Orange, Chocolate and Pistachio Biscotti

by Meri on December 14, 2012

I really wanted to attempt to make my grandma’s Christmas Scaleda recipe this year, but chickened out. It’s an enormous project that includes making dough, braiding it, deep frying it like a doughnut and dipping in hot honey. I was crazy motivated and wanted to charge head first into those wonderful family traditions from my childhood to share with my family. Then I envisioned 3 little people screaming and pulling on my legs in the middle of frying my dough and hot sticky honey globbing down on their heads. Probably not a wise recipe to make with 3 toddlers running around. Instead I made one of my very favorite recipes from the Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies, Biscotti! Much healthier than the scaleda and it makes a great light breakfast snack for Christmas morning as you open gifts. Breakfast? Yes…in Italy they eat Biscotti for breakfast often. I realize it’s a cookie, but it has less sugar than many cereals and includes nuts providing a healthy fat. You can also replace half the flour with whole wheat flour to add some whole grains. Keeping it to 1-2 cookies so the calories don’t start to add up is the tricky part.

They also make really lovely gifts for the season…love sending off a tin of Biscotti with some good quality coffee or teas to friends.

Next up, mini chocolate chip pumpkin muffins and sugar cookies the kids can decorate. Just hoping Birdie doesn’t dump sprinkles down her shirt like the glitter incident the other day. She opted to use the entire container instead of a light sprinkling, which made for an interesting and colorful bath experience that keeps on giving. I’m still finding little glitter sparkles on her…sticky little buggers.

Orange, Chocolate and Pistachio Biscotti
Prep time: 25 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes    Yield: 36 servings
¾ cup pistachios (whole)
¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips, chopped
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon orange blossom water or 1 tablespoon orange
¼ cup flour, for work surface
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking
2.  In a large bowl mix together the pistachios, chocolate chips flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut in the butter and mix with a spoon.
3.  In a small bowl, mix together the eggs, egg yolk, and orange blossom water.
4.  Using a hand mixer, mix the egg mixture into the flour mixture forming the dough. Lightly dust hands with flour and form the dough into a ball.
5.  Transfer the dough onto a work surface that has been dusted with flour. Knead the dough 5 times for 1 minute.  Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a log 8 inches long and
3 inch wide and 1-inch thickness.  Place each log onto the parchment paper about 5 inches apart. Bake the logs for 20 minutes.
6.  Remove the logs from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
7.  Gently transfer the logs to a cutting board and with a sharp knife, press down and cut biscotti pieces horizontally every ½ inch. The cookies will be ½-inch wide by 3 inches long. Place the cookies cut-side down onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
8.  Bake the cookies for 5 minutes, turn each cookie over and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely on baking sheets before storing. Cookies need to be kept in a tightly covered container and can be stored at room temperature for 2 weeks.
Per serving: Calories 80 (From Fat 23); Fat 3g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 3mg; Sodium 42mg; Carbohydrate 13g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 2g.
Excerpt from Mediterranean Diet Cookbook For Dummies®, Wiley, Nov. 2011.



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