I love a good biscotti – in fact, I would much rather have a biscotti than a cookie any day of the week. I didn’t always feel that way though, over the years I have grown to love that crunchy-not-too-sweet cookie. I remember when I went to college, and my grandmother sent me a care package. I was so excited, I ripped the box open, and there was a big tin of Mandel Bread. I was a little let down. Yes, I did love anything she made for me, but Mandel Bread was just not my favorite. It was hard and crunchy, and not very sweet – but my grandmother was smart. Mandel Bread stays fresh for days, even weeks, in a container. At that point I didn’t drink coffee – but now that I think back to that delicious Mandel Bread, it would have been perfect dunked into a strong cup of espresso.
So – over the past few weeks, with the end of the school year – things have been a little crazier than usual. In addition, work has been keeping me extremely busy these days, starting very early in the morning and going late into the evenings. I have had a lot of baking to do for specific events, and I have had to choose my baked goods very carefully - looking particularly for ones I can bake ahead of time. I found this recipe in Bon Appetit, and I knew they would last at least the three days they mentioned in the text. Usually I like to make biscotti and coat them in chocolate, but the dried cherries with the pistachios looked so flavorful that I would be able to skip a step. These were outstanding – so nice and crunchy, and chock full of cherries. They had a wonderful flavor that went perfectly with a nice cup of espresso. I think they were a big hit at the event I made them for…and fortunately I was good and ready and not stressed beforehand. Thanks Nan for turning me onto these amazing treats…
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp.vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp. orange zest
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine first 6 ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and next 5 ingredients. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; beat on low speed until combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Fold in cherries and pistachios.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Using floured hands, shape each dough half into a 16″-long log. Brush off excess flour; transfer logs to prepared sheet, spaced 5″ apart. Flatten each log into a 2″-wide strip. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until browned and set, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack; let cool for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 250° and arrange 1 rack in top third of oven and 1 rack in bottom third.
Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer biscotti to a work surface. Using a serrated knife, cut each strip diagonally into 2/3″-thick slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, on baking sheets.
Bake biscotti, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until crisp, about 40 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to racks; let cool.
DO AHEAD Can be made at least 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Pistachio and Dried-Cherry Biscotti