Pistachio-orange biscotti bites

These biscotti bites are a very happy recent discovery of mine!  Picture biscotti that does not need to be twice-baked, and in round, bite-size form.  This is a fun, easy, and very delicious way to take a twist on classic biscotti (which I love).
I found the idea for these biscotti bites from Martha Stewart Living's Jan/Feb 2014 issue.  It really caught my eye given my love for biscotti so I promptly ripped the recipe out...and then left it to languish in my "things to cook" folder for over a year.  I meant to try it during Christmas but it didn't happen but 'better late than never' certainly applies here!  

There's so much I love about these cookies.  Taste - first of all, they're delicious!  In my case, I went with one of my favorite biscotti flavor combinations, pistachio and orange.  The original recipe is made with shredded coconut and grapefruit zest so you can see how you could very much customize the flavor to your liking.  The original recipe has chocolate bits in the cookie itself as well as a chocolate coating at the base but I choose to only dip mine when it comes to the chocolate.  Once in a while, I like to practice restraint when it comes to chocolate.  In all seriousness, I think the thin layer of bittersweet chocolate at the bottom of these cookies is enough to add richness and to complement the orange zest and pistachios.  The cookies are good even without the chocolate.
Texture is another key thing we need to talk about because I think taste and texture go hand in hand in making this a great package.  I don't normally make biscotti with butter but I see the appeal after this.  There's just enough butter in this recipe to soften the cookies to the liking of the majority of people (I think most prefer a softer texture than I do).  More interestingly, there's ground cornmeal in the cookies to give it a grittiness and coarse texture that you associate with biscotti.  It's like a little shortcut to the biscotti texture without having to bake them twice.
Ease - these are easy to make and aptly called "speedy biscotti".  No need to roll into a log, bake, cool, slice, and re-bake.  Make the dough, scoop it out and let it chill for about half an hour before baking just once.  You could get playful and make these tiny bites (the recipe suggests teaspoonfuls) but I made them more normal in size, just slightly over a tablespoon of dough per cookie.  

As someone to loves to bake, I don't necessarily mind the steps needed to make traditional biscotti so the real selling point for me here was just how tasty these are! The texture is firm and crunchy but not too hard, the cornmeal adds a lovely element of texture, and there's plenty of flavor and richness from the pistachios, orange, and thin chocolate coating. I highly recommend this to any biscotti fans looking for a fun, easy, tasty twist to the typical!

Customize it!  I suggest you play with the add-in's and flavor these biscotti bites to your liking like I did.  I went with pistachios and orange zest here and the original recipe had the unusual combination of shredded coconut, grapefruit zest, and chopped chocolate.  Think almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, dried fruit, candied ginger...whatever your favorite biscotti combination might be.  There are so many possibilities!
I'm really fond of the cornmeal in this cookie dough
You could also size these biscotti bites to your liking.  I think it works best no bigger than the size I made them (slightly larger than a tablespoon's worth) but you could go smaller if you want to serve them along with other desserts or to a large number of people.  We all know everyone loves miniature treats!
Scooped into rounds using a small ice cream scoop, a little over a tablespoon full
One bake in the oven for about 20 minutes and the cookies are done.  They come out much as they went in.  They taste great as is but a little dip in chocolate makes them look and taste all the better.
Biscotti bites baked once and done
I only needed about 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate to dip my batch of 18 of these biscotti bites.  I used 70% bittersweet chocolate.  Since you're essentially not cooking the chocolate, you'll really taste what you use so go with a chocolate you love.  I brought out the Scharffen Berger for this; I love the sharp fruity flavor of it.  
Let the dipped biscotti bites chill in the fridge for about half an hour until chocolate sets
Since I was using chocolate as opposed to a candy melt, I made sure to carefully/gently melt my small amount of chocolate.  I put 3/4 of it in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water and stirred it until just melted.  I took it immediately off the heat and stirred in the rest of the chocolate until smooth.  This worked quite well and I did not have an issue with bloom (those gray streaks you often see with untempered chocolate).  Once the chocolate sets, you can store them in an airtight container in a cool place.
Chocolate is set and ready to be eaten or packed up; these babies are delicious!
I served these at a weekend brunch as a little something sweet to end our meal. They were a hit and I'm thrilled to make this cookie discovery.  I hope you try it so you'll know what I mean.  They were surprisingly buttery and rich, despite having just 3 tablespoons of butter distributed among the 18 cookies.  There's a lot of flavor in these bites, and for a chocoholic like me, the thin layer of bittersweet chocolate just wraps it all up beautifully.

