George Hirsch Lifestyle Biscotti

Please see LIMITED HOLIDAY OFFER below..

I think one of the most often asked question regarding biscotti (meaning twice baked) is, do you dunk? And I’m not talking coffee or espresso. Biscotti is ideal dunked into sweet wine, the dry cookie soaks up the beverage giving it an ideal flavor.

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Chef George on set of George Hirsch Lifestyle dunking biscottiThis recipe is an ideal do ahead sweet, as it only gets better a couple days after baking. 

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chef George's Biscotti from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series

George’s Biscotti

Makes 3 ½ dozen cookies

chefgeorgehirsch.comGeorge Hirsch Lifestyle 

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup pure cane granulated sugar

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 eggs

1 Tablespoon baking powder

3 drops pure almond, or anise extract  

1/2 cup mixed pistachios pieces and slivered almonds 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and almond flavoring until well blended. Combine the flour and baking powder, and nuts. Stir into the egg mixture to form a heavy dough. 

Place dough on parchment lined sheet pan, divide dough into two pieces. Form each piece into a roll as long as your sheet pan. Press down to 1/2 inch thickness and with a rolling stick even out top height of dough by rolling evenly and gently. 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until a light golden brown. Remove the two biscotti bars from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. When cookies are cool enough to handle, slice each one crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 4-5 minutes on each side or until slices should be lightly toasted.

Cool, and store for two weeks in a tightly sealed container. 

Tip: Save the biscotti crumbs when slicing cookies, they make an ideal topping on gelato and ice cream. 

LIMITED OFFER

I am proud to offer what I bake for my family, friends - NOW making it available to YOU TOO!. 

And, in keeping with my decades of philanthropic work, every purchase will benefit a community cause near and dear to me that will benefit those needing a hand up. 

I hope that when you are purchasing gifts this season you think of the Hampton Baking Co. LIMITED EDITION Holiday Biscotti Gift Box assortment as that a very special gift!

My Pastry Team & I thank you, and may you have a blessed holiday! 

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Southern Italian Cookies

Guest post + recipe today by Marie Bianco, my dear friend, food writer and author. This is one of her favorite holiday cookie recipes.

Edible holiday gifts always make a hit and this one is about as easy as it can get. Even school age children can get into the act. 

Pignoli cookies can cost up to $16 to $20 a pound if you buy them at an Italian bakery, but these Southern Italian holiday favorites are so easy to make you’ll want to make plenty and give them as gifts.

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Pignoli Cookies

8 ounces pignoli (pine nuts)

½ cup granulated sugar

½ confectioners’ sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

Dash salt

1 (8 ounce) can almond paste

2 egg whites, slightly beaten

½ teaspoon almond extract

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with Teflon or Silpat liners or lightly butter the sheets. Place pignoli in a shallow dish.

2. Combine granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, flour and salt in a medium bowl and lightly whisk. 

3. Break up the almond paste with your fingers and place in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer. Add the eggs whites and beat on low speed until smooth. You can use a hand mixer, but you’ll need a strong arm if you do it by hand. 

4. Add the almond extract and the flour mixture and beat until flour is blended in, about 30 seconds. Do not over beat.

5. Using a teaspoon, scoop up a rounded spoon of dough and cover it with pignoli. Place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Wash sticky dough off your hands and keep them clean. 

6. Bake the cookies 18 to 25 minutes, depending if you like them soft or chewy. Cool 1 minute before removing them from the rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Makes about 30 cookies.

Hints for making pignoli.

Always use almond paste, not marzipan which is a combination of almond paste and sugar.

Break up the almond paste into small pieces with your fingers. If the almond paste has hardened, grate it using the large hole on a four-sided grater.

A small amount of flour will keep the cookies from spreading too much.

The size of the dough ball determines the size of the cookie. Make them smaller if you want more cookies.

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