When I was a little girl, I remember my great-aunt coming over to our apartment to make cookies with my grandmother.
I can still smell the anise filling the air as they worked. At the end, I was able to take a sample from their filled tins of biscotti.
He always asks if they carry biscotti.
Maybe his great-grandma is looking down on him and whispering in his ear.
No desserts will ever be as good as hers, but I can sure try!
My recipe is a sweet variation to the traditional anise flavor, using aromatic vanilla extract, vibrantly green pistachios, and chunks of dried fruit like cherries and raisins.
You can use your favorite nuts or dried fruits to create your own special flavor combinations.
They would also be extra delicious covered in a freshly made spiced glaze!
Enjoy these sweet memories with me – I share my recipe below!
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease or line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Gather all of the ingredients and tools/equipment you will need for this recipe.
If needed, soften the butter in the microwave.
Step 2 – Make the Dough
Combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Add the dry mix into the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until everything is completely incorporated, and a thick dough forms.
Mix in the cherries, raisins, and pistachios on low speed.
Step 3 – Shape the Dough
Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan. Form the dough into a long, narrow log shape in the center of the sheet pan, about 13 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide, and 3/4 inch thick.
Step 4 – First Bake and Oven Adjustments
Bake for 30 minutes. Promptly remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Lower the temperature of the oven to 300°F.
Step 5 – Cut
Once the log has cooled, cut it into diagonal 3/4-inch-thick slices using a serrated knife. Place the cut slices back on the sheet pan, leaving a little space in between each slice.
Step 6 – Second Bake
Bake in the oven for an additional 20 minutes, or until they are hard and crispy. Remove from the oven, and let cool on a cooling rack until they have cooled completely.
Step 7 – Serve
After they have cooled, serve! You can also cover them with chocolate for an extra special treat.
A Sweet Treat, with Even Sweeter Memories
It may not be exactly how my great-grandmother made them, but my recipe for biscotti is still a delicious taste of nostalgia!
With vanilla, nutty pistachios, and chewy dried cherries and raisins, my variation is full of amazing flavors and textures with every crispy bite.
Cover them in chocolate, or dip them in your morning coffee – however you enjoy them, you’ll be sure to shout “That’s amore!” when eating this Italian specialty.
Need another tasty recipe to serve along with your coffee or tea? These German-style Amerikaner cookies are a pretty treat and perfect accompaniment to any beverage.
Do you have any desserts that bring back sweet memories? Maybe you have a favorite chocolaty biscotti that you like instead. Share your story in the comments below!
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Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published August 2nd, 2015. Revised and updated September 4th, 2017, with additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Jennifer Swartvagher
Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.