These double-baked crisp biscotti are crammed with figs and and nuts, and are made lighter without butter. They’re best enjoyed with a strong coffee or dipped in some vanilla ice cream for a sweet treat.–Isidora Popovic
LC Jumble of Goodness Note
We quite like the contrast between the lovely lemon-inflected biscotti dough and the jumbled tastes and textures of nuts and dried fruits. We think you’ll agree. Be sure to chop the stir-ins so they’re not too large and not too small but rather a pleasing in-between. This ensures that the dough remains workable and the flavor of each ingredient stays quite distinct.
Fig, Apricot, and Pistachio Biscotti
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup pistachio kernels left whole
- 1/4 cup shelled hazelnuts coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 4 dried apricots cut into small pieces
- 4 dried figs cut into small pieces
- Freshly grated zest of 1 small unwaxed lemon
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and sugar into a large bowl. Make a well, add the eggs, and lightly beat. Gradually incorporate the flour mixture into the eggs and stir just until you get a somewhat sticky, dough-like mixture. Stir in the pistachios, hazelnuts, raisins, apricots, figs, and lemon zest.
- Lightly wet your hands with cool water and bring the dough together to a ball. Transfer the dough to 1 of the baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Lightly dampen your hands with water again and pat the dough into a log, flattening it slightly so that it is about 3 inches wide. (You can use a sheet of parchment paper to help you shape the sticky dough.)
- Bake for 24 to 30 minutes, until when you press very lightly on top and it springs back. If it feels firm, leave it in the oven for a few more minutes. Let the block of biscotti cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Leave the oven on.
- Transfer the biscotti to a cutting board and, using a large, serrated bread knife, slice it into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Lay the slices on their side on the baking sheet and return to the hot oven until pale gold, turning them halfway through cooking, about 10 minutes total. The biscotti should appear dry; if not, leave them in the oven for a couple more minutes on each side. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
If you want a cookie that screams “Christmas,” make these cookies using dried cranberries. I did because I couldn’t find dried figs. The red cranberries with the green pistachios make these perfect for the winter holidays. Be sure and lightly wet your hands, as the recipe instructs, to help gather the dough together. After 22 minutes of baking, my dough was ready to be cut into slices. However, after baking the slices 5 minutes on each side, I needed to bake them an extra 12 minutes, turning them over every 2 minutes, to get them dry. The finished product is lovely, and will be a welcome addition to the holiday table.
I had thought that I would make these every year for the holidays. Hell, I’ve been making them every week or two. They are really fabulous! No butter and only 1/2 cup sugar, they have to be good for you, right? I can’t imagine a cup of coffee in the morning without a couple of these.
I couldn’t believe how delicious these were without the use of butter! The lemon adds a wonderful freshness, and the dried fruit and nuts pack the biscotti with flavor and texture. The dried apricots and figs were a perfect balance of sweetness and chewiness for this cookie. Feel free to substitute pecans and almonds for the nuts, and perhaps dried cranberries or cherries for the raisins. I’ll definitely keep these on the menu.
I still can’t believe there isn’t any butter in these. I ended up making a second batch (since the first batch went so quickly), substituting dried cranberries for the raisins, and pecans and almonds for the other nuts. I thought the dough would be a little dry, but after working it a little, it was just the right kind of sticky. They came out delicious. The only area I’m still unsure of is the first baking time. It was a good 35 minutes, and I think it could go a little longer.
I’ve not made biscotti in quite awhile, and then saw this and thought I’d give it a go. The dough for this came together quite nicely. To get that pale gold color, I did need to bake it for a bit longer than the recipe states, and I was expecting it to be cooked through a bit more than it did (the dough was a bit gooey when I first sliced it). But the final result was still darn good. It’s a nice, light biscotti, with lots of flavor and a good, crunchy texture. I’ll make this again—in fact, I can see this going on my holiday cookie list. The green from the pistachio and the orange from the apricots will be pretty with the rest of the cookies on a tray for the holidays.
Originally published May 05, 2010