Pinon Biscotti

Lavender-scented Pinon Biscotti

 

I made cookies!! Biscotti no less – pinon biscotti to be exact. This may not seem like a big deal but for me, it is a big deal.  I can count on one hand the number of times I have made cookies in the past 25 years!

I was inspired to not only make cookies, but to develop a cookie recipe when Anne of From My Sweet Heart invited me to take part in a very special event called Pass the Plate.  Sharon & Denise of  Be Betsy, were inspired by Kitchenaid’s Cook for the Cure® to join the fight against breast cancer.  They purchased a plate specially designed by Jacques Pepin.  The plate is filled with cookies and literally passed from blogger to blogger.  Each time the plate reaches a new destination, Kitchenaid donates $5 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.  Last week I became the proud recipient of these absolutely delicious Ginger Chili Caramel Cookies that Anne made just for me (although I did share a few with Bobby).  Sweet and spicy – one of my favorite flavor combinations!  Thank you Anne for the perfect cookie!

Ginger cookies topped with a spicy caramel

 

If you haven’t visited with Anne, you really need to click over to From My Sweet Heart. I am so very, very envious of her baking skills and her creativity in being able to throw together unique cookies, breads and all kinds of delicious goodies.  Her Buttermilk Tarragon Lemon Bread is a household favorite!  So please, stop by and say Hello!

Can I get serious for a moment? If you are looking for a good cause to donate to this year, please support one of the many non-profits that support finding a cure or helping to prevent breast cancer through education and screening. I had an aunt die from an aggressive form of breast cancer and a sister who, thankfully, has been able to beat a non-invasive form with radiation and a lumpectomy. It is a disease that has many faces and that does not discriminate by sex, race, or age.  You don’t have to be over 50 and female to have breast cancer.

For example there is Liz, a 29 year old mother of an 8 and 4 year old.  Liz was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer in the summer of 2011.  She went through several months of chemo and radiation to shrink the tumor in her right breast. At the time it was removed the doctors also removed 32 lymph nodes, 8 of which tested positive.  She is now waiting for the removal of her left breast and reconstructive surgery. Today, in terms of the cancer, Liz is doing good. She just walked this year’s 60 mile walk for Breast Cancer!  She’s an amazing woman and an inspiration in so many ways!

Now for the cookies!

Pinon Biscotti and hot tea

 

Whenever we can, Bobby and I take a break from work and have afternoon tea and cookies.  One of the perks of working from home. :)  Biscotti are our favorite cookies because we love to dip.  In the past I have always bought them, but the past is the past. Last weekend I made biscotti for the first time. I was so thrilled with the results that I had to make another batch just to make sure it wasn’t beginner’s luck.  The second batch was as good as the first and now I was ready to Pass The Plate.

The brave recipient of these biscotti is Biren of Roti n Rice, a beautiful blog packed with unique and traditional Malaysian, Indian and Asian recipes. Biren takes you into some very exotic places through her delicious food! Now she has extended her talents into Tea Tattler where you are introduced to her love of tea, her incredible collection of teapots and tea cups, and various tea treats.  So please visit both of Biren’s websites. You’ll love what you find!

Now for the recipe. As I mentioned before, these are pinon biscotti. What I didn’t mention is that they have a hint of lavender that makes them extra special. I hope you enjoy them.

 

Pinon Biscotti with a hint of lavender

 

 

Bottle of dried lavender

Kitchen Notes

The lavender – I decided to add a little lavender to these cookies because I have had other sweets that I loved with just a hint of lavender, and, like pinon, lavender is pretty prevalent here in New Mexico. It can be found in landscaping throughout the city. We also have a rather large organic lavender farm called Los Poblanos in the north valley. In the early summer it has fields and fields of beautiful blooming lavender. In July it holds a Lavender Festival and features all types of goodies and classes about lavender.

Butter vs. no butter – Since I had never made biscotti before, I did quite a bit of research and found some recipes with butter and some without. For example, The Pie In The Sky recipe had butter and 3 eggs, while the Cook’s Illustrated recipe had no butter and 2 eggs. Apparently, it’s the fat content that controls the crispiness – too little fat and the biscotti get too crispy and too much fat they are too soft. I decided to split the difference between these two and omit the butter altogether and use 3 eggs.  The result were crispy, but not tooth cracking biscotti. I preferred them this way because I always dip them in my tea anyway. Bobby preferred them a little less crispy.

