Pistachio and Dried-Cherry Biscotti

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…

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

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

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3 thoughts on “Pistachio and Dried-Cherry Biscotti

  1. Outside with morning coffee sounds like a wonderful pairing for these little biscuits! And what a great idea for baking something ahead of time. I’m going to have to remember this trick.

  2. Your grandma’s Mandelbread reminds me that Alan’s grandma made Mandelbread and brought it to Seattle for our wedding weekend 34 years ago. These biscotti sound delicious!

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