Sunday, July 11, 2010

Honey Pistachio Biscotti

Afternoon tea (or should I say afternoon snack now that I’m in America) is a time I look forward to everyday. There’s simply no way that any lunch could last me 6 hours before it’s time for dinner. American’s constantly ask me, “You drink tea in the afternoon?” No I do not drink tea in the afternoon, at least not on a daily basis. A typical afternoon tea for me is some fruit, yogurt, or cereal. Sometimes I feel the need for some extra energy and I dig out the infamous bag of chips or the tub of ice cream.

Today, for afternoon tea, I made some biscotti. Biscotti is a hard Italian cookie that pairs perfectly with coffee. Biscotti means twice baked in Italian. This is because making biscotti requires shaping the cookie dough into logs and baking them, then cutting up the logs and baking the cookies once more. Essentially, these cookies are in fact “twice baked.”

The following recipe from Ellie Krieger is for pistachio biscotti. You can put any nut or fruit in biscotti. There are almond biscotti, walnut biscotti, lemon biscotti, and even chocolate biscotti. I used Ellie’s recipe for a base and added in almonds in place of pistachios since I didn’t have any on hand. I also added some raisins and dried cranberries for extra sweetness and nutritional value. This recipe is reasonably low fat and low sugar. Some biscotti recipes have butter in the ingredient list. Butter, along with its hoard of saturated fat, is completely unnecessary to make perfect biscotti. The best biscotti are made with healthy oils such as the olive oil used in this recipe.

• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl beat together the sugar, honey, eggs, oil, zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract until well combined. In batches add the dry ingredients until the mixture forms a dough. Stir in the pistachios.
3. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead several times. Shape into a log about 10 inches long and 3 inches wide. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
4. With a serrated knife, cut 1/2-inch diagonal slices. Arrange on the baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Turn the cookies over and bake the biscotti until golden 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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