biscotti, biscotti, biscotti….

Hrm, what to give my assistant and the good people at the *gainful employ* this holiday season??  Well, I’ve gotten my assistant a gift, but how about something to nibble.  They expect something edible from me….

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti
Originally uploaded by ulteriorepicure.

Last week, I received my free copy of Food + Wine Magazine 2006 cookbook. Flipping through it, I found a gorgeous shot of a cup full of dark chocolate biscotti studded with bright pea green pistachios.  I had to make them.  I had everything the recipe called for, and it looked easy enough… so off I went.

Oy, was I wrong.  What an involved and poorly-written recipe!!  I decided to make a double batch.  This required chopping nearly a pound of chocolate – which was a chore in itself.

The recipe actually works well until the instructions on baking and cutting begin.  First, I would suggest making the logs at least 3″ wide and at least 1″ high (instead of 2″ wide and 3/4″ high as the recipe suggests).  Second, I would recommend patting the logs tight, leaving little to no wrinkles or crevices (ie. cracks that might expand while baking).  Third, I would recommend letting the logs cool at least 15 minutes, instead of 10 before trying to cut them between baking.  Lastly, use unsalted and unroasted pistachios.

That being said, the biscotti turned out every bit as gorgeous, crisp and wonderful as I had imagined. The *gainful employ* will be happy!!

Here’s the recipe, unaltered:

Michelle Meyer, pastry chef of Sona restaurant and Boule patisserie in Los Angeles, makes a traditional but visually surprising cookie – the crispiest, crunchiest, most chocolaty biscotti, studded with bright green pistachios.

Active Time: 45 Minutes; Total 2 Hours
Makes about 6 1/2 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure coffee extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
7 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios (6 ounces)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. in a large bowl, whisk the flour with the cocoa powde, baking soda and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat in the eggs at low speed until a crumbly dough forms.

2. In another bowl, beat the light brown sugar with the butter and the vanilla, coffee and almond extracts until combined. Scrape the miture into the crumbly dough and beat at medium speed untila soft, sticky dough forms. Add the chopped bittersweet chocolate and shelled pistachios and beat at a low speed just until they are evenly distributed.

3. Divide the dough into 4 clumps and transfer 2 of the clumps to each baking sheet. Form each clump into an 8-inch long rope; pat the ropes until they are logs about 2 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick. Bake the logs for about 22 minutes, until they are puffed and springy to the touch; rotate the pans halfway through baking. Carefully transfer the logs to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 200 degrees F.

4. Using a sharp knife, cut the logs cross-wise into scant 1/2-inch thick slices; each log will yield about 20 biscotti. Return the slices to the baking sheets and bake them for about 30 minutes longer, flipping the biscotti once after 15 minutes, until they are crisp. Transfer the biscotti to racks to cool.

Michelle Myers

Make ahead: The biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

~ by ulterior epicure on December 12, 2006.

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