One of my jobs on my monthly “to do list” is to keep my husband’s biscotti jar full. I have to admit however that I have been falling short in that endeavor the past few months. Last week I finally got around to baking my first batch of cookies since Christmas to once again fill up that darn cookie jar. When it comes to his biscotti, my husband doesn’t have any favorite flavors though he does like nuts. Since I get bored baking the same old thing, this gives me the opportunity to try out new flavor combinations every time I bake for him. This batch of biscotti contains both dried sour cherries and pistachios with some vanilla, which was a unique flavor combination that was delicious.
Biscotti translates as twice baked, because these cookies are first baked into a log, then are sliced and then baked again creating crisp cookies that are perfect to dip into a cup of foamy cappuccino or a glass of sweet wine. Depending on how much fat you add to these cookies will determine just how crisp they become. This specific batch contains just a quarter cup of butter which I find is just the right amount to create a crisp cookie that is still tender enough that you will not have to worry about breaking a tooth when you bite into it. It also contains milk which helps give these cookies a nice fairly tender texture. These cookies will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container and do freeze well also. Although I chose sour cherries as my fruit, dried cranberries or another dried fruit would work just fine, and walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts could be used in place of the pistachios. These cookies pack well, so are great to pack into gift bags when you would like to give someone something special from your kitchen. Although we prefer to keep our biscotti simple, you could drizzle a glaze on one side of the cookies.
- 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, Cold
- 2 Large Eggs, Divided
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Dried Sour Cherries
- 1 Cup Whole, Blanched, Unsalted Pistachios
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the dry ingredients into a food processor, add the butter and pulse until the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Add one of the the eggs, milk, and vanilla, and pulse again until just blended.
- Place the dough into a bowl, and stir in the cherries and pistachios.
- Using lightly floured hands, roll the dough into two 10-inch logs and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place the second egg into a small bowl along with a tablespoon of water and whisk until foamy.
- Brush the top of the loaves with the egg mixture.
- Bake the biscotti for 35 minutes or until puffed, lightly browned. (Logs should feel fairly firm to the touch)
- Remove the tray from the oven, and cool for 20 minutes.
- Reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees F.
- Use a serrated knife, and cut the logs into 3/4 inch slices and lat flat on the baking sheets.
- Return the tray to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Turn the cookies over, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until your cookies are lightly browned on both sides. (the cookies will crisp up as they cool)
Deborah Mele 2022