Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pistachio-ginger biscotti: a recipe

Mark Bittman's pistachio-ginger biscotti
Since I can't drink my cider, I may as well just eat dessert, right?

I am still reading my way through the Food Matters Cookbook, but this week I skipped ahead to the desserts and sweets section.

So if you thought Mark Bittman is just a vegetable nazi without a sweet side, you are so wrong.

He had me at biscotti.

I love biscotti, and once I realized how easy it is make, I've been hooked on making it at home. This particular version tastes nutty and crunchy, with just a hint of tangy-sweet crystallized ginger to give it that little lagniappe that keeps you coming back for more.

If you don't like pistachios and ginger, you can substitute the same amount of walnuts and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

And hey now -- isn't my biscotti photo wicked?! Well, if not wicked, at least much improved over some of the crummy, yellowy pasta shots I've been dishing up? It's all thanks to the Food Photography class I took this week at the Healthy Living Market here in Burlington. Huge thanks to chef/photographer Zack Minot for teaching me about white balance and lighting.

Pistachio-Ginger Biscotti (from Mark Bittman's Food Matters Cookbook)

1 1/3 cups shelled pistachios
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup water

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, pulse half the nuts until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining nuts, flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and a pinch of salt; mix thoroughly. Add the honey and water and mix until incorporated (you may need to add a little more water).

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 2-inch-wide log. Put each log on the sheet and bake until they are golden, about 30-40 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees.

When the logs are cool enough to handle (a few minutes), slice each on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices with a serrated knife. Lay all the slices on the baking sheet(s). Bake on one side for about 15 minutes, then turn all the slices over and bake about another 15 minutes (they will be slightly chewy-crispy but will get crispier as they cool). Cool on wire racks.


  1. The picture is most excellent, and if you'd send me some of those biscotti then I wouldn't have to make them myself. Because that's just not going to happen anytime soon.

  2. Is the recipe right? What about eggs or oil?

  3. It is correct, that is the beauty of it. The moisture comes from the honey and water!