Let me introduce you to my mom’s favorite sweet treat. Biscotti.
If you have tasted the store-bought versions they are typically hard as a rock to bite into, and definitely not worth losing a tooth for. It’s nothing like a typical soft cookie. Yet, a wonderfully homemade batch of biscotti – are totally opposite. They have a sweet and crispy texture because they are baked twice and have a slight softness like a cookie.
Biscotti are traditionally made with almonds, but you can use any variation of nuts that you prefer. If you want to fancy them up a bit, you can dip them with chocolate for that extra sweet factor, too. I loved the wonderful combination of delicate pistachios and tart cherries in this recipe. Nutty and sweet.
I made a batch of biscotti for an Italian-themed party and for my mom because this recipe makes plenty to share. Biscotti’s are a nice substitute for cookies and you can store them in plastic containers and they should last for at least a week or two. The good thing about biscotti is that you can store them and enjoy them whenever you please, and you never feel compelled to finish them all in one sitting. Unless you wanted to.
Pistachio and Dried-Cherry Biscotti
Adapted from Bon Appetit May 2011
2 cups all-purpose flour1 cup sugar½ cup rolled oats1 teaspoon baking powder½ teaspoon baking soda2 large eggs3 Tablespoon olive oil1 tablespoon orange zest2 teaspoon lemon zest1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract½ teaspoon almond extract1 cup dried cherries
1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Make sure that the top rack is on the second to the highest tier and the lower one is in the middle.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of the stand mixer, mix the eggs, olive oil, orange & lemon zest, vanilla & almond extract until combined.
Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients until combined. Fold in the dried cherries & pistachios.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work area and divide the dough in half. Using floured hands, shape each dough half into a 16” inch long log. Wipe the excess flour off if any, and carefully transfer the logs to one of the prepared baking sheet. Flatten each log into a 2” inch wide strip.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating midway cooking time. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Using a serrated knife, cut strips into ⅓ inch thick slices, and transfer back to the baking sheets with cut side down.
Bake the biscotti for about 40 minutes, and remove from oven. Place on cooling racks.
Yield 4 dozen biscotti
Review: I love having biscotti any time of the day for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s the kind of cookie that I can eat one and walk away. My mom absolutely loves these biscotti because she loves to pack them up in her lunch bag and munch on them while she works. She is already requesting another batch for me to bake up.