Lemon Pistachio Biscotti with dark chocolate drizzle !! Perfectly crisp and delicious!

Gosh ! Don’t you just love  Biscotti ? Well I do ! Atleast now. Twice baked goodies of perfection originated in Italy and as American as apple pie, these  find their way into my pantry now more often.

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti With dark chocolate drizzle

There was time it was viewed as dry dust by me. More like saw dust. Hard as rock and bone dry, I was puzzled by it’s universal love. Maybe I had just got a bad batch, I reasoned. But nope after a couple of tries just nodded my head pleasantly and fixed a smile on my face whenever I was offered one, all the while thinking perhaps it was an acquired taste and how not choke on it!  I mean how much can one love those hard as rock, dry as saw dust cookies…. even when dipped into espresso?

Then, I chanced upon these glorious home made treats from a fellow worker. Moist but yet crispy with tons of flavor !  ( Yes, I do realize its quite oxymoronic in its description). She was generous enough to bake me some for Christmas. Rather her mom was a sweetheart ! And then over the years I developed tender feelings towards it. That’s just me, sort of need to crack the science in it.

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti With dark chocolate drizzle

And another version at TJ’s marketed as the soft biscotti caught my fancy. Rather DH bought a tub and we I indulged in it a bit too much over the weeks. Whatever the case, I fell in love. Oh!, not that dewy, butterflies in the stomach kind , my lips are are truthful, but the OMG I can bake this at home kind.

So after much wheedling for the recipe and a few pointers and misfires, this recipe from a friend and mish mashed with the one on Allrecipes site works perfectly!

Crispy and crunchy and perfectly dippable but eminently eatable as a standalone cookie,with a generous combination of lemon and pistachios and with a touch of softness so you enjoy the cookie ! Add a tiny, tiny touch of wow with the gorgeous drizzle of dark chocolate ! C’mon now, what’s your excuse for not reaching out for one ?

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti With dark chocolate drizzle

  • Baking temp : 375F
  • Baking time : About  25 minutes + 10 minutes 
  • Prep time : 15-20 minutes
  • Yield : 24-48 cookies

 Ingredients

  • All purpose flour / APF : 3 1/4 cups/ ( I use unbleached and unbromated one)
  • Canola/Vegetable/Sunflower oil : 1/2 cup
  • Sugar : 1 cup ( 1/2 white + 1/2 brown or all white granulated)
  • Large Eggs : 3 ( at room temperature)
  • Baking powder : 1 Tablespoon
  • Lemon extract : 1 Tablespoon
  • Grated zest of lemon : 2 tsp.
  • Chopped raw pistachios : 1/3 cup ( chopped roughly)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. This recipe absolutely needs parchment/ baking paper. Greasing the sheets with oil or dusting with flour might not really produce the same kind of success.
  3. In a separate bowl mix 3 and 1/4 cups of flour and baking powder and whisk well to ensure they are mixed. While measuring out the flour, just scoop and level the flour. DO NOT make it a packed cup.
  4. In  the bowl of your stand mixer or the large mixing bowl you are going to use, break open  3 eggs and beat together with oil and sugar and lemon extract and lemon zest. Just a couple of minutes will do. You are aiming for a homogeneous mix of all.
  5. Add the flour to this egg- oil -sugar and flavor mix in stages until all incorporated. The dough will be heavy and sticky. DO NOT add any more flour than what is called  for.
  6. Scoop out the dough onto the 2 prepared  cookie sheets by dividing it as equally as possible.
  7. Flour your hands well. Yep I prefer flouring my hands rather than flouring the sheet or the dough. Just dip your hands or dust it well with the flour. Now pat each dough to about 1/2 inch thickness and the length of your cookie sheet. I kept the width of the dough to about 9 inches ( ala the starbucks kind) so it did not extend all the way to the end. But if you keep the width to about 4 – 5 inches then you can form a neat rectangle that extends to the length of the cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes. DO NOT wait too long then the cookie log will harden to a point beyond usability. Using a pizza cutter or a very sharp serrated knife, make 1/2 inches to 1 inch slices thickness.
  10.  Place the slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes on one side.
  11. Then flip it and back for another 3 minutes or so on the other side. Please do keep an eye out. You want these toasted golden brown and not burn to crisp.
  12. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  13. Once cooled very well, melt some dipping dark chocolate and drizzle to create a lovely pattern.
  14. Let the drizzle set and enjoy the fresh baked biscotti with a cup of espresso, latte or like in my case a good cup of tea!

