Biscotti with Coconut, Pistachios and Dried Cherries

Jan 10th

And olive oil. That is the most interesting part of this recipe, but I worried it might scare you away if I put it in the title. It scared me away at first. Never baked with olive oil before? Read on…

So, I’ve done this blog for about 2 years now. I won’t be able to do it quite as frequently now that I’m headed back to work, but I am thankful for my little tiny miniscule part of internet-land and I’ve learned a whole heck of a lot. If I didn’t have homebeccanomics, I most definitely would have shied away from a recipe that uses olive oil for a sweet baked good. BUT – since I like to try new things so I can tell YOU about them, I pulled this recipe out of an issue of Whole Living and gave it a go! Man was I glad I did. Besides the almond cookie, this was my fave nibble over the holiday break.

Unless you’d like to become an oil expert, this is really all you need to know. Just plain olive oil is less refined so it has a slightly more “olive” flavor. It’s best used for grilling, roasting and pan-frying. Extra virgin olive oil, on the other hand, is more refined so it has a lighter color and more delicate flavor, making it great for dressings and light sauteing. EVOO is NOT lower in calories, however, so don’t get confused there. Anyways, olive oil is full of monounsaturated fat, which is heart healthy (as in, bring on the EVOO because it’s SO GOOD FOR YOU). When I mixed this batter I could smell the olive oil and I got VERY nervous about how these would taste. My worry was unneeded, as I couldn’t taste a trace of it in these sweet cookies. Baking with extra virgin olive oil – a GOOD IDEA!

If you’ve read this blog before, you’ve probably noticed that I have a lot of biscotti recipes. Let me just reiterate why I LOVE this “twice-baked” cookie. Not only is it a traditionally low-fat sweet – it’s an easy cookie to experiment with when it comes to additions. Not a fan of dried cherries? Use craisins. Can’t find shelled pistachios? Try roasted almonds or walnuts. PS I bought the unsweetened coconut in the organic section of my local Giant. If you use sweetened I’d reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup. Let me know if you try a variation of these!

Biscotti with Lemon, Coconut, Pistachios and Dried Cherries

Makes 3-4 dozen

Adapted from Whole Living

1 c. white whole wheat or all purpose flour

1 c. cornmeal

1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2 eggs

3/4 c. sugar

6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

zest of 1 lemon

1 c. dried cherries

1 c. shelled, unsalted pistachios

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, cornmeal, coconut, baking powder and salt.

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2. In another mixing bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, oil and lemon zest until smoothly combined.

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3. Add to flour mixture and mix gently until almost combined.

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4. Add cherries and pistachios and mix JUST until uniformly combined.

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5. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment and shape dough into two 15 by 3 inch logs (about 2 inches high).

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6. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325.

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7. Let cool for 20 minutes, then transfer logs to cutting board and slice diagonally into 1/2 – 3/4 inch slices using a serrated knife.

8. Return sliced biscotti to pan, cut side up. Bake in reduced-heat oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.

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9. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

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Biscotti will keep 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temp.

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