Why It Works
- Pairing rich pistachios with fruity, peppery olive oil and a healthy amount of salt results in biscotti with a perfect savory-sweet balance.
When I was in college, as a special series for seniors, we got to attend some free Italian wine tastings. Everyone, eager to get as much free wine as possible, overtly displayed their love and appreciation. "Notes of cherry? Ah yes. And smoke, like the burning of twigs in the autumnal Tuscan air." Yet when the series switched to a special tasting of olive oils—taken plain by the demitasse spoonful—people were less than thrilled. "Ew this is gross." The lines for seconds shortened.
Personally, I was in heaven. I could drink good olive oil by the cupful. I love trying different varieties, including the super peppery kind that catches you in the back of your throat. I also love to bake with olive oil in a way that highlights that olive oil. Like these cookies.
These biscotti are simple. They taste like olive oil and pistachios. There's a little sweetness there, and a seemingly heavy dose of salt (which really just emphasizes the olive oil), but generally speaking what you taste is those first two things. Olive oil. Pistachios. Simple but perfect, which is why I polished off the whole batch over the course of four days, averaging about 4 cookies a day. With coffee. With tea. Alone. Gobbled down all.
I'm going to go ahead and tell you I use Frantoia olive oil not because anyone is telling me to, but because there is so much crappy olive oil available at Whole Foods and Amazon and I think this actually meets a good intersection of taste (fruity, with a hint of pepper) and price (around $20 for 34 ounces). Do I use it for everyday cooking? Egads, I do. But you don't have to. This has enough flavor that it could be considered a "good" olive oil used for salad dressings or other such applications. Of course, there are even more awesome oils out there, and if you have really good olive oil and you're not hoarding it to drizzle on bread, use it here too. Or grab a spoon.
May 15, 2013
2 cups (10 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (see note)
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup shelled pistachios
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil and sugar until combined. Whisk in egg. Add dry ingredients to bowl and stir until comes together in a dough. Stir in pistachios. Divide dough in two and wrap each half in plastic wrap and chill for one hour or more.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Form each half of dough into an approximately 3 1/2-inch by 8-inch log and place one on each baking sheet. Bake until golden, 45 minutes. Take cookies out of oven and decrease oven temperature to 300°F (150°C).
When cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to cut logs on the bias to form 1-inch wide cookies. Place cookies, cut side down, on baking sheet. Place back in oven and bake until dry and toasted, about 10 minutes more.
The olive oil in these biscotti is meant to shine, so use one with a flavor that you like and don't be afraid of the amount of salt. I like to keep my pistachios whole, but if you'd prefer, chop them in half.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 12g||15%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||8%|
|Total Carbohydrate 26g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 12g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||1%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|