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Orange Pistachio Biscotti (with a Smidge of Chocolate)

February 19, 2012

I love biscotti.  Traditional recipes contain no oil or butter, making them a low-fat treat with lots of flavor.  (Of course, loading them with nuts and candied fruit doesn’t exactly make them low-calorie…)  Settling down to a cup of coffee or tea with a biscotti always feels like a special moment to myself in an otherwise hectic day.  Orange and pistachio is one of my favorite biscotti flavor combinations.  I especially like to use chocolate-covered candied orange peel in these biscotti.  The candied peel adds a bit of chewy texture to the cookies, while the smidge of chocolate gives them an extra special taste.

You can buy chocolate-covered candied orange peel from your favorite candy shop, but I decided to make my own using a tutorial over at Smitten Kitchen.  Once the candied peel had dried overnight, I dipped most of it individually in melted Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate.  When I had about a handful of candied peel left (i.e., enough for the biscotti), I got lazy and put them all into the remaining melted chocolate together, tossed with a silicone spatula until all the pieces were well coated, and then poured the whole mass out onto a sheet of parchment paper to set.  When it was cool, I used a large chef’s knife to dice up the chocolate-coated candied peel mass.  Perfect.

If you like your biscotti hard and crunchy — perfect for dunking in a cup of hot coffee — then make sure to let them cool completely, on a rack, after the second baking before sealing them up in an airtight container.  If you don’t like to dunk your cookies, and the traditional biscotti texture is a little too challenging for your teeth, then seal the biscotti in an airtight container when they are no longer hot, but still very slightly warm from the oven.  The tiny bit of steam this will create in the airtight container will soften the cookies just enough for comfortable nibbling sans dunking.

Chocolate-Orange Pistachio Biscotti

2 large eggs

1 cup sugar

zest of 1 orange

juice of 1 orange

1/3 cup chocolate-covered or plain candied orange peel

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or more all-purpose flour)

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup whole, shelled, unsalted pistachios

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly oil the foil with vegetable oil.

Beat the eggs and sugar together until smooth.  Beat in the orange juice and zest.  Stir in the candied orange peel, and then sift in the flour and baking powder.  Stir until well combined.  Gather the dough into a ball and place it on a lightly floured board.  Gently knead in the whole pistachios.  Divide the dough in half and shape each into a log on the baking sheet.  Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.  Remove from the oven and let cool 10-15 minutes.

Using a serrated bread knife, cut the baked logs into 1/2″ slices.  Lay the slices flat on the baking sheet and bake for another 5-10 minutes until lightly browned.  Lay the biscotti out on a rack to cool (see note above).  Makes 2 dozen biscotti.

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7 Comments
  1. February 20, 2012 3:49 pm

    Isn’t Biscotti sinfully easy? Who knew this overly priced coffee shop item was so easy huh. I made a bunch of chocolate biscotti last year for christmas gifts…. and then more recently I made a biscotti recipe for dog biscuits that turned out great too.
    I also love the candied orange peels, sadly the last batch I made was not blanched enough and was quite bitter. Next time I will blanch more than they say to, as it was a shame
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

  2. February 22, 2012 6:24 pm

    My favorite combo for biscotti is pistachio, dried cranberry and chocolate chips. I adore chocolate covered orange peel. I made some cornmeal ones a while ago, those were really good and unusual.

    I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.

  3. February 23, 2012 4:07 pm

    Anna, I agree — blanching and rinsing does seem to be the key step. I was very pleased with how this batch came out.

  4. February 23, 2012 4:09 pm

    You had me at cranberry… but cornmeal also sounds like a fabulous addition. I love the strange texture and crunch of cornmeal cookies, so I can imagine it would be quite wonderful in biscotti as well.

  5. February 23, 2012 7:18 pm

    Dorie Greenspan’s Lenox Almond Biscotti is the recipe I like with the cornmeal in it. Actually, everything I’ve made so far from her newest baking book is amazing.

  6. February 23, 2012 10:13 pm

    Oh, I love Dorie Greenspan! Her recipes have never let me down. I’ll be sure to give this one a try, too.

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