Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pistachio with Golden Raisin Biscotti

I've mentioned before that I'm a newcomer to the biscotti scene. But I've fallen hard and fast for these Italian cookies.

I recently tried this recipe from the book "Biscotti" by Lou Seibert Pappas. Mmm, boy, were they good!

Biscotti are a perfect cookie for add-ins. For this recipe, I substituted dried cranberries for the golden raisins called for in the recipe (had one, but not the other). To me, the lovely green pistachios practically beg to be paired with ruby red cranberries.

They're so easy to form, it almost feels like cheating. I make a haphazard "log" by first globbing the dough in a somewhat loggish fashion onto the cookie sheet.

Then, kinda sorta smooth it into a solid mass.

Magically, they bake into their trade-mark shape.

All that's left is to slice them into nice chunky cookies and pop them back in the oven to crisp.

I decided to dress them up by drizzling some white chocolate over top.

Although they kind of remind me of poor Gulliver, who had the misfortune of being tied up by those pesky Lilliputians.

(Looks like the cookies agree.)

Pistachio and Golden Raisin Biscotti
Reprinted with permission from "Biscotti" by Lou Seifert Pappas (you can read more about Lou HERE.)
(my comments in italics)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups shelled whole pistachio nuts
1 1/4 cups golden raisins (I used dried cranberries)
3 to 4 oz. white chocolate, optional

In a mixing bowl cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla extract and lemon zest. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt and add to the creamed mixture, mixing just until crumbly. (It did not come together into a ball at this point. Don't worry if it's dry and crumbly.) In a separate bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form and beat in remaining sugar, beating until stiff but not dry.

Fold meringue into the crumbly dough, mixing until it clings together. Fold in nuts and raisins. Divide dough in half. Form into two logs on a greased and floured baking sheet, making them about 1/2 inch thick, 1 1/2 inches wide and 16 inches long, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. (Mine were approx. 3 inches wide and 12 inches long. What you see in my pictures is half of a batch, which makes one log.)

Bake in the middle of a preheated 325 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until set and golden brown. Transfer from the baking sheet to a rack. Let cool 5 minutes. Place on a cutting board. With a serrated knife slice diagonally at a 45 degree angle to 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices upright on a baking sheet and return to the oven at 300 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes to dry slightly. Let cool on a rack. Store in a tightly covered container.

Chocolate Glaze variation: Place the chocolate in a small bowl that fits snugly over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Heat until chocolate melts. Stir to blend. Or place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium about 2 minutes, or until melted. Stir to blend. Spread chocolate with a spatula over entire top surface of cookies. (I drizzled it using a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.) Let cool at room temperature until set.

Makes about 4 dozen.


Snooky doodle said...

these look nice and yummy. Ha you really made me laugh with gulliver and the tied up biscotti :)

ButterYum said...

Gulliver... haha!

Hey, I think these sound way better with cranberries instead of golden raisins. Good sub!!!

Anonymous said...

YUM. I love baking biscotti, but haven't in a while. Your biscotti look and sound great.

Grace said...

fantastic comparison, jacque! i do love me some gulliver. :) great biscotti!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

That's hilarious!
I love biscotti, they look awesome.

angelia mcgowan said...

That looks better with the cranberries, very nice! I like your tutorial you make it look os easy, I have never tried biscotti, but I will now

Julia @ Mélanger said...

I love how you switched the raisins for cranberry. The pistachio and cranberry combination would be great for the holidays, too! Spot of genius with the extra chocolate drizzle on top, too! :)

AmyRuth said...

OOoooooOOOOOohhhh, I've been really thinking about biscotti lately. What's more, with pistachios and dried cran combo, because I love the color in the cookie. Amazing! Now I really want one. Okay, maybe I'll just use your recipe too. Do you like it better than the Lenox from BFMHTY? I need to make these for my hair magician on Saturday. Woops thats tomorrow. Thanks! This is perfect. BTW, I will def def definitely take all the brownie points I can scrape up. he he Thank you for those too!:-))
Thanks for stopping by.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I've never made biscotti before, though I've always wanted to!! YOurs looks delicious, its really making me want to try them out for myself!!

Lisa said...

Wow, I haven't made or eaten a good biscotti in a looonnnng time, and while I was eyeing/bookmarking that malted milk ice cream, I couldn't help but be drawn to your gorgeous biscotti. One of my fav biscotti combos is chocolate chunk, pistachio, and dried cherries, but I think you have me with the dried cranberries! Also, love the Gulliver photo and lickable caption. Great analogy!

Katrina said...

Ha, great comparison! I've recently decided I love biscotti, too. These sound great!

Madam Chow said...

I have that little book and I agree - it's a good one. And the cranberries sound a lot better than the raisins!

Lori said...

Jacque- Have I ever told you that I just love your Hershey kiss pic. Whenever i see it on DB- I say "that is just so cute!"

I make these biscotti at Christmas. They are wonderful. I think the white chocolate drizzle I will do this year. I usually skip it but it is real pretty.