Biscotti is something that I never really considered making myself until very recently. This past December, me and my husband wanted to send out some holiday packages with baked goods to some old friends, but I could not figure out what the right thing to put inside the package would be. It literally took me a couple of weeks of going back and forth, looking up recipe after recipe to find a baked good I could send in the mail without worrying about it going bad or falling apart before the package was able to be opened. That was my real fear, since I would be sending these packages out right before the holidays, if the people receiving the packages were already on vacation or the package arrived late for some reason, I did not want them to come home to a holiday gift with spoiled goods. Eventually my search brought me to biscotti, and after reading a few recipes I realized that this would be the perfect thing to include in my holiday package! Since I had never made biscotti before, I did a couple practice runs with a pecan biscotti recipe and a pistachio-cranberry white chocolate recipe the week before I was planning on sending out the packages. My friends and neighbors nearby were happily on the receiving end of my test runs =). Luckily both recipes came out great, and I was able to include both varieties in my holiday package!
Since I sent out those packages in early December, I think I must have made at least 20 more batches of biscotti in the remaining weeks of December. They were such a hit I was making them for every occasion! I participated in a cookie exchange with my husbands coworkers and brought my cranberry pistachio biscotti to that. During Christmas all of my Florida family came to our place for dinner and I made cookie tins for them to take home that included biscotti. There were so many other reasons I made them too, but lately, biscotti has become my go-to baked good. These days I usually bake a batch at least once every week or so and keep it out in the kitchen for my husband to have whenever he wants to snack on something, or to have with coffee on the weekend mornings when he actually has time to relax after waking up. Today I am sharing with you the recipe for pecan biscotti. Soon I will also be sharing with you the recipes for my cranberry-pistachio and white chocolate biscotti and my chocolate chocolate chip biscotti (my husbands favorite). =)
After making biscotti 20 or more times within a month or so, I could say with confidence that biscotti is not a complicated recipe at all, but it does require patience. I know a lot of people who don’t have that much patience when it comes to cooking. I can totally sympathize with those feelings. I myself feel that way most days, I just want to make what’s easy and quick and won’t require much thought. Because making biscotti requires you to make a dough, shape it, bake it for 30-35 minutes, take it out, let it cool, cut it up, bake it again for 10 minutes, flip it, bake it for a final 10 minutes and then let it cool, it’s a little bit of a process, but totally worth it in the end, and once you get the hang of it, it won’t seem like much work.
Before I get started on the process of making biscotti, I just wanted to quickly introduce you to my stand mixer, Mixey. He may look like an everyday KitchenAid stand mixer to you, but he holds a very special place in my heart. I have had Mixey for 16 years. Mixey was a gift from my moms brother when I was just 11 years old. When I was little, I admired my uncle so much and the way he would make such fancy beautiful foods with such ease. He’s kind of a whiz in the kitchen and one of my very first cooking role models. One day when we were visiting him, he made whipped cream for us from scratch and as he was doing it showed me the whole process. I think it was meant to accompany some sort of pie or something, but at the age of 10 I considered whipped cream to be its own food group, so naturally that’s all I was really interested in. So to see him magically turn some creamy milk (which I now know is heavy cream) into this beautiful gift from the heavens was amazing and mind-blowing. I think he must have noticed, because a few months later, around my 11th birthday, I got this huge package in the mail (the biggest I had ever gotten), and there was Mixey =). Mixey is 16 years olds and still running strong. About a month ago he was making some weird noises for the first time ever, whenever I would turn him on, and I literally thought that this was the end for him. I ugly cried for like 10 minutes before my husband came and offered to try to fix him for me. Thank god I am married to an engineer. He had come to save the day. He did a ton of research, ordered some stuff he needed, and a week later he tried to fix Mixey. Unfortunately Mixey did not want to be fixed, because for some reason he would not let my husband open him up! There was a pin that needed removing to open him up, and I think over 16 years, just decided it was happy where it was, and it wasn’t going to go anywhere. Luckily, even though my husband never got around to fixing what he set out to fix, all the hammering and banging seemed to have worked its magic, because since then, Mixey has been working good as new =) No complaints here. =)
Now onto the biscotti! The biggest component of this particular biscotti is the pecans! So let me first take you through how to toast pecans properly for this recipe.
Start with a heaping cup of pecans.
Once you have your pecans ready, then the fun begins. =) Click here to see my recipe on brown sugar so you no longer have to ever worry about running out again! =)
Start out by putting equal parts white sugar and brown sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer with room temperature butter.
Do not mix for too long, you want it to just be combined. You do not want the sugar to dissolve.
Then add the eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract and once again, you only want to mix it until everything is just combined.
Whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Next add the flour mixture that has the salt and baking powder already mixed in and mix it until just combined, you do not want to overwork the flour.
