Friday, January 14, 2011

Chocolate and Pistachio Biscotti

I always prefer cookies that compliment my mid-morning latte. Enter biscotti. Bonus points if the biscotti flavors compliment the latte, like chocolate perhaps. I also like how biscotti keeps well in the fridge, you can make a batch and enjoy it for weeks instead of stomaching 2 day old stale cookies. Not every store will sell raw, shelled pistachios, but if you can find them I'd give this recipe a shot.

You can also be extra fancy and make gift worthy biscotti by dipping each cookie with chocolate and sprinkle on a few chopped pistachio pieces.

Chocolate and Pistachio Biscotti
-makes 3-4 dozen biscotti

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups raw pistachios
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Melted bittersweet chocolate, for dipping
Chopped pistachios, for sprinkling

- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla and rum and beat until smooth. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix at low speed until incorporated. Mix in the whole pistachios.

- Remove dough from bowl and divide into 4 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 1 1/4-inch-thick log. Arrange 2 logs on each baking sheet about 3 inches apart and press to flatten slightly and brush the logs with the egg white.

- Bake the logs 23-25 minutes, until the tops are cracked and glossy. Let the logs cool slightly. Using a sharp chef's knife (this works better than a serrated knife), cut the logs into 1/3-1/2 inch thick diagonal slices. Arrange the slices on the baking sheets and bake for another 20 minutes, until dry. Let cool completely.

- Optional:
Partially dip the biscotti in the melted chocolate and sprinkle lightly with chopped pistachios. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set.

Adapted from Kevin Sbraga, Food and Wine Magazine

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