I currently have a pistachio fixation, it has as much to do with their delicate taste as it does with their vibrant green colour. I suspect the falling leaves and the icy kiss of the morning air proclaiming the end of the summer and the begin of the dark days are making me yearn for the pastels of spring. Add to this an article on pistachio ice-cream production in Italy, a stash of hoarded green “gold” – ground and chopped pistachios from a trip to Turkey and an obsession with making the perfect biscotti and the only natural conclusion is double pistachio biscotti!
*** Note to the sensible: if you didn’t recently go to Turkey and don’t want to remortgage your house to buy pistachios, or just feel quite rightly that using pistachios in biscotti is a tad extravagant, you can of course replace the pistachios with any other nuts such as almonds (cashews, whatever you have in the house, if using hazelnuts I suggest you toast them first, although an authority on all things Italian just told me hazelnuts are not good for use in biscotti, but I say suit yourselves :))
Double Pistachio Biscotti – Cream 50g unsalted butter + 115g caster sugar, add 175g flour, 50g finely ground semolina, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 8 tablespoons ground pistachios, 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios a 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 tsps Armenian brandy (or you can use amaretto if you are using almonds, pistachio oil if you have some, or regular brandy or some other fluid if you don’t want to use alcohol)
Mix to a dough, shape two logs 6cm x 23cm (if you like measuring) – I just halve the dough and make the size of log I want. Place in medium hot oven (160°C 325 F) for 20 minutes or until firm to touch and slightly risen. Take out, cut diagonally into biscuits, but them back into the oven for 10 minutes until firmed up and remove and let cool. If you wanted to keep the green colour you could lower the heat of the oven and dry them out more, I didn’t have the patience for this though.
Not as green as I would like, but they are lovely and the consistency is a dream!