Wednesday, December 5, 2007
When zesting an orange or lemon .... try to use a very light touch. You really only want the top colour. If you go beyond that and into the pith of the fruit... it has a very bitter taste. You just want the flavour.
I like to stir in any fruit or nuts by hand after the mixer has gathered all of the ingredients together.... and, also like to chop them fairly small as it makes nicer edges on the biscotti. I just have this thing about nice edges.
The mixture should easily come away from the sides of the bowl .... if it is a bit too sticky to handle easily, try dipping your fingers into the flour cannister. It should help.
It should be one big happy lump.
form into a log and cut in half.
Gently pat the logs down to about 1/2 inch thickness
Later, for when you are cutting....get one of these.
This may look like a hacksaw blade ..... and, yes it is. But, it is also THE most wondrous thing I have found to get perfect sides on my biscotti. I don't know why...but I like them smooth on the edges. I refer to it as my Biscotti Blade. Even my husband calls it that now. The other day he wrecked his saw..and wanted to know where "the Biscotti Blade" was....hahahah....nope not telling.
see how nicely it cuts?
and...look at the teeeeensy bit of waste. Hardly enough crumbs to scrape into a little pile. Love it.
This recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis ..... but, as usual....I have thrown in my own little comments. I always tweak a recipe to my own preferences. And, instead of dipping each one in chocolate...I often use a plastic baggy, cut a tiny hole in one corner, fold it way down, pour in chocolate and drizzle chocolate over many cookies at the same time... it is easier and looks very decorative. You don't need nearly as much chocolate either...but it gives it that little extra. I don't bother with the sprinkles.
If you don't cool sufficiently before slicing... ...they tend to crumble.
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (unsalted if you prefer)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (I often use orange)
1/4 tsp. if you use unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped (I use a lot less)
2/3 cup dried cranberries (less again, for me)
12 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped(much less if you are only drizzling)
red and green sugar crystals, for garnish
Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour & baking powder in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, lemon zest and salt to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in pistachios and cranberries.
Form dough into a 13 inch, 3 inch wide log on prepared baking sheet. (as you can see I prefer smaller cookies so I cut my log in half). Bake at 350F or 325F until very light golden, about 25 or 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them... ovens vary. Cool for 30 minutes.
Place log on cutting board. Using sharp serrated knife, cut log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices. Arrange biscotti, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they pale golden, about 15 more minutes, at 325F ... turning once in that time. Transfer biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip a portion of biscotti into melted chocolate. Gently shake off excess chocolate. Place biscotti on baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Sprinkle with sugar crystals. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm...about 35 minutes.
The biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to 4 days or wrap them in foil and freeze in plastic bags up to 3 weeks.