Friday 13 July 2012

Easy Friendships and Easier Dessert: Pistachio and Blueberry Biscotti

Pin It

I have a great girlfriend in London who is that wonderful combination of nice (without being too nice), hilarious (without being too catty), and understanding (without letting me get away with too much moaning), and best of all, she gets along famously with the BF.  Instead of glazing over the way I do when he talks about medicine too much or tells a story for a little too long, she is always rapt and encouraging – is it any wonder he loves her almost as much as I do?

Given how awesome this friend of mine is, of course she has a standing invitation to our flat for dinner, and when she moved a mere 20 minute walk down the road the invitation was reiterated with even more vehemence.  Now, unfortunately, she's a very busy gal, so we don't have her over as much as we'd like, but she does come round relatively often, and when she does I always make sure we finish the meal with something sweet and satisfying, and preferably something that packs well so I can send her home with a doggie bag.

Last time she came for dinner, I hadn't really made plans for dessert.  I knew I could whip up a loaf cake or some cookies relatively quickly, but I didn't really want to wait for butter to soften (seriously, I think that's the worst part of baking for me: the required forethought!) and I also wanted to make something a bit lighter, as, like too many of my friends, this particular bestie is always concerned about her (teeeeeny) waistline.  So I thought I'd throw together some biscotti: easy, relatively quick, pretty low fat/sugar.

Now, I'd made biscotti before, but they hadn't come out exactly as I'd planned – they were tasty, but verrrry poppyseedy, and I didn't want to make that mistake again.  And anyway, for once I didn't feel like doing something simple like lemon or chocolate.  And we had some leftover randomness in the cupboard, so I threw a bunch of it together and ended up with these pistachio and blueberry biscotti, with some almond flavor thrown in there for good measure (and to use up the rest of the bag).

I wasn't sure how they would turn out, having been such a mishmash and so haphazardly thrown together, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good they were, subtly sweet and nicely toothsome and just dry enough without crumbling all over the place.  And they were so easy to make, and the recipe is so forgiving and flexible, I almost think you can't go wrong (of course I'm sure I'll prove myself wrong sometime in the future).

In summation, what you should take away from this post is this: great girlfriends are an essential and wonderful part of life and if you should be so lucky as to have one you should invite her over as often as you can, and you should also make these biscotti.  Or your own variation: with cranberries, white chocolate chips, walnuts, whatever floats your boat!  But I really liked this combo.  I liked it so much, in fact, that I ate at least five biscotti the day after I baked them – what can I say, they're great with a cup of tea!

Pistachio and Blueberry Biscotti 
       adapted from Allrecipes 

Preheat oven to 300F/150C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.   

In a large bowl, mix together until well blended:
      1/4 c olive oil
      3/4 c sugar

Stir in:
      2 tsp vanilla extract
      1/2 tsp almond extract
      2 eggs, beaten

Combine in a separate bowl, then gradually mix into wet ingredients:
      1 3/4 c flour
      1/4 tsp salt
      1 tsp baking powder

When wet and dry ingredients are incorporated, stir in:
     1/2 c dried blueberries
     1 c pistachio nuts
     1/2 c toasted flaked almonds

Divide dough in half and form two logs (about 2" wide).  Set logs 2" apart on prepared baking sheet – moisten hands with water if the dough is sticky and difficult to handle.   

Bake for 30-35 minutes in preheated oven, or until logs are light brown / golden.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. 

Reduce heat to 275F/135C.  Cut logs into diagonal slices, 3/4" thick (use a tea towel to protect your hand if the loaves are still too hot).  Lay the slices on their sides on the same parchment-lined baking sheet on which you baked the logs. 

Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry, then allow to cool before serving. 


    1. Oh sneest...please bake for your chubby sister when you're home! I can't wait!!!

      1. of course i'll bake for you, anytime! and if you're feeling chubby (which i'm sure is all in your head), then i'll make cinnamon and cocoa meringues, because they're fat free and delicious and cinnamon is supposed to activate your metabolism (not that it's been much help to me in 10 years of consuming it in baked goods...).


    I love hearing from you guys, so if you have a question or a comment, or even just a random outburst like OMNOMNOM, please post it here!