Friday, February 4, 2011

[Cookie 098] Chocolate-Pistachio Biscotti


Oh, Biscotti, bane of my existence. I just can't get you! You look so good, and have so much potential to be a cookie far better than its Starbuck's facsimile, but alas! You quiver at my very touch, collapse when I even look at you, and fail to be anything more than a broken pile of bones.


Our relationship is a failed one. I have tried to make your kind before, and had the same qualms. Maybe it is Martha's directing that keeps getting in the way of our friendship, or maybe it's my lack of any Italian blood in me, but regardless, we just don't understand each other too well. I feel like a failed Professor Frankenstein (bare with me...): I have put the body together, it's laying on my operating table, and all I have to do now is give it some life. Put you into the oven and hope that when I take you out, you'll be walkin' and talkin' and puttin' on the ritz just like I had hoped. But no! I take you out of the oven after your first bake, and I try to slice ya up, and you COLLAPSE! LIKE A BUNCH OF BROCCOLI! (Anyone still getting the Young Frankenstein references, besides my dad?)


But seriously, what the hell, Biscotti? Maybe I'm just a slow learner, since I had these same issues with you last time, but whenever I try to slice you after par-baking you, you fall apart. I should have just learned to bake you longer than the recipe says for the first time, but noooo, I had to follow the directions and ignore my better judgment.


Biscotti and Young Frankenstein aside, I also didn't really like the chocolate and pistachio flavor combination. To me, they just don't taste good together! Something about the hearty, savory nature of a pistachio, paired with another intense, dark flavor like chocolate, didn't really work for me. Pistachio and citrus, yes; chocolate and almond, DUH; but pistachio and chocolate, not so much...Am I crazy here, or do you guys agree too?


All in all, this recipe ended up producing a heavy chocolate cookie that was more like a hybrid between an almost-biscotti, and a brownie. They are very intense and chocolaty, and could be a really nice cookie if you didn't think of them like biscotti, and maybe substituted a different nut for the pistachio. So, when it comes down to it, I didn't like this recipe. Fortunately, there is still one more biscotti recipe in The Book, so maybe the third times a charm...


Chocolate-Pistachio Biscotti


  • 6 tablespoons 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 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

  • Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a baking sheet; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. Add flour mixture, and stir to form a stiff dough. Stir in pistachios and chocolate chips.
  • Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet; form into a slightly flattened log, about 12 by 4 inches. Bake until slightly firm, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  • On a cutting board, using a sharp serrated knife, cut biscotti diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet, and bake until crisp but still slightly soft in the center, about 8 minutes.

  • ****
    {End Results}
    Baking Difficultly: 4/5
    Ingredient Accessibility: 4/5
    Tastiness: 2/5
    Attractiveness: 2.5/5
    Is it worth it?: If it tasted good, I'd say yeah, but since I didn't even like the flavor, the effort was not worth it. Boo.

    Drink: They are super chocolatey, so milk would be good. Or coffee/cappuccino, according to traditional biscotti makers.
    Song: I Should Have Known Better -- The Beatles (this clip gets me every be on that train! Swoon!)
    Activity: Watch Young Frankenstein instead of making these.


    Helen said...

    Your "food photography at its finest" description of the biscotti made me giggle.

    Did you see Foodography's latest episode? It was on cakes and cookies and it showed someone making biscotti. When he took it out of the oven, he hacked away at it and there they were: perfectly sliced biscotti. Granted, he had been doing it every day for years but I thought to myself, it seems easy! I should try it... hmmm...let me know how your third attempt goes and THEN maybe I'll give it a go!

    Anonymous said...

    they will start cracking only i u r cutting them before they r cooled, u need to wait like 15 mins after u fist get them out, otherwise i understood u wrong but good luck, i like ur blog!

    Pucebleue (Isabelle) said...

    C'est marrant, je me suis lancée un défi presque similaire au tient.
    j'ai réalisé un maximum des livres en un an. J'en ai réaliser presque 70. Je ne sais pas si j'aurai le courage de faire les autres, avec le temps peut-être...
    bonne continuation à toi:)


    Property Investment said...

    Wow looks so yummy! Love it.

    Anonymous said...

    whenz the new frickin post gonna come?

    kotry said...

    i agree. always then i made Martha's biscotti-they're nothing special. and they're not authentic btw. she uses butter usually.
    this recipe for example works very well to me, and you can use different variations of fruits and nuts

    but, we can see (from the melty chocolate) that you didn't let them cool enough:) 5 min isn't really correct.