Baked Sunday Mornings: Pistachio Cherry Biscotti

This week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe is Pistachio Cherry Biscotti, a recipe I made seven years ago (and I blogged about here). But I love biscotti -- and pistachios and dried cherries -- and was happy to make the cookies again.

The recipe is straightforward. You beat eggs with sugar, baking powder, and salt until light and thick; add vanilla; mix in flour; and incorporate dried tart cherries and toasted pistachios. I had forgotten how much batter this recipe creates; I formed it into an enormous log on a half-sheet baking pan and and baked it until firm.
After letting the log cool slightly, I brushed it with thinned egg white and cut it into slices. Unfortunately, the very center of the log turned out to be a slightly undercooked, so the slices from the center ended up with squished tops as the underbaked dough collapsed under the pressure of the knife (the cookies from the center still tasted fine at the end, but they were unsightly). I put the sliced cookies on a metal rack (on top of a baking pan) for the second bake so that air could circulate underneath.

These biscotti are delicious. They were airy and delightfully crunchy without being too hard, and I love the combination of pistachios and cherries. As I noted the last time I baked these, I think a splash of almond extract would really enhance the flavor -- and I'm kicking myself for not adding it this time around. Also, these cookies are absurdly large and I think it would make more sense to divide the dough into two skinnier logs -- which would also dramatically reduce the chances of ending up with undercooked dough after the first bake. But any way you slice it, these crunchy cookies are fantastic.

Recipe: "Pistachio Cherry Biscotti" (variation of Hazelnut Cinnamon Chip Biscotti) from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

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