In the third batch, I blended in 2 Tbsp. softened butter with the eggs and sugar. The result was a less crispy biscotto that stayed “soft” for several days. Bobby prefer these. I preferred them crispier. So there you go – for more crispy, omit the butter; for less crispy and more cookie like, add butter.

Second baking time – The first time I made these I did an experiment with the second baking. Actually, the whole thing was an experiment. Anyway, I divided the cut cookies into two batches. The first batch I baked 7 minutes per side. The second batch I baked 9 minutes per side. The 7 minute batch was a touch gummy in the center and the 9 minute batch was pretty crispy. Knowing that they would get even more crispy from day to day, I felt that 9 minutes was too long. When I made these again, I did 8 minutes per side on the second bake and they were “just right”.  They still get a little crispier after a few days, but they are dipping cookies, so just serve them with a nice hot cup of tea.

Oven Temperature – Pie In the Sky recommended an oven temperature of 350° F for any place over 3000 feet in elevation and 325° F for the second baking.  At sea level, the recommended oven temperatures were 325° F and 275° F, respectively but a minute or two longer on the cooking time. So keep that in mind if you live at sea level.

Dipped in chocolate (didn’t work) – Bobby was curious to see how they tasted dipped in chocolate so we gave it a try.  We both agreed that the chocolate overpowered the original flavors, so that idea got trashed.  Sometimes you just need to leave well enough alone.

 

This Pinon Biscotti with Lavender recipe has been shared with the following blog hop.  Be sure to click on the link to see more exciting recipes.

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These biscotti were featured in DailyBuzz Top 9 holiday cookies – December, 2012.

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88 Responses to “Pinon Biscotti”

  1. Dara November 13, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    MJ these are gorgeous! I adore homemade biscotti

  2. The Squishy Monster November 13, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    If you’re going to make a cookie—these are it! I love it =)

  3. Nads November 13, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    The biscotti looks and sounds delicious! I wish I was that ambitious. I’m glad you are. Your photos are gorgeous – worthy of framing.

    • mj November 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

      What a nice thing to say Nads! Thanks!!! These biscotti really were quite easy to make. Easier than oatmeal raisin in my opinion and the outcome was more consistent. Hugs….

  4. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen November 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    So when this plate travels.. it has some cookies on it as well? Or does the plate go on its own? I think that’s a tremendous idea for a good cause. Breast cancer has taken one of my friends, my friend’s daughter and now another friend has begun the fight. Even small gestures can help this cause in big ways. I love biscotti and have been craving it of late.. you’ve inspired me with your lovely batch! xx

    • mj November 13, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      Thank you Barbara for your comments! Yes, the plate travel WITH cookies! :) Each recipient make a new batch of his/her favorite cookie and sends them with the plate to the next recipient. It’s pretty cool and for such a good cause. I’m so sorry to read about all of the people you know that have or are suffering from this disease. Yes – every little bit helps. Have a great week!

  5. Food Jaunts November 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Oh that is such an inspirational story. Thank you for taking part in it. I’m loving your biscotti, the lavender/pine nut mix sounds inspired.

  6. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles November 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    What a brilliant idea – passing the plate to cook for the cure… an excellent cause and delicious way to support it. Anne’s baking is out of this world and her combinations are so unique and inventive… I must check out her buttermilk lemon tarragon bread (oh my…how good does that sound…). Your nutty biscotti looks perfect MJ – talk about the ideal afternoon nibble with your tea from the comfort of home… yay for working from home! ;-). Love the photo with the faded flowers behind… so peaceful, beautiful.

    • mj November 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

      Thank you Kelly! It’s great to have the inspiration of so many talented people to improve one’s skills and creativity! It’s so easy to spoil yourself went you work from home. We love our afternoon tea. :)

  7. Zsuzsa November 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Peach Lady your post made me cry. We have a beautiful daughter who used to bring us amazing biscotti; white chocolate with lavender was a favourite. I could never make these; biscotti used to be Susie’s specialty. She has MS and no longer bakes, she can’t even feed herself. I cried, but seeing your photos flooded me with happy memories too. Thank you for this post.

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

      Oh Zsuzsa – reading your comment made ME cry! Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story. I’m so very sorry to read about your daughter. I’ve had a couple of close friends with MS so I understand what you’re going through. I’m glad I could provide you with some happy memories. Lots and lots of hugs my dear!

