Renowned pastry chef, cookbook author and founder of La Brea Bakery, Nancy Silverton, created this dessert cookie.Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hours 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hours 45 minutes
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose or pastry flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup pistachios, shelled
- 1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
Fill bowl of electric mixer with warm water, and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Empty the warm water from the mixing bowl and wipe it dry with a kitchen towel. Using the mixer’s paddle attachment and starting on low speed, cream the butter. As it starts to soften, increase the speed to medium. Cream the butter until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Add the sugar, mixing until well-blended, about 1 minute.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 2 of the eggs. Add the eggs in 3 portions to the butter mixture, mixing on medium speed between each addition.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt. Combine thoroughly. Add half the flour mixture to the creamed butter, and mix on medium-low for about 1 minute; then add the remaining half and mix until almost combined, about 1 minute more.
Add the pistachios and the dried currants or raisins, and mix until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute longer.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lightly dust a smooth working surface and your hands with flour. Turn the dough out on the work surface, and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll it out into a log about 1 inch in diameter and 10 inches long. It is important to work the dough firmly to ensure that there are no air pockets in the middle of the log. Transfer the log to the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing the logs about 4 to 5 inches apart. Flatten each log slightly, to form a loaf about 3 inches wide and 11 inches long. Separate the remaining egg, reserving only the white. Brush the top of the loaves lightly with the egg white.
Bake the loaves until they fall, expand in width to about 4 inches wide, and are firm to the touch and lightly golden, about 35 minutes. Remove the loaves from the oven and allow to cool completely, at least 6 hours.
After the cooling process is complete, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a serrated knife, slice the loaves thinly on a bias to form individual cookies. Arrange the biscotti, closely spaced, on the baking sheets.
Bake the biscotti until firm and dry, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove biscotti from oven and allow to cool. Yields 4 dozen.