Chocolate-Pistachio Biscotti

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A cousin of mine got married over the weekend and as is customary for most weddings in the Pittsburgh area, they had a large cookie table filled with goodies made by family and friends. If you’re from another area of the country, or from another country altogether, is this a tradition where you live? I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding in this area and there not been a large display of cookies made by family and friends of the bride and groom. It seems to transcend ethnicity, age, and just about every other factor you can think of. I personally think it’s great – along with the traditional wedding cake, guests can grab a cup of coffee and a plate of cookies to have with dessert. Most couples also provide take-out boxes at the table so when you leave the wedding, you can take some cookies home with you. It’s a great option for people who don’t like cake, and you get to sample some of the recipes that have been in the bride’s and groom’s families for years.

I was asked if I could make a couple different variations of biscotti to be included in the cookie table, and I was happy to oblige. I asked the bride if she wanted anything in particular and she asked for almond biscotti with cranberries and white chocolate (which I have made before and which you will see here on the site soon) and a chocolate biscotti with some type of nuts. I thought that pistachio would be an unexpected and delicious accompaniment to the chocolate; after all, they went together wonderfully in the spumoni I made over the summer. So I ran with that flavor combination.

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To make these biscotti, I adapted a recipe that I found in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. It’s an interesting recipe because there is absolutely no fat included in the recipe (save for the cocoa and chocolate). I actually re-read it about four times before I started baking because I figured I just HAD to be missing the butter. But alas, no butter, no oil. I was curious if the cookies would turn out with the same consistency as traditional biscotti, and they absolutely did. The chocolate flavor in the biscotti is deep, rich and smooth and the salty pistachios provide the perfect balance. It’s an amazing combination and one I will be sure to make again and again.

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Chocolate-Pistachio Biscotti

Yield: 4 dozen

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 to 24 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces (about 2 cups) semisweet chocolate chunks
1½ cups (about 8 ounces) pistachios, shelled
4 large whole eggs, plus 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1½ cups granulated sugar
Sanding sugar (or granulated sugar), for sprinkling (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor, pulse the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, 1 cup chocolate chunks, and pistachios until chips and pistachios are the size of peas.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the whole eggs and granulated sugar until the mixture holds a ribbon-like trail on the surface for a few seconds when you raise the whisk. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and remaining 1 cup chocolate chunks, and beat until just combined.

3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into an 18-inch log. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. With the palm of your hand, gently press the logs to flatten slightly. Brush egg white over logs. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if using.

4. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until logs are just firm to the touch, 20 to 24 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes.

5. Place logs on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut ¾-inch-thick slices on the diagonal. Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down, on the rack. Bake until biscotti are firm to the touch and completely dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on the rack. Biscotti can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

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39 Responses to “Chocolate-Pistachio Biscotti”

  1. Amanda on November 23, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I’ve only made biscotti once, Dorie’s, and it was fabulous. Never buy store bought again. I’m not huge on biscotti, but these are two of my favorite things – chocolate and pistachio :) Looks fabulous!

    Reply

  2. Sarah, Maison Cupcake on November 23, 2009 at 10:46 am

    These look great! I like that you can really see the green of the pistachio even though they are dark chocolate biscotti.

    Reply

  3. marina mott on November 23, 2009 at 10:53 am

    It looks absolutely delicious. And this tradicion is so lovely…
    makes the wedding sounds really a family and friends part, not that comercial thing…(my english is so poor…I hope you got what I mean0

    Reply

  4. ali on November 23, 2009 at 11:58 am

    YUM! And I totally love that you made these without fat. I’ve never understood why people add tons of butter when these don’t need it at all! :)

    Will have to give the chocolate + pistachio combo a try this season…

    Reply

  5. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on November 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Never made biscotti, but I love chocolate and I love pistachios. I don’t think I could go wrong with this recipe!

    Reply

  6. Cajun Chef Ryan on November 23, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    These biscotti really look great! Love the pistachio mixed into the chocolate dough.

    Reply

  7. wasabi prime on November 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    This looks like such a heavenly indulgence. I love pistachios and chocolate — this would go well with any hot beverage, or even red wine!

    Reply

  8. The Klutzy Cook on November 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    I was considering making some biscotti for Christmas gifts. Now I will – you can’t go wrong with this flavour combination. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

  9. becky s on November 23, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    What a sweet cousin you are! Years ago I made all the cookies for my daughter’s wedding, truly a labor of love for my child and all those who attended! Life time Pittsburgher, would truly love to be the cookie lady at another wedding!

    Reply

  10. Astrid on November 23, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    You know what? I have never heard of that tradition before. But it is brilliant. I think I have to do that when I get married. You are right, not everyone is a cake person. And some of the gorgeous cakes out there never taste as good as they look. But cookies and treats made my friends and family–always delicious!

    Reply

  11. Katrina on November 23, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    You worried me there for a minute saying NO fat, then I saw that there was eggs. Eggs have fat. Otherwise, yum to the cookies! it’s amazing to me some biscotti recipes I see are so totally different from others with the amounts of butter and eggs! These look great!

