Apr 21 2011
It shouldn’t be a secret that I have a fondness for pistachios. I find more fulfillment than I should in cracking open the shells and eating them one-by-one. Even though I start with a handful of 10, I have a hard time not eating half the bag in one sitting.
I’ve noticed a rise in appealing pistachio recipes lately, which gives me a way to enjoy pistachios in a less singular manner. Along with pistachio cake and Frankie’s pistachio pasta (mmm!), I now have this pistachio and cherry biscotti recipe in my ‘pistachio recipe arsenal’.
Biscotti isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I crave an afternoon snack. It really should be: satisfyingly crunching away on a few pieces craves my afternoon hunger more than a cookie or cupcake does. Also, I feel quite dignified sitting at my computer with a cup of tea and a few pieces of biscotti. (The American version of an afternoon tea? Have your tea but keep working!)
When I bit into my first piece of pistachio biscotti, I thought ‘this is surprisingly bland’. But the second bite floored me—suddenly the blandness had transformed into a seductive mix of citrus, cherry, and pistachio—each flavor appearing and then disappearing to give way to another flavor. When you make this, be ready for the second bite.
The unique combination of cherry and pistachio means this biscotti makes a delicious afternoon or evening snack—just be sure to pair it with a cup of tea.
Pistachio and Cherry Biscotti
Adapted from a recipe by Karen DeMasco of Locanda Verde
Makes about 3 dozen biscotti
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 medium eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
¾ cup dried cherries
1 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
1) Preheat over to 350. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment). Blend on low speed for 30 seconds.
2) In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil, zests, and extracts. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat until combined. Fold in the cherries and pistachios.
3) Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Shape each dough half into a 14-16 inch long log and flatten into a 2 inch wide strip. Transfer the logs to the baking sheet, making sure to leave 4-5 inches between the logs.
4) Baking, rotating halfway through, until brown and set, about 30 minutes. Transfer the logs to a rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
5) Reduce the oven’s temperature to 250. Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the baked logs to a work surface and cut each strip (using a serrated knife) diagonally into 1/3 inch thick slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on the baking sheets.
6) Bake the biscottis until crispy, roughly 40 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool!