Monday, April 14, 2008

Sweet Memories

I remember first baking this Lemon Pistachio Biscotti for my sweet mom almost 20 years ago when I first discovered my love for baking. She raved about the biscotti and it soon became an often-requested treat in our house back then. The recipe came from one of my earliest-acquired cookbooks, Sunset Magazine's Low-Fat Cookbook. Recently, I felt like baking them again not only because lemon and pistachios are two of my favorite ingredients, but also because they remind me so much of my mother and all the warm and fuzzy feelings those memories bring up. They simply put a smile on my face! I hope you too will enjoy this "twice-baked" cookie. Personally, I think they taste great even without the lemon glaze but I'll leave that up to you to decide. Oh, and please don't forget the coffee!

Lemon-tipped Pistachio Biscotti (adapted from the Low-Fat Cookbook, Sunset Magazine)


2 cups AP flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup butter (at room temperature)

2/3 cup sugar

grated lemon zest from 1 lemon

1 whole egg

2 egg whites (I used 1/4 cup of liquid egg whites)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup shelled salted roasted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped

for lemon icing:

In a small bowl stir together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice until you get a nice, spreadable consistency.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1. Using a medium sized bowl, stir together flour and baking powder until blended; set this aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and lemon zest until well blended. Beat in egg, then egg whites. Beat in vanilla.

3. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until well blended. Stir in pistachios.

4. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured board, shape each portion into a long loaf about 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter. Place loaves about 3 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Flatten each loaf to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Bake in the 350 degree F oven until firm to the touch (about 15-18 minutes)

5. Remove baking sheet from oven; cut hot loaves crosswise into about 1/2 inch thick slices (I actually made mine a little thicker than this).

6. Turn slices cut side down and spread slices out on baking sheets (you'll likely need two sheets).

7. Return baking sheet(s) to the oven and continue baking until biscotti look dry and are lightly browned (about 10 more minutes).

8. Transfer biscotti to cooling racks and allow to cool.

9. Drizzle lemon icing on one side of biscotti, or spread icing on one end of the biscotti (or both ends if you want!) Let stand until icing is firm.

Yields about 24 biscotti.

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