Recipe

Pistachio-Orange Biscotti Bites
Adapted from Martha Stewart

- Makes approximately 18 rounded tablespoon-size cookies - 

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fine cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest of one orange
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup toasted pistachios
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

In a medium-size bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt together.

Place butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-speed until smooth.  Add sugar and orange zest, and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.  Add pistachios and mix until just distributed.

Using a small ice cream scoop (about a tablespoon or so), drop rounds of dough spaced 1-inch apart onto a parchment or silicon-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake, rotating the sheet halfway, until cookies are golden, about 18-20 minutes.  Let cool completely on baking sheet set on a wire rack.  
For the chocolate dip, set chocolate over a bowl of barely simmering water and stir until chocolate is just melted (to avoid over-heating the chocolate which could create bloom or gray streaks in the coating later, I melt 3/4 of the chocolate, remove it from the heat and stir in the rest until just smooth).  Transfer the melted chocolate into a small bowl.  Dip the bottoms of each cooled cookie in the chocolate, lightly scraping off the excess against the rim of the bowl (you want just a thin layer).  Set cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes until chocolate is set.  Once set, you can place cookies into an airtight container in a cool spot.





46 comments:

  1. Hey Monica these biscotti look so fantastic! I love pistachio and need to try it in combination with orange, I can imagine how great it tastes :) I´m a big big fan of cookies in general and I love having some at home, so I always have something nice to serve if someone comes for a quick visit :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Karla! You can never have too many cookies/cookie recipes. : ) I really loved these little surprises. You can really add whatever flavors you enjoy.

      Delete
  2. I don't think I've ever baked something with orange and pistachio, but I think the combination sounds wonderful. These biscotti sound great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love making this combination of flavor in biscotti and now I can do it in this one-bake form. Citrus zest goes so well in all kinds of baked goods! Have a great week!

      Delete
  3. Oh I need one (or two) of these with my morning coffee! How perfect made in little bites. The cornmeal has me fascinated - I would have never thought to add cornmeal to add that little bit of grittiness. Pistachios are perfect and the chocolate, well - amazingly perfect! Have a wonderful day Monica! P.S. We should compare piles-o-recipes someday - mine is totally out of hand :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cornmeal was a great contribution in these cookies. It's not even that they needed it but it gave it a lot of interest. I did find myself going for the chocolate bits first...typical me! You enjoy the week! Hope there's no more snow!!

      Delete
  4. Love the idea of a biscotti bites already, but these are made even better with that chocolate!

    Sues

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree...I found myself savoring the chocolate bits most. : )

      Delete
  5. You can't never go wrong with chocolate and pistachio. We would love these biscotti bites too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're telling me! haha. Thanks!

      Delete
  6. I have never seen round biscotti, but I love this idea! And these get bonus points for being dipped in chocolate! Looks like another winning recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A first for me, too, Eva. This recipe is a keeper! Keeps well and easier than traditional biscotti. Both are so good but it's fun to do something a little different sometimes. Thank you!

