I’m partial to a good cup of coffee and some biscotti, I’m not going to lie. I have tried many variations of this recipe, even adding alcohol such as Tia Maria and Frangelico to replace the Vanilla Essence. Although I always come back to the fragrant aroma that these Mandarin and Pistachio Biscotti exude as they bake to perfection in the oven.
Pistachios contain fewer calories and more potassium and vitamin K per serving than other nuts. Not to mention they are delicious! You can even get the kids to help by asking them to peel the pistachios for you. It’s the least they can do before they devour them!
100 grams (3 and a half oz) whole pistachios, shelled and baked
225 grams (8oz) self-raising flour plus extra for sprinkling on the work bench
100 grams (3 and a half oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
50 grams of unsalted, melted butter (cooled – this is so you don’t cook the egg when you mix them together!)
Finely grated zest of a mandarin
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Spread the peeled pistachios on a baking tray and bake for 5-10 minutes. Check on them and possibly toss them half way to ensure they don’t burn and cook evenly on both sides.
Once toasted, allow to cool and then place them in a clean tea towel to rub the excess skin off.
In a bowl, mix the mandarin zest, and all the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and cooled butter.
Now it’s time to mix the wet and dry ingredients. Every time I do this, I follow the same procedure. I make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and I add the wet mixture in the middle. This gives me control on how I’m mixing the two ingredients together. It makes me feel as though I have my life together. It’s pretty empowering.
Mix well enough to form a dough. You might want to use a fork initially, but once you see it becoming difficult, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.
On your floured bench top, tip out your dough mixture and cut in in half so as to form two logs. If you find the mixture too sticky, add a little bit more flour to your hands, although not too much because you don’t want to turn this biscuit into a bread.
Place your two logs onto a baking paper lined biscuit tray and pop it into your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. It’s probably best to use the middle tray of the oven, to get a more even bake.
Once you can see that the biscuit has browned and may even have split a little bit on top, take it out of the oven and let it cool for a bit.
With a serrated knife, cut diagonally into the log, about 3-5cm in between cuts. Don’t mind a bit of a chunky biscuit myself.
Bake for another 15 mins, keeping an eye to turn them over so they don’t burn and cook evenly on both sides. You know they are ready when they feel hard to the touch (that’s what she said) and look beautiful and golden and crisp on the edges.
Let them cool on a biscuit rack, because you want them to dry out a little bit more. Biscotti are traditionally dry biscuits.
Feel free to eat the warm remaining crumbs, while you wait for the “real biscuits” to cool.
Those calories don’t count, so don’t worry!!