    Reply

  12. katie on November 23, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    These make me long for a good cup of coffee and a great book! I wish I could find already shelled pistacios :)

    Reply

    • Tammy on July 11th, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      Founded shelled pistachios today at Costco…2 pounds for $19!

      Reply

  13. Lisa @ The Cooking Bride on November 23, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    A cookie table is not something you see in the South. That is the first I have heard of it. Isn’t it funny how different traditions can be?

    Reply

  14. Jelli Bean on November 24, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I LOVE chocolate biscotti, in fact, I just made some 2 weeks ago and still haven’t forgotten about it. Real biscotti doesn’t include butter, as you’ve found. This makes the cookie even more crispy and dippable. I love the pistachio addition to your cookie. I may have to throw them into mine next time. Great post! P.S. I’m originally from the Buckeye State, and we don’t do cookie tables at weddings, but I’d sure love to start.

    Reply

  15. bridget {bake at 350} on November 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    A cookie table?!? Oh, I wish that was a tradition here! How fun! Your biscotti look wonderful!

    Reply

  16. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on November 26, 2009 at 3:27 am

    The cookie table sounds like an amazing tradition. Wish we had something of the sort over here! And this biscotti looks so good, it might just be the first one I try to make!

    Reply

  17. Nastassia Johnson on November 30, 2009 at 12:31 am

    The chocolate and pistachio make such a beautiful color combination. This wedding tradition sounds so awesome, I’ve never been to a wedding with a cookie table, but I think it is a sweet addition to have family and friends share their baked treats!

    Reply

  18. Sana on December 9, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I just made these and they taste great.. however my dough was not firm and not easy to shape. I made only half the recipe , any reason why the dough didnt firm up?

    Reply

  19. Michelle on December 14, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Hi Sana –

    I typically don’t find any type of biscotti dough to be firm; I usually need to really flour the work surface and my hands in order to shape them and get them onto the baking pan. I hope this helps!

    Reply

  20. Steve on December 15, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Is the 8 oz. of pistachios before or after they have been shelled?

    Reply

  21. Michelle on December 17, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Hi Steve,

    The 8 oz. is before they have been shelled. Enjoy the biscotti!

    Reply

  22. Vicki on March 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I’m making a second batch of these right now – so good!

    Reply

  23. couture prom dresses on March 31, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I wish for a cookie table tradition. Or at least for one of these biscotti. I guess I will have to make them myself.

    Reply

  24. Chrysa on October 30, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Thank you for the recipe! Made them yesterday as I had some friends over for coffee in the afternoon and they really went down a treat! I had no problem with crumbling while slicing as many complain about when baking biscotti. I think the right kind of knife (a serrated one) and having the logs cool sometime before cutting are essential!

    Reply

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  28. Christine Bongiovanni on December 17, 2011 at 10:37 am

    My comment is not to be posted but for the author. I am making my Christmas baking list and going back to three of your recipes that I made very positive comments on, including this one. I am disappointed that my comments weren’t good enough to approve. I guess because I’m a professional athlete with a fitness blog doesn’t qualify me to know what I’m talking about when it comes to baking. Quite the opposite, my Sicilian grandfather taught me enough to be more than a qualified cook and baker.

    No, there were no links included in the comments, just good positive feedback. One less food blog to follow in my Reader…

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 17th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      Really not quite sure what you’re referring to at all. I don’t moderate comments, which means that they are automatically published when they are left. I just searched the comments in my admin backend, both for your name and IP address, and nothing came up under either, which indicates that you have never left a comment before. Perhaps you are thinking of another site?

      Reply

  29. Lynda on December 24, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I have some raw in pistachio’s – but with the comment about salt, I’m thinking I should use the roasted salted variety for these goodies? Or would the raw ones work OK? I use the raw pistachios in the lemon- pistachio biscotti and they turn out ok – maybe the recipe needs the roasted-salted flavor? Thanks for any help….

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 26th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Lynda, You can definitely use raw pistachios. Enjoy!

      Reply

  30. Gabrielle on December 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    “Good artists create. Great artists steal.”

    I urge you to track down a copy of MaryAnn Esposito’s “Celebration’s Italian Style” published in 1995 for an authentic Italian Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti recipe. For flavor, and authenticity to a true Biscotti, it can’t be beat. Note: do not substitute Oranges for the Tangerines, the depth of flavor will be lost.

    Reply

  31. Robyn on December 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Made these yesterday, and they were amazing! I tweaked the recipe a bit–added 1 tsp orange extract and 1 tsp vanilla extract, as well as 1 tsp instant espresso and another 1/4 c of cocoa to intensify the chocolate flavor. I also replaced 1/2 c of granulated sugar with brown sugar. The end product was perfect! The orange extract added great flavor and made for very authentic-tasting biscotti. But the best part was the crispness! Such awesome crunch and texture; I will be making these again and again!

    Reply

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  35. Dana on December 12, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I made this recipe for a cookie exchange. It was perfect. Very professional looking and it tasted even better.
    Do not be intimidated to make Biscotti. This recipe is easy and delicious! Thank you for adapting it from Martha Stewart.

    Reply

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