  8. Nami | Just One Cookbook November 12, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    I don’t bake as frequent as other food bloggers. In fact, to start baking was this year’s goal and I think I baked at least once a month (which is a big milestone for me). Biscotti has been on my list to bake but haven’t had a chance yet. I love how it looks next to your tea cup. Saving this recipe for my future baking!

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

      Thanks Nami! Baking was a goal of mine this year as well! It got put on hold obviously during the remodel, but I’ve been trying to bake at least once a week since I moved back in. Now that I’ve actually developed a little bit of a habit on measuring things, it’s making the baking process work. :) Good luck on your baking endeavors!

  9. Suzi November 12, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    MJ, these cookies look totally delicious and what a wonderful cause. I have never made biscotti before and I really like the lavender addition. I did have some growing for a while but for some reason they didn’t last long enough to use them for anything, LOL. Have a wonderful week sweet lady.

  10. Katherine Martinelli November 12, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    What a sweet initiative and a wonderful cause! I love biscotti and have never made them with pine nuts before like this – I must try! Gorgeous.

  11. Kate@Diethood November 12, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Wow, gorgeous!! I make biscotti often…I need to try your recipe. And lavender?! Double wow! :)

  12. Soni November 12, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    These look gorgeous and for a great cause!I love biscotti but never baked them myself!Your version with pine nuts and lavender sounds really good!!Wish I could taste these :)

  13. Rathai November 12, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    I love it when you bake, MJ! I still remember that gorgeous apple caramel pie you made. You obviously have a flair for baking (admit it now :)) and you have proved it again with these scrumptious biscottis. Pinning these, will let you know how they turn out.

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

      Thanks so much Rathai!!! O.K. – My baking is definitely improving and my enjoyment of it is greater than I ever expected. Is that good? :) Please do let me know how you like them. We’re addicted to them!

  14. Vicki Bensinger November 12, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    You know I read so many blogs I couldn’t remember which one inspired me yesterday to make biscotti until yours popped in my inbox this morning. Thanks for the inspiration – I made some when I crawled out of bed yesterday morning with ingredients I had on hand. I love biscotti!

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

      Thanks Vicki! I saw your post and what a great biscotti! I love all of the inspiration that comes with blogging and Bobby does too. :)

  15. Sissi November 12, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    MJ, I also don’t bake cookies often (apart from Anzac Biscuits to which me and my husband are addicted). These biscotti look very appetising and the breast cancer awareness that is linked to them, makes them even more special.
    It’s unbelievable how many women do not care for breast check ups even if they are easy and free.
    You have reminded me I have never used the bag of lavender I bought especially to bake with.
    (PS There is a small error in the first link, to Anne’s blog: an additional http at the end).

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

      Thanks Sissi! I’ve never heard of Anzac Biscuits but I’ll be checking them out, you can bet that. I actually found that bag of lavender when I was moving back into the kitchen. I had forgotten about it, so it was nice to come up with a use for it and a delicious use at that! Thanks so much for letting me know about the coding error. You’re a doll!

      • Sissi November 15, 2012 at 4:41 am #

        Hi, MJ. I don’t want to boast but my ANZAC biscuits are foolproof and addictive (of course it’s not my recipe! it’s a national Australian (and maybe also New Zealand’s) treasure ;-) ) : http://www.withaglass.com/?p=6051

  16. Hotly Spiced November 12, 2012 at 2:44 am #

    Good on you for helping raise awareness of breast cancer. I love the look of your biscotti and I’d like to try it with lavender in it. I haven’t tried that yet xx

  17. Love2cook Malaysia November 12, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    Your biscottis made me crave for them now!!! They look perfect…ooo love to munch on a few :)

    Thanks for stopping over my space…hugs!

  18. The Wimpy Vegetarian November 11, 2012 at 11:55 pm #

    These look just wonderful. I’m allergic to nuts, but can eat pine nuts, so I look for recipes where I can make that substitution. I’m definitely making these – and really love the addition of the lavender. Wonderful recipe, MJ!

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

      Thanks WV! That’s interesting that you can eat pine nuts. Well, if I could eat just one nut it would have to be either the pine nut or the pecan. I hope you do get a chance to make these!

