Saturday, March 1, 2014

Birthday Biscotti Revisited

Two years ago this Tuesday, I posted a recipe for my favorite chocolate almond biscotti which were being shipped across the country as a birthday surprise. I dropped another batch of birthday biscotti at the post office this morning, with two new (and delicious) surprises.

1. The original recipe includes chopped almonds in the batter and sliced almonds on top. I swapped both for pistachios, my favorite for taste and color.

2. I used a vanilla salt that I made during the holidays, inspired by Joy the Baker's recipe (which I've included below).

Start with the original recipe, swapping whatever nuts and salts you choose.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti
Makes approximately 24 cookies

3 1/4 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. vanilla salt
1 1/2 c. sugar
10 T. butter, melted
3 eggs
1 T. vanilla
1/2-3/4 c. dark chocolate chunks, 60-70% cocoa
1 c. pistachios, chopped
1 egg white
chopped pistachios for topping

Preheat your oven to 350° and place oven rack in center of oven. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix flour, baking power, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Mix sugar, butter, 3 eggs, and vanilla in a bowl. Add flour mixture and blend well. Stir in chopped pistachios and chocolate chunks.

Divide dough into half. With floured hands, shape into two 13 by 3 in. logs on baking sheet. Whisk egg white until foamy. Brush over tops and sides of dough and sprinkle with extra pistachios.

Bake until golden, approximately 30 minutes. Let biscotti cool for about 25 minutes, while maintaining oven temperature.

When cool, slice biscotti diagonally with a serrated knife into 1/2" wide slices. Place cut side down on baking sheet without parchment paper. Bake for 12 minutes, remove, flip and bake for an additional 8 minutes.

Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Vanilla Salt
From Joy the Baker
Make as much as you want. Ratio: 1 bean per 3/4 cup of salt.

Madagascar vanilla beans
Gray Celtic sea salt

Pour sea salt into a small bowl. Split vanilla beans vertically and scrape out the seeds. Rub the seeds into the sea salt with clean fingers. Pour salt into small air-tight containers and include a piece of used vanilla bean.

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