Biscotti brain


As I have chronicled before, tart dried cherries are not readily available in Norway and Sweden. I did, however, have the good fortune of finding some in Germany the other day. I only picked up one bag, but this was enough to make the original recipe I had wanted to make: tart cherry and toasted pine nut biscotti. My one and only attempt was not too bad (I used dried blueberries instead of cherries), but I really think the tartness of cherries is important to making this turn out the way it should.

Unfortunately, the dough was so dry that I added an additional egg to the recipe (I also doubled the recipe, but I doubt that has anything to do with it). You can follow the link above to get the recipe, but for good measure, here it is again:

Tart dried cherry and toasted pine nut biscotti

First toast your pine nuts (it makes a subtle but important difference)

Dough (I doubled this and added an extra egg):
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 350F.

Whisk sugar and egg together until thick. Sift in the flour, baking powder and allspice and mix all together until everything is well incorporated. Stir in the cherries and pine nuts.

Form a log (if you double it, make two logs) and bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden. Let cool for about ten minutes before cutting into half-inch slices. Turn the slices on their sides and bake for an additional ten minutes.

Continuing with biscotti on the brain, I have gone to the old, popular standby, cranberry pistachio white chocolate biscotti. The original recipe does not call for white chocolate, but that was a later addition that I now incorporate every time. All I do is take a white chocolate bar and chop it up and throw it in at the same stage when you throw in the nuts and cranberries.

Preheat oven to 300F/150C

1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups pistachios

Mix olive oil and sugar until blended — add vanilla and almond extracts, then eggs. Combine dry ingredients — gradually stir in the egg mixture. Mix in cranberry and pistachios by hand. Divide dough in half. Form 2 logs (12 inches by 2 inches — about 30 cms. by 5 cms.) on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Dough is sticky — wet hands to handle the dough.

Bake 35 minutes until light brown. Remove from oven, cool 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 275F/135C. Cut logs into 3/4-inch thick slices. Lay slices on their side on the parchment-covered cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes on each side until dry.

A few notes: I often omit the almond extract and double the vanilla. And when you add the white chocolate, it often means you will need a bit longer, slower baking time (lower the heat a bit). It makes the insides of the log a bit more gooey, which means it will take longer to make the biscotti as crisp as they should be. Just keep an eye out and if the logs are not browned enough, bake just a little bit longer.

3 thoughts on “Biscotti brain

  1. 0x29a

    So, question born of my ignorance relating to either recipe: When you're creating the logs — as in the case of the cranberry-pistachio — of dough they go in to the oven cylindrical at 30 cm by 5 cm, and upon baking spread and flatten as much as the pictures would suggest so that you are able to get as many as 20-23 oblong slices perpendicular to the logs length? Weird question perhaps, but you've struck upon one that has always puzzled me.

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