio Biscotti

November 25th, 2009  |  13 Comments

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-final
After the mountain of a post from last week, I had just enough pep to knock out an easy one. Biscotti are one of the first things I’ve ever learned to make — a beginner’s recipe, to be sure. Essentially, you stir it all up, form dubious looking logs, and bake. You can make it with one hand tied behind your back, when you’re drowsy, when you’re breast-feeding, when you’re in a heated debate, or even while you’re driving, if you’re eccentric enough to have an oven in your car. It’s that mindless. I was even too lazy to break out the KitchenAid, for pete’s sake.


It’s also worth mentioning that, other than the fat from the eggs and nuts, this recipe is mercifully fat-free. No butter, no oil. And after Thanksgiving, once you’ve stuffed the turkey and the turkey has stuffed you, you might be relieved to have a recipe that won’t leave you out of breath from flicking off the lights.

You may already know “biscotti” means “twice baked.” Once the logs are cooled, they get sliced on the bias, and toasted just enough to provide a pleasant crunch when dipped in your pumpkin-flavored coffee but not so much that you chip a tooth when biting in. (If you do chip a tooth, see my brother.) Also, “biscotti”, as my, former, very Italian boyfriend liked to point out is plural and what I really meant to say was “biscotto” when I asked for one. Who said I was asking for just one?

I wish you all a Thanksgiving to remember!

Cherry Pistachio Biscotti

makes about 30

1 1/2 cups + 3 tablesoons (350g) sugar
2 1/2 cups (350g) flour
1/2 tsp (3g) baking powder
1 lemon zest
3 large eggs
1 cup (150g) pistachios
2/3 cup (120g) dried cherries

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. All set:

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-ingredients

 

2. Stir up the sugar, flour, baking powder, and lemon zest in a large bowl.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-dry

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-dry-mix

 

2. In a separate small bowl, whisk up the eggs…

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-whisk-eggs

 

… and pour it around the dry stuff.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-add-eggs

 

3. Swoosh it and stir it and mix it around. It looks like too little liquid for the amount of dry stuff in the bowl, but be persistent.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-stir

 

Eventually it gets moister and crumbly.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-crumbly

 

4. Then smoosh it up with your hand until a dough forms.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-dough

 

5. Coarsely chop the pistachios and dried cherries.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-chop-nuts

 

Work them into the dough.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-knead-in-nuts

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-dough-ready

 

6. On a lightly floured spot, roll the dough into 2 or 3 logs, about 2″ in diameter. Their length will depend on how long your sheet pan is.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-roll-1

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-roll-2

 

Lay them out on a parchment lined sheet pan. The dough gets lots of rise, even almost doubles while baking, so the logs should be a fair distance apart. I got 2.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-rolled

 

7. Bake for about 30 minutes. The top will be pale golden, and so will the underside. Keep your shirt on while they cool, about an hour. You can keep the oven heated if you want, (maybe your house is cold, who knows?) to toast them once they’re sliced, or you can preheat the oven right before you’re ready to toast.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-baked

 

8. When they’re mostly cool, slice them on a steep bias in 1/2 inch pieces. The cookie is quite firm and sturdy, so it’s best to use a serrated knife and work with a back-and-forth sawing motion, like you’re chopping down a tree. I’ve seen people try to slice them while pushing the knife downward, and all it does is mangle the cookies. A back and forth glide will give the cleanest cut.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-slice

 

9. Spread them out back-to-back on a parchment-lined baking sheet…

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-spread-out

 

…and get ‘em toasting.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-toast

 

Toast on one side for a few minutes (about 7), then flip them all (use tongs, or a fork, or even your calloused fingers), and toast them for 5 more minutes. They’ll take on a slightly darker hue along the edges. You can even bite into one to test it for your preferred amount of crunch and if it’s still too soft, keep toasting for a few more minutes. They’ll be great for a week at room temp in an airtight container.

cherry-pistachio-toasted

 

I couldn’t wait.

cherry-pistachio-biscotti-two

Cherry Pistachio Biscotti

makes about 30

1 1/2 cups + 3 tablesoons (350g) sugar
2 1/2 cups (350g) flour
1/2 tsp (3g) baking powder
1 lemon zest
3 large eggs
1 cup (150g) pistachios
2/3 cup (120g) dried cherries

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Stir up the sugar, flour, baking powder, and lemon zest in a large bowl.

