A Stir The Pots Post

Olive oil biscotti, with a distinct nod to Sicily

by | May 30, 2011 | cookies, Recipes

The term "extra virgin" sounds good, especially for olive oil. So when a recipe for biscotti with pistachio and cranberry called for butter, I decided to give my extra virgin oil a chance serve as substitute.


After starting a batch, already having worked out the ratio to use oil instead of butter, I realized I didn't have either cranberries or pistachios. But I did have the other ingredients; walnuts, sultana's, saffron, crushed fennel seeds and lemon zest – a Sicilian inspired cookie



Here's what I learned about using extra virgin olive oil. Extra Virgin is good, but a standard olive oil is better. First, it's less expensive, and it will give the biscotti a subtle – rather than overly assertive – olive oil flavor. Beyond that, the olive oil worked fine. 



While the recipe called for "egg-washing" the cookies, I passed on that instruction, wanting something more rustic in looks and embellishment, sort of a workingman's cookie. More important so far as instructions, biscotti are twiced cooked. The first baking is to set the cookie. Once baked, let them cook even more, as you might find these are a bit fragile when slicing with a serrated knife to a thumb thick size.



Get out your vino santo or marsala, caffe macchiato…..

Walnut, sultana, fennel, olive oil and saffron biscotti

283g All Purpose flour

    7g    Baking powder

 1.4g    Salt

170g    Sugar ( I ran out of sugar, substituted half with agave, which I mixed with wet ingredients.)

80g     Olive oil

pinch saffron threads

 1        Zest of lemon or orange

113g    Nuts, pistachio, almond or walnut

56g     Fruit, cranberry or raisin, gogi?

100g   egg, (2 eggs)

squirt if vanilla (optional)


Sift dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients, eggs, oil, etc… Add to dry mix and finish with nuts and fruit. Split dough in half, roll out to about 7" cylinder, about half inch thick.

Bake at 350F for twenty to twenty five minutes. Remove and cool on rack, when cool enough to handle, cut into thumb thick slices, straight or biased. Re-cook at 300F for about twenty minutes, cool if you can keep from eating warm!

For my friend who say's, "why not!"


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