I think sending and receiving snail mail is one of my favourite things (brown paper packages tied up with string…). So snail mail containing cookies? Oh, baby. This was my second year joining in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and considering I really only participated by proxy last year I was even more excited. (Plus, all the entry fees go to a good cause — yay cookies!)
My twin brother was recently re-tested for his lifelong nut allergy, and while he is still allergic to most nuts he is now able to eat pistachios and pecans! He has quickly become a pistachio fiend so I wanted to use those in my cookies this year. If you enjoy a good cookie for dunking in your tea/coffee/hot chocolate/milk, I’ll humbly suggest that these biscotti will do just the trick.Another wonderful thing about the cookie swap is that I get to discover more wonderful (Canadian!) bloggers, and of course I received some delicious cookies as well. Thanks so much to Dana, Megan, and Robyn for the delicious treats and to Lindsay and Julie for organizing this whole thing — I’m already looking forward to next year!
My boxes of biscotti travelled to Anna and Carole in Toronto, and Kayleigh in Nova Scotia (I hope!) — hope you enjoyed them ladies:)
Chocolate/Vanilla Pistachio and Cherry Biscotti (adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe)
Makes 1 dozen 4-5inch biscotti (more if you cut them smaller) and can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week, or in the freezer for longer
For chocolate biscotti:
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking sheet
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for baking sheet
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped (sour or sweetened, both work nicely)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
For vanilla biscotti:
Omit cocoa and add 1/4 cup of flour, add 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a baking sheet, or line with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, powder, baking soda, and salt. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium until it is light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat on low until well combined, stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl if you need to. Add the flour mixture slowly and beat to form stiff dough. Beat in pistachios, chopped cherries and dark chocolates until just combined.
3. Place dough on your prepared baking sheet and form into a slightly fattened log, about 12 by 4 inches. For uniform sized biscotti, try to make sure your log is a uniform shape (length/width should stay consistent!). Bake until slightly firm, about 25-30 minutes (Martha says 25, I say 30 — start with 25 and check them!). Cool about 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300F.
4. On a cutting board, using a sharp, serrated knife, cut biscotti diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices. Arrange, cut sides down, back onto baking sheet and bake until crisp but still slightly soft in the center, about 8 minutes.