2. In a separate small bowl, whisk up the eggs and pour it over the dry stuff. Swoosh it and stir it and mix it around. It looks like too little liquid for the amount of dry stuff in the bowl, but be persistent. Then smoosh it up with your hand until a dough forms.

3. Coarsely chop the pistachios and dried cherries. Work them into the dough.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into 2 or 3 logs, about 2″ in diameter. Their length will depend on how long your sheet pan is. Lay them out on a parchment lined sheet pan. The dough gets lots of rise, even almost doubles while baking, so the logs should be a fair distance apart. I got 2 logs from this dough.

5. Bake for about 30 minutes. The top will be pale golden, and so will the underside. Keep your shirt on while they cool, about an hour. You can keep the oven heated if you want, (maybe your house is cold, who knows?) to toast them once they’re sliced, or you can preheat the oven right before you’re ready to toast.

6. When they’re mostly cool, slice them on a steep bias in 1/2 inch pieces. The cookie is quite firm and sturdy, so it’s best to use a serrated knife and work with a back-and-forth sawing motion, like you’re chopping down a tree. I’ve seen people try to slice them while pushing the knife downward, and all it does is mangle the cookies. A back and forth glide will give the cleanest cut.

7. Spread them out back-to-back on a parchment-lined baking sheet and get ‘em toasting. Toast on one side for a few minutes (about 7), then flip them all (use tongs, or a fork, or even your calloused fingers), and toast them for 5 more minutes. They’ll take on a slightly darker hue along the edges. You can even bite into one to test it for your preferred amount of crunch and if it’s still too soft, keep toasting. They’ll be great for a week at room temp in an airtight container.






13 Responses to “Cherry Pistachio Biscotti”

  1. LOL I love how you used examples to show how simple it is to make biscotti. I’ve always loved biscotti, but never tried making it. With the help of your beuatiful pictures, I’m looking forward to giving it ago. I’m so glad it’s a recipe using whole egg, rather either the yolk or the whites, makes it much easier.

  2. Deanna says:

    I love biscotti! Could never figure out why they’re so expensive to buy already made in the store – so easy to make yourself! Hardest part is probably shelling the pistachios… Happiest of Thanksgivings to you!

  3. yum yum. as usual I want to run to the kitchen to try this. except, its er 2 am. should I wait? nah. you inspire me. keep it up. are you gonna do a yule log for us? obligatory don’t you think?

  4. Xiaolu says:

    This looks great, Irina! I just got some dried cherries that I want to use up. The colors are so wonderfully festive, too.

  5. These look delicious! But I haven’t ever made, or even tasted biscotti. So I’ve never been urged to make it. Your step-by-steps atleast clarify the process for me! They are so easy! I hope to make some soon!

  6. Jaime says:

    Hi,

    Have been reading your website for a while, and want to say what a great job you’ve done. It’s very helpful for an amateur to be able to see the step by step process. Thanks for all your hardwork! I tried this recipe, but am having trouble with the biscoti sticking to the parchment paper… is there a reason for this? Or maybe my skills are sorely lacking.. sigh

  7. PastryPal says:

    Jaine — Glad you’re finding some use from this site. Do you mean the biscotti stick to the parchment after the first baking? Yes, that’s normal, you gently peel it off.

  8. kate says:

    these are beautiful…they look like a christmas gift waiting to happen. thanks.

  9. Mrs Ergül says:

    i love biscotti! Thank you so much for telling us so much about biscotti!

  10. Yana says:

    I just made these on a yucky, cold Sunday in my newly fixed oven. Yum!

  11. C&C says:

    I always lose a few slices , since they dont always cut in neat straight lines.
    Does this depend on the baking time for the first bake? I am wondering where I am going wrong.

    Thanks.

  12. What would happen if you added butter ( 1 stick) and a pinch of salt to the recipe?

  13. PastryPal says:

    Hello Dr. Weinberg — My bro is a dentist, too! It’s perfect — I eat sweets and he fixes my teeth.

    You can add the pinch of salt with no problem. It’s a good idea and will enhance the flavors. The butter will change the nature of the cookie all together, but they may still be quite good. My guess is they will probably spread a lot and be more tender, like a soft-chew cookie. I think it’s worth a try, and if you do, let us know.

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