  19. Liz November 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    I’m so glad that Anne’s baking project got you to whip up these marvelous biscotti!! I’ve had fun watching the plate cross the country :)

  20. sawsan@chef in disguise November 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    Such a wonderful post of a worthy cause.
    I love the idea of passing the plate and the idea of lavender in biscotti sounds amazing

  21. Choc Chip Uru November 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    What stunning biscotti my friend and with such a unique flavour :)
    Also thank you for introducing such an awesome cause!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  22. ChgoJohn November 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    What a great post! You helped to spread word of a worthwhile charity, gave us new blogs to explore, and shared a killer biscotti recipe. Well done!

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 8:31 am #

      Thanks John! What a compliment coming from an Italian who has probably made biscotti 101 times! Have a great day!

  23. Judy @Savoring Today November 11, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    Bravo! MJ, what a great post, thank you for introducing us to Anne, Sharon, and Denise — is is so fun to see new sites. I like the flavor combination you used for the biscotti and the photos are fantastic! :)

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 8:30 am #

      Thanks Judy! I’m glad I could introduce you to some new and wonderful people!

  24. Tessa November 11, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    Your biscotti looks so perfect! I tried making biscotti once and I failed miserably. It was too soft. I like that you added lavender to yours. I have some lavender in my cupboard so I want to try to make biscotti again. Do you think pepitas would work instead of pine nuts in this recipe?

    And, thanks for reminding us to donate to help fight the battle against breast cancer. It’s such an important cause.

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      Thanks Tessa! I definitely think pepitas would work or even sunflower seeds. If you try it let me know how they turn out. I do like the idea of pepitas!

  25. CJ at Food Stories November 11, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    How exciting … I recently made biscotti for the first time, as well (it’ll be coming to a post in December) and they turned out great … Don’t know why I was so intimidated b/c they were great … Love yours :-)

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 8:28 am #

      Thanks CJ! Can’t wait to see your biscotti!

  26. Anne@FromMySweetHeart November 11, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    MJ!!! I am so proud of you! I think you sell yourself way too short in the baking department. These are beautiful!!! If I had known you loved biscotti, I would have sent you some. However, you would have had to use them for your doorstop! Mine always come out more dense than I would like! These look lovely. Beautiful clicks as always. And a really poignant post. We all need to be more aware. It was wonderful to share in this amazing opportunity with you. I look forward to seeing what Biren does and I’m excited to check out both blogs, especially Tea Tattler since I share the same love for tea, teacups and teapots! Sending big hugs your way my friend! : )

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 8:27 am #

      Anne – thank you and I, too, was very happy to share this opportunity with you! Thanks for including me and for the wonderful cookies! Hope you are staying warm up there! Sending lots of hugs back your way!

  27. Ramona November 11, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    These look outstanding MJ and for such a wonderful cause!! Well done! I am sure Biren will love them. :) Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. ~ Ramona

  28. Vicki Bensinger November 11, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    This was a nice story you told and so often I think we forget that breast cancer has no boundaries. It can touch all of us so its important that each of us do what we can to raise money and awareness.

    I love biscotti but haven’t made it in so long. I think I might whip up a batch of my favorite ones this morning. I agree adding chocolate can overpower them. However sometimes a dip of white chocolate on just one side tastes pretty good.

    Nice post!

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 8:25 am #

      Thanks Vicki! Hum – white chocolate – now that sounds interesting!

  29. Angie@Angie's Recipes November 11, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    I adore twice baked hard cookies…these look splendid with pine nuts.

    • Boris December 13, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

      I truly found to this unique and original site recently. I was seriously grabbed with the part of assets you’ve got here. Big thumbs up for creating such fantastic website!

  30. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef November 11, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    Biren is so lucky! I read about this and I agree that Anne’s baking is legendary. :)

    Breast cancer can be beaten but we all need to do our part by donating AND getting checked.

    Great post.

    • mj November 12, 2012 at 8:25 am #

      Thanks Maureen for such great comments! Agree with them all!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. YBR Roundup or Your Best Recipes of November 2012 | Spicie Foodie - January 28, 2013

    [...] Congratulations to November’s YBR feature winner MJ’s Kitchen! [...]

  2. Persimmon and Walnut Pinwheel Cookies and Pass the Plate « Roti n Rice - November 21, 2012

    [...] Susan G. Komen for the Cure® . Last week I received an absolutely gorgeous and delicious plate of Pinon Biscotti from MJ of MJ’s Kitchen, based in New Mexico. The biscottis were lightly scented with [...]

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