Bake My Day

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I love the Christmas season… to the point where I start my Christmas shopping list in November, and my tree goes up the week before Thanksgiving.  My husband is a great sport about my obsession with early celebrations of Christmas.

I also love the Christmas season because it’s BAKING season.  I have yet to be invited to a cookie exchange (invitations are welcome!), but to wet my palette I end up baking up my storm for my neighbors.  I learned that through the years that there is not one universal cookie or treat to make everyone happy.  Some people don’t like chocolate.  Some people don’t like nuts.  Some people don’t like fruit.  What I learned over time is that I can’t make everyone happy, so I make one really good treat that I enjoy. Fingers crossed that others enjoy it too!

Anyways what I made for this holiday season is a pistachio biscotti dunked in dark chocolate.  Biscotti, known also as cantuccini, are Italian almond biscuits that originated in the city of Prato. They are twice-baked, oblong-shaped, dry, crunchy, and dipped in a drink.  I love my biscotti dunked in coffee.  Although traditional biscotti is made with almonds, I love the flavor that pistachios provide.

What makes this recipe amazing is that I swap white granulated sugar for light brown sugar in this recipe. I find that the light brown sugar makes the biscotti less crumbly and makes for a better consistency.  And since brown sugar is flavored with molasses, how can you go wrong?!   I hope you enjoy!  Wait.. I hope my neighbors enjoy!

Pistachio Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups whole pistachios, lightly toasted , cooled, and coarsely chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12 oz bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Stir together sugar, butter, brandy, and extracts in a large bowl, then stir in 1 cup of pistachios and eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined.
  2. Chill dough, covered, 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
  4. Using moistened hands, halve dough and form 2 (16-by 2-inch) loaves on an ungreased large baking sheet.
  5. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer loaves to a rack and cool 15 minutes.
  6. Cut loaves into 3/4-inch slices with a serrated knife.
  7. Arrange biscotti, with a cut side down, on a clean baking sheet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely.
  8. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips until smooth. Depending on your microwave strength, pulse on high in 20 second increments.
  9. Once melted, carefully dunk each lengthwise biscotti side into the chocolate, reaching halfway up the biscotti.
  10. Place on a cooling rack and sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of chopped pistachios. Repeat until all biscotti are chocolate and pistachio covered.
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