BY LAURIE ELLEN PELLICANO
Biscotti have developed a bad reputation thanks to the enormous, stale, dusty versions that tend to be served at coffee shops. Next time you’re looking for something a little sweet and a little nutty to dip into that morning espresso or to eat alongside that after-dinner digestivo, try these zested-up, pistachio-jeweled cookies. Sliced thinly and twice baked, they are the perfect crisp, delicate end for a meal—whether that meal is breakfast or dinner.
MAKES APPROXIMATELY 120 COOKIES, 3”X ¼”
1 cup (200g) sugar
2 tablespoons orange, tangelo, or tangerine zest (from 2–4 fruits)
2 ¼ cups (320g) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs (100g)
1 stick / ½ cup (112g) butter, melted
1 tablespoon orange liqueur, such as curaçao or triple sec
1 ½ cups (200g) pistachios
1 egg white
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or brush with additional butter.
2. In a large bowl, rub the sugar and zest together with your hands until the sugar has the texture of wet sand and is tinted bright orange, and your entire room is perfumed with citrus.
3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
4. Add the eggs to the citrus sugar and whisk to combine. Add about half the butter, whisking slowly so as not to splash, then incorporate the remaining butter. The mixture should look smooth and glossy.
5. Add the reserved flour mixture all at once, channel your inner Italian grandma, and stir until halfway combined with a wooden spoon. Add your pistachios and continue stirring the dough until no streaks of flour remain and the dough looks soft but uniform.
6. Fill a small bowl of water and divide your dough into 3 even pieces. Form each piece into logs widthwise across your baking sheet, about 2×10 inches, spacing each a few inches apart and a few inches from the edge. Use a little water to help keep your hands from sticking to the dough while forming. Don’t worry about making the log perfectly even and rounded—a little character is nice.
7. In a small bowl, whisk your egg white until frothy, and brush all over the surface. This will also help smooth things out.
8. Bake for 28–32 minutes, until your log is firm to the touch and golden brown all over, rotating once after 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, but leave your oven on.
9. Let cookie logs cool slightly, about 10–15 minutes. While still warm, transfer each log to a cutting board to slice, using an offset serrated knife at a slight angle and a sawing motion, into ¼-inch cookies. Lay your cookies flat on 2 unlined sheet pans. Note: You can crowd these trays as much as possible, as baking the cookies at this point is for texture, and they will not rise or spread.
10. Bake cookies for 6 minutes. Remove trays from oven, flip cookies over, and bake for an additional 3–6 minutes to evenly brown. At this point, you are baking the cookies to crisp up. Trust your eyes and your nose.
11. Remove cookies from oven, let cool on trays, and store in a container with a tight-fitting lid such as a cookie tin or a Mason jar for up to 1 month. Biscotti get better with age.