Add the chopped pecans and mix for just a couple of seconds in the mixer so its incorporated.
This is what your dough should look like.
The dough will be sticky. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. It’s okay if there are parts that don’t look totally mixed, as you shape it later on, it will all incorporate.
Shape into a ball and cut in half, then roll each half in a little bit of flour so you can handle it easily (I just use the flour that’s already on my cutting board).
take each half and shape them into a long rectangle your baking sheet either onto parchment paper or silpat. You want it to be around 10-12 inches long, 2-3 inches wide and 3/4-1 inch tall. This is the baking sheet and parchment paper that I use:Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet, If You Care 100% Unbleached Silicone Parchment Paper, 70-Foot Roll (Pack of 4).
Once you have shaped the logs, brush a little bit of water on top and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top, then put in the oven. If you cannot find turbinado sugar at your local grocery store, here is a link for it on Amazon:Bob’s Red Mill Coarse Demerara Turbinado Sugar — 28 oz.
After 30-35 minutes in the oven the log should have risen a little bit and have a golden brown hue. Let the logs cool for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, begin slicing the log into 1 in wide pieces. Now you will see the shape of biscotti emerge.
Place each piece (except the end pieces) on their side so it is cut side down, bake this in the oven for 10 minutes, and then flip them so the opposite cut side is face down for an additional 10 minutes.
The biscotti should be a nice golden brown when you remove them from the oven, place them on a rack to cool. They will continue to harden as they cool.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and it makes its way into a regular rotation for you too! It’s so convenient to just have a container of these sitting around, for the occasional snack or quick breakfast, or to serve with coffee and tea when guests come. Everybody will be impressed that you made your own biscotti rather than just buying it from the store! =) These biscotti should last at least a week if not 2 weeks in an airtight container. My biscotti have always been finished within a week, but they have not been even close to going bad after a week so I am sure they would last quite a bit longer. =)
Let me know if you have any questions or if you give this recipe a try in the comments! I would love to hear from you! =) I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! Be sure to subscribe so that you can be notified when I post new recipes! (link in the sidebar). Follow me on Instagram @saltyoversweet and find me on Facebook (the link is in the sidebar).
- 1 3/4 Cups - All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp - Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp - Salt
- 5 Tbsp - Salted Room Temperature Butter
- 1/2 cup - White Sugar
- 1/2 cup - Brown Sugar
- 2 - Large Eggs
- 1 Tbsp - Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp - Almond Extract
- 1 heaping cup - Pecans
- Additional flour for dusting
- Water for brushing
- Turbinado Sugar for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat Oven to 325 Degrees - arrange racks so that they are closer to the center
- Toast pecans in the oven for 10 minutes or until when you open the oven you can smell the pecans well. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and then coarsely chop - keep on the side.
- Mix Flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl - keep on the side.
- In a mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer with a paddle attachment - mix both white and brown sugar with the butter on low speed until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix. You do not want the sugar to dissolve.
- Once the sugar and butter is combined, add in each egg one by one. I like to crack them into a bowl first to make sure that no shell gets in, and then pour them one by one from the bowl. Also add vanilla extract and almond extract at this time Mix until just combined.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl of wet ingredients while the mixer is on low or if you are mixing by hand just put the flour into the bowl a half cup at a time and gently mix it in.
- Once the dough has come together, add in the chopped pecans and stir it very briefly. Just 2-3 seconds in the stand mixer, or a couple stirs if doing it by hand.
- Turn the now sticky dough onto a floured surface and form into a ball or log
- Cut the ball or log in half and coat in a thin layer of flour
- Place each half onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a silicone mat. Shape each half into a long log, at least 10-12 inches long, 2-3 inches wide and 1 inch tall.
- Brush each half with a thin layer of water, and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top (this is optional but provides a nice texture)
- Place baking sheet into the oven for 30-35 minutes or until logs are lightly golden brown. Take out of the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, slice the logs into 1in thick slices, you will notice the shape of biscotti to emerge. Place all of the slices (besides the end pieces) cut side down on the baking sheet and put back into the oven for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, take the baking sheet out and flip all of the pieces so that the opposite cut side is now facing down, put back into the oven for a final 10 minutes.
- After the final 10 minutes remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the biscotti on a cooling rack to cool for an hour. As the biscotti cool, they will harden even more, so do not overcook them in the oven.
- After they are cooled completely they will be ready to eat! The flavors of the biscotti develop even deeper by the next day.
- Enjoy! =)
- *This recipe doubles very nicely if you want to make more. Just be sure to form 4 logs instead of 2.
- *See photo tutorial on the blog
- *For softer biscotti skip the last 10 minute baking time and cool after only the first 10 minutes.
- *For crunchier biscotti increase oven temperature to 350 and follow steps as you see them.
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