      Delete
  7. I love that they are in cookie form!! And the flavors - perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dorothy! We always need cookies. ; )

      Delete
  8. These are so creative!! I've never made biscotti before, but I imagine they would be much easier to only bake them once :) I love the pistachio and orange combo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was such an awesome idea when I saw it and I love how you can customize the flavors to your own liking. It really works and really tasty. : )

      Delete
  9. Oh my gosh Monica I love these! I'm a huge biscotti fan and I really like that this is a faster way for when I don't feel like doing the whole double bake thing! And pistachio and orange - match made in heaven! I had a dessert recipe flop tonight so I am craving dessert like nobody's business! haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you share my feeling on these, Ashley! : ) I love biscotti...just great to make some and keep them around when you want a little something sweet with a cup of tea or coffee. These are really tasty so I hope you try it and put your own favorite flavors in there.
      Sorry about the dessert flop! It probably wasn't so bad but I know the feeling. Hate it when a recipe doesn't work out. When it does (like here), it feels like some great discovery and it's so exciting. : )

      Delete
  10. I can see why you wanted to make these! I want to eat them right now and it's breakfast time! :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coffee and a couple of biscotti cookies should make a perfectly acceptable breakfast, Lorraine. ; ) Thanks.

      Delete
  11. This is such a great idea, Monica! I love biscotti and making them in cookie form sounds perfect and much easier! I can't wait to try this. They look so pretty and I love the orange and pistachio combo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really easy to make and I had cornmeal on hand anyway. Very easy and so tasty...keeps well too. I was very happy with this one! : )

      Delete
  12. These look so perfect! I love the flavour combination of pistachio and orange....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you like them. There's a lot of good flavor in these bites. : )

      Delete
  13. These look amazing! I can't wait to try them!

    ReplyDelete
  14. These biscotti bites look so good! I love pistachio flavors and these look like they would go so well with a nice cup of tea (my fav!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I forget how good pistachios are...they don't just look good! I love anything that goes well with a cup of tea, too. Stay warm and get ready for this snow (by that, I mean make sure you have plenty of cookies and hot drinks!).

      Delete
  15. I've never made biscotti because I get turned off by the double baking haha so I can definitely get behind this! And lately I've been obsessed with orange flavored sweets!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For me, the shaping of the log and the sticky fingers turn me off more than the second bake but I love biscotti so it's worth it either way! : ) I think orange and citrus help us get through these winters...

      Delete
  16. Monica, one of the reason that I have never made biscotti, is the long baking process...now I sure can handle these bite size biscotti...and the flavors here are just amazing...pistachio and orange...yum!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe...have a great week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Juliana. This is a fun and easy recipe and these cookies are very similar to biscotti w/o the extra work. Have a good one!

      Delete
  17. Ooh pistachio and orange is a fabulous flavor combo for biscotti. I never thought of biscotti in any other form other than the traditional, but these look absolutely adorable! The chocolate bottoms are so perfect. And cornmeal! That's sneaky ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cornmeal is genius! This is why I love Martha so much to this day! : )

      Delete
  18. OMGosh, you had me right here: does not need to be twice-baked, and in round, bite-size form.

    Love, love, love this. So pinned, and I'm making them too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you try it...it's really easy to make and definitely tasty!

      Delete
  19. That's one of my favourite combos..citrus and pistachio! I actually made muffins of that combo this morning. But these biscotti bites...OMG...these look and sound too good! Everything is just perfect about them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So funny because I've been wanting to make some orange-pistachio muffins for ages. One of these days...because I always end up defaulting to my favorite banana and chocolate muffins when I feel the urge for muffins. : )

      Delete
  20. I rarely make biscotti because of the whole twice-baked thing...but these are the perfect way around that! The chocolate-dipped bottoms make them even more fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The chocolate definitely makes them fun and a little extra tasty, in my book. Thanks!

      Delete
  21. I love biscotti and you made these bites, so fancy. I am going to print and make it for sure. The cornmeal sounds good in it Monica. I can imagine how good it must taste especially with the orange..they are like match made in heaven. Adorable.
    Have a great week my dear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cornmeal is a really good addiction. I love lots of texture in my food and that gives it a nice unusual quality. Hope you're having a good week. We're bracing for yet more snow tonight and tomorrow...time to bake again! ; )

      Delete
  22. These are so cute! i love biscotti and I have never made it because I'm always too intimidated... love these bite-sized versions :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is really minimal-hassle since you don't need to handle the dough or slice and re-bake. Not that traditional biscotti is hard to make at all...I like it actually...but this is easy as well as tasty. :)

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...