Amy Riolo: Hi! I am Amy Riolo, I am a cookbook author, cooking instructor and culinary and restaurant consultant and we are going to be making Italian cookies. The first cookie that we are going to be making right now is Pistachio dried cherry and white chocolate biscotti. The ingredients which we will need are three cups unbleached all purpose flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, one half teaspoon of salt, one cup of sugar, you will also be needing six large egg, two tablespoons vegetable oil, two teaspoons almond extracts, one teaspoon vanilla extract and it can be dry or liquid, three quarters of a cup of raw unsalted Pistachios which have been shelled, one cup of dried cherries and one half cup white chocolate chips or chocolate pieces.
The first thing that we need to do is combine our dry ingredients and I am going to be using a standing mixer today but if you dont have one at home its no problem you can do this very easily with a regular bowl and a wooden spoon thats the way that the cookies were originally made. So, I have the three cups of all purpose unbleached flour which I will add in first and then we need our baking power, little bit of salt and our sugar and once we have got all of those into the bowl, we can just connect it here to the standing mixer, lock it down into place, then we can use our lever to bring it up and just mix the ingredients together on low speed.
Now while those are mixing, we can mix wet ingredients. This is just to get the ingredients incorporated. The first thing that I have here are the three large eggs, to that I am going to add the vegetable oil. This is a very basic recipe, and then I am going to add our almond extract and that really works well with the cherries, the combination of cherries and almonds is absolutely delicious, and a little bit of vanilla extract. This is dried powdered vanilla, you can also use the wet vanilla whichever you have its just the flavor that we are looking for, but its nice to get really good pure extracts instead to imitation if you can find those its much, much better and you come across with a cleaner tasting more delicious cookie.
So, now, that we have the wet ingredients together, we can just mix those in with the dry. So continue mixing this on low speed for one minute. So now that our mixture is completely mixed together, we are going to add in our important ingredients like the pistachios which are unsalted and shelled, and then we are going to add in our dries cherries. You know that it takes about six to eight pounds of fresh cherries to make one cup of dried cherries, so they have a really concentrate sweet flavor and we get a lot of really good flavor to our cookies, but if you dont have dried cherries its not a problem you can use dry cranberries, apricots, raisins whatever you like in this recipe will be very delicious and just we are going to combine this very gently so that we dont really break anything up and what we are going to do with the mixture now is we are piling into mounts and then we are going to make two strips and these cookies will get baked twice.
The fist bake is just going to cook them through and make them nice and soft and some people that I know actually really like to eat them that way when I teach my class there some of the students say, well, there are so good like they ask, cant we just eat them. So, of course if you like them that way, they are delicious and no one will ever no the difference that they were supposed to be something different, but if you like them crunchy and you are planning on dunking them in a espresso or cafe latte or something like that, then of course you can make them in the traditional way.
Now, what I am doing here is I am just flattening out the dough with my hands and working it in because you want to evenly size rows and you want about this much really two to three inches in the middle just so that they dont come together as they bake and that will be enough. If you wet your fingers, this is even a little bit easier to do with the dough is so sticky that I think it works fine just to do it this way. So now what you can do is wash your hands and then we are going to put these into an oven thats been preheated at 375 degrees. We are going to bake them for approximately 30 minutes until they are golden brown and you want to bake them in one of the higher racks, not the highest but may be the second to the highest, definitely not the lowest rack.
So, now we have taken our biscotti out of the oven, let them cool for 30 minutes, and I have also reduced the oven temperature to 325 because when we put them in for that second bake thats at a lower temperature. I just remove it on from the pan on the silpat, I am going to transfer them on to a cutting surface and then what we can do is with a sharp serrated knife just make cuts straight down in them this way and so you can see this is -- it looks just like the biscotti that you buy in the store that hopefully all taste butter, and this is a very soft version. So you can eat this just like this if you are giving them, for example, to young children or people who dont want something so crunchy, you dont want to dunk them. You are going to take them may be with you where you are not going to have a beverage to dunk them with you can do it just like this.
Now if you are at home you can continue doing that with a second row and putting them on to a second baking sheet, where we are going bake these just like this. We are going to bake these at 325 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until the biscotti are nice and hard to the touch and are dark golden brown.
So these are our crunchy and delicious dried cherries Pistachio in white chocolate biscotti and when we come back we will be making our sesame cookies.