Lemon Pistachio Biscotti With dark chocolate drizzle

Quick Toss Pasta and Garlic Bread

There’s only so much a girl can do on a winter day! If it is not the winter blues then it is the winter blues imagined! Cold, dreary, icy wind across the country and I one of the luckier citizens should not rightfully complain.. NC is still a wee bit in the south and we experience the lower double digits mostly at night. We never have to go through it during the day! Brr….If only I could hibernate.. I would gladly do so. So today was one of the days, I spotted gray in the clouds and a bit in my mane. Sigh! Vanity takes a severe blow and suddenly certain things become more lucid…Grey or no Grey, dinner time remains!

Ravaging into the pantry yielded many things, but I gleefully pounced on my container of Pasta ( whole grain one ). It also yielded a french load bread …A quick makeover with a dash of fresh herbed garlic butter and I would be set to go.

Quick toss pasta and Garlic bread

This is a minor variation from the earlier post– the spiced pasta one.

Ingredients :

  • Cooked Pasta : 3 cups ( cooked al dente)
  • Sliced sweet peppers : 2 cups
  • Onion , thin sliced : 1
  • Vine Ripe tomatoes : thin sliced : 2
  • Crushed Garlic : 2 -3 cloves
  • Red pepper flakes : 1 tsp ( optional)
  • Italian herbs mix – dried kind : 1-2 tsp
  • Dried parsley : 1 tsp.
  • Garam Masala : 1 -2 tsp
  • Curry powder : 1 tsp.
  • Oil of your choice : 3-4 tsp.
  • lemon juice : 1 -2 tsp.
  • salt : per taste

Procedure:

  • Cook the Pasta of your choice in a pot of boiling water and as per the instructions.
  • In a wide skillet, add in the oil of your choice and heat it up and toss in the crushed garlic, dried herbs, red chili flakes .
  • Add in the slivered onions, cook them and then toss in the bell peppers and tomatoes.
  • Toss them in gently, and salt this mix so you have crisp but tender veggies .
  • Add in all the seasoning and masala mixes you are using. Give it a thorough stir.
  • Now add in the pasta and toss it with veggies. 
  • In about 5 minutes or so, you should have nice and awesome mix of pasta and veggies.Perfectly seasoned!
  • Pile it on a plate, add a dash of lemon juice  and eat with a side of garlic bread !
Quick toss pasta with bread
Quick toss pasta with bread

Garlic Bread:

  • French bread : 1 loaf
  • 4 Tbsp of butter
  • Minced garlic : 4 -6 cloves
  • Dried herb mix : 2 tsp.
  • Dried black pepper powder : A huge pinch

Procedure:

  • Mix room temp or softened butter with minced garlic, herbs and a dash of black pepper.
  • Slather it on the slit french loaf of your choice, cut in thick wedges , bake/ toast in a toaster oven for about 4-6 minutes at 375 deg F or until slightly brown but crisp.

Dig in!

 

Quick toss pasta with bread
Quick toss pasta with bread

I give in!

I have been gently prodded, bugged and more or less nudged to compile my list of experiments, recipes and the general affirmations and decimations that stewed in my kitchen!..Well affirmations more so, and decimations when I finally utilize my organic and molecular chemistry aka common sense in most cases to figure out why certain experiments did not really fare well..

Well here I am after so many odd years of kitchen chemistry and well meaning friends to embark on this journey, so to speak!

Salute!