Yesterday was Administrative Professionals Day and in case you are not aware, I am a secretary. My boss is so great, she gave me the afternoon off. A whole afternoon in the middle of the week all to myself!
It was like Christmas came early.
So what was I going to do with my free afternoon? Bake, of course.
After several days of unseasonably warm and sunny weather, Wednesday brought thunderstorms. In fact, while I was in the grocery store picking up a few ingredients, the heavens opened up and the rain came down in buckets. And unfortunately, I had left my umbrella in the car.
I got home, dried off, and spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen with the windows open so I could listen to the sound of the rain. I had never made biscotti before so I wasn’t sure how everything would come together, but the recipe was simple enough and I knew that I had a winner when a warm, lemony scent filled the house.
And the first bite sealed the deal, these little cookies are awesome. They are very crisp, as they should be, but not so much that you’re afraid you’ll chip a tooth. The saltiness of the pistachios paired nicely with the freshness of the lemon zest. And the overall effect is a biscotti that is flavorful and delicious.
And comforting. Dunked into a hot cup of coffee, they were the perfect end to a chilly spring afternoon.
Lemon Pisachio Biscotti
Adapted from Tyler Florence
Makes 24 cookies
1 1/2 cups shelled pistachios
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pistachios on a baking sheet into a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes or until the nuts are lightly toasted.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Fold in the pistachios.
Divide the dough in half. Form each into a log 12 inches long and 1 inch tall on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35 minutes or until the bottoms are just starting to brown. Let the logs cool for 5 minutes, then slice on a diagonal into 12 1-inch slices. Put the cookies back on the sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes, then flip over and bake on the other side for 8 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
I dipped a few of mine in white chocolate and they were amazing!
*I was only able to find salted pistachios and I was afraid the biscotti would be too salty, so I omitted the salt. They turned out fine, but next time I think I will add a pinch of salt. The salted nuts weren’t quite enough.