The cold weather is moving in, the fireplace is burning and the holidays are weeks away. In my house, that means it's time to start baking! Soon enough we'll be baking things like gingerbread, Christmas cookies and nut roll. I can't wait and I have some fun things to share with you in the coming weeks, but for now, I thought it would be fun to share a recipe for a cookie that has become a favorite in my family. I found this recipe for Pine Nut-Orange Biscotti in one of my Williams-Sonoma cookbooks and after making it one time, it moved to the top of our "favorite cookie" list. They are perfect with a cup of coffee or tea or with a glass of after-dinner wine. "Biscotti" means twice baked so there are two steps in this baking process but they are well worth the extra time, I promise.
There are two cups of pine nuts in this recipe. Toasting them in the oven really brings out their flavor and is one of the reasons these cookies are so delicious. I started buying large bags of pine nuts at Costco because it's less expensive than buying them in small quantities at the grocery store.
Immediately after baking, I carefully transfer the logs to a wooden board to cut them. Since they are not fully baked, I place a long metal cake spatula under each log when I transfer it to the board so it doesn't break.
The logs are cut into slices and placed back on the cookie sheets, cut sides down.You'll notice that the dough in the middle of the biscotti is still soft. They will need to bake about twenty more minutes.
Once the biscotti are done baking, they will be firm to the touch. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Perfect during a busy time of year when you are likely to have last minute guests or you need a quick hostess gift.
- 2 cups pine nuts
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- grated zest of one orange
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Spread pine nuts on baking sheet and toast in oven, shaking every 2-3 minutes until nuts are golden brown, about 8 minutes.
- Lay nuts on plate or board to cool.
- Put one-third of the cooled nuts in a food processor to finely chop,
- Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix eggs and sugar until blended. Stir in butter until combined.
- Add chopped nuts, and orange zest. Mix well.
- Add flour and salt. Mix well.
- Add whole pine nuts and mix to distribute nuts evenly. Dough will be stiff.
- Place dough on floured surface and divide into four equal portions.
- Using floured hands, form each portion into a log that is approximately 9-10" long, 2 1/2" wide and 1/2" thick and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. * I form my logs right on the cookie sheets
- Bake the logs until they are firm to the touch, making sure bottoms do not get too brown, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and using a spatula transfer logs to a cutting board. Allow to cool just slightly.
- Using a serrated knife, cut logs into 1/2" slices.
- Place slices, cut side down, back onto cookie sheets and bake until they are slightly brown and firm to the touch,about 20 minutes.
- Transfer biscotti to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container for up to to two weeks.
Photos by Leslie Reese