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Pecan Biscotti

Pecan Biscotti

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Makes about 40
By Dennis W. Viau—modified from one of my own recipes.

Biscotti is really easy—if a little messy—to make and they are inexpensive if you buy the nuts at the warehouse store. These are not the “cookie” biscotti, made with oil to be soft. These are hard biscotti that require dipping in coffee or tea.

Ingredients

10 ounces (280g) whole pecans, plus about 40 extra (unblemished) for garnish
1¾ cups (350g) sugar
4 large eggs (about 57g each, weighed in the shell)
1 large egg; separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups (20 ounces/566g) flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons raw sugar for garnish

Directions

Heat your oven to 350°F (175°C) with a rack in the upper part of the oven. Set about 40 whole pecans aside for garnish. Arrange the 10 ounces of pecans on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Put sugar, eggs, separated egg yolk (reserve the egg white), and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Blend well with a whisk. Place the flour in a large bowl and add the salt and soda. Blend well. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and blend with a spoon or spatula until most of the flour is incorporated.

Chop the roasted pecans in a food processor or blender until most have been reduced to a powder but some large pieces (no larger than ¼ inch/6mm) still remain. Add the chopped pecans to the flour mixture and combine with your hands to form a sticky dough that is dry enough to knead. Transfer the dough to a clean surface and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. It will be sticky.

Divide the dough in half and shape into two loaves, about 12 to 16 inches (30 to 41cm) in length and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Combine the egg white with 1 teaspoon of water and mix well to make an egg wash. Brush the top of the biscotti loaves with the egg wash and press whole pecans, turned at a slight diagonal, into the top of each loaf, about ¼ inch (6mm) apart, in a line along the center.

Bake the loaves on the upper rack for 35 to 40 minutes at 350°F (175°C). Remove from the oven, let cool until comfortable to handle (but still very warm), and slice diagonally between the whole pecans. Arrange the biscotti on the baking sheet with air space in between. Reduce the oven to 275°F (135°C). Bake another 40 to 45 minutes to dry thoroughly. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Store in an air-tight container. Serve with a beverage, as these are hard biscotti that require dipping to soften for eating.