While the rest of the country is melting under crazy, extreme heat, it seems the Pacific Northwest is stuck in the '70's. I do hope we have a few more days of hot, sunny weather, but I admit I'm enjoying being able to use my kitchen, and oven without completely exploding of heat exhaustion.
I happened upon some shelled pistachios today (thanks, Drew) and decided to use them in one of my favorite snack-cookie-things. Biscotti. Here's today's baking adventure, (inspired by my Auntie Jill who makes the best biscotti ANYWHERE)!
(Oh - and they're way easier than they seem - don't be intimidated by the lengthy directions.)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unbleached cane sugar
3/4 cup smooth unsweetened applesauce
1-3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups nuts, (pecans, hazelnuts or pistachios) toasted and chopped
1/2 cup raisins or cranberries or chopped dried apricots
Preheat oven the 325.
Lightly oil two cookie sheets.
Use double layer shiny ones, if you have them.
If yours are very black, line them with foil. (As you'll notice in the pictures, haha, I forgot to do this)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt.
Ina medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, applesauce, oil (1TBS for a hard biscotti, 2-3 TBS for a softer biscuit), and extracts.
Stir the sugar mixture into the flour mixture, add the nuts, and fruit and finish mixing with your hands.
With floured hands, shape the dough into two 3-inch wide"logs" about 3/4 inch thick, with the ends squared off.
Place these on the cookie sheets.
Bake the logs for about 25 minutes.
Remove the pans and reduce the oven heat to 300F.
Cool the logs on a rack for 15 minutes. Cut the logs carefully with a sharp knife straight across into 1/2 inch wide slices.
Place the slices cut side down on the cookie sheets.
(you can remove the foil, if using.) Bake 5-10 minutes, or until golden on the bottom.
Turn the slices over and cook 5-10 minutes more, or until golden on bottom.
Cool on racks, then store airtight for up to two weeks