By Ryan McKay
I love coffee. Full stop. The smell alone will wake me up and stir all my senses. However, a cruel twist of fate doesn’t allow me to consume it with out paying a terrible price. So whatever vehicle coffee is consumed with has to be worthy. Enter Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti.
The fire service has been run on coffee for generations. I can remember my first-year tour in Riverside, California, rushing to the firehouse to make a fresh cup of coffee before the outgoing shift left and my shift began. Even though I couldn’t drink it, I understood the importance it played with tradition and fueling the fellas. These biscotti are a great way to share that coffee.
Biscotti, or “twice cooked” in Italian, are oblong-shaped cookies perfect for cold or hot beverages. The double exposure to a hot oven makes them keep their texture even after sitting in a hot cup of Joe. Not too sweet with a good distribution of fixings, these are a great holiday gift or cookie for Santa; indulge!
A few after the fire critiques: I added the pistachios and semisweet chocolate chips here, but feel free to add any nut, dried fruit, or chocolate. All are welcome! I dunked mine in milk, but they have been known to pair well with coffee, latte, or hot chocolate, so dunk away.
Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti
AP Flour (2 Cups)
Baking Powder (1½ tsp.)
Cinnamon (1 tsp., ground)
Salt (1 tsp.)
Unsalted Butter (½ Cup at room temperature)
Light Brown Sugar (½ Cup)
Granulated Sugar (½ Cup)
Instant Espresso or Finely Ground Coffee (1 Tbsp.)
Pistachios (1 Cup, coarsely chopped)
Semisweet Chocolate Chips (1 Cup)
Silpat or Parchment Paper
Fine Mesh Sieve
Makes about 2 dozen.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Using a fine mesh sieve, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl; set aside.
- Using the mixing bowl on the stand mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and espresso/coffee. Set the mixer to high speed and beat until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low, add the pistachios and chocolate ships, and mix in.
- Add flour mixture and mix just until incorporated or flour disappears.
- Divide the dough in half. Place each half onto a prepared baking sheet. Using lightly floured hands, form each half into a log measuring 3 inches wide and ¾ inch high.
- Bake until firm to the touch, about 25 minutes (the logs will spread some during the baking; this is normal). Remove the whole logs from the oven and let cool slightly on the baking sheets, about 5-8 minutes.
- Using a spatula, carefully transfer the logs to a work surface. Using a serrated knife, cut into ½ inch slices. Arrange the slices, cut side down, on the baking sheets and bake until the bottoms are brown, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and turn the slices over. Bake until the bottoms are brown, about 10 minutes longer.
- Transfer to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Should keep for 2 weeks if they don’t get eaten.
Ryan McKay is a 13-year fire service veteran and a firehouse cook from Atlanta, Georgia. His goal is to bring the fast-paced lifestyle of the fire service with the slow-paced art of cultivating family and crew through the tool that is food. He has made an appearance on NBC’s primetime show “Food Fighters,” is a co-founder of the Metro Atlanta EMS Conference, and works intimately with the SafePath Child Advocacy Center.