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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pistachio mandelbrot

It must have been a long break from baking, judging from the recent less than stellar outcome from my kitchen. Chinese New Year is merely a week away but there is not a single decent cookie anywhere in sight  to offer friends.  It certainly did not help when the mystery cook next door kept offering her baked goodies which I would not mind paying for.

I can chose to wallow in 'pity' and shrivel in the face of friendly contest from a superior baker who also holds a full time job or kick myself back into the baking orbit. I opted for option 2 and hoped  that the bad cookie streak will not extend to the mandelbrot. Besides there is a bag of lovely, green pistachio from Dubai that I have been finding a way to use them.

The log that emerged from the first baking was good as a log cake itself and I almost abandon my original plan of mandelbrot nibbling on the light and airy slices while I cut out the mandelbrot.

Was it good enough to be given away? Certainly. With this little bag of  airy crispy nibbles , I hope to please my host at tomorrow's gathering.

Ingredients :

2 cups less 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder

3 eggs
1 cup fine sugar
1 cup canola oil

1/4 cup chopped pistachio

Sieve flour and baking powder 3 times. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs,  2 minutes.

Add sugar. Beat another 2 minutes. By now, you should get a pale yellow frothy egg mixture.

Add oil from the side. Whisk for another 1 minute.

Divide flour to 2 portions. Sieve the first portion over the mixing bowl.

Use a manual whisk and mix to combine batter. Do not overmix.

Sieve over the 2nd portion of flour over the batter. Mix to combine with the  manual whisk.

Use a spatula and stir in the nuts.

Chill batter for at least one hour  or longer until batter is firmed up.

Preheat oven to 170C

Prepare 2  long baking trays. Spoon chilled batter to tray, using wet hands to shape the dough log if needed. Pat the log to compact it or else it will crumble when sliced.

Bake for 25 minutes or until surface is set and light brown. Leave in the oven for another 5 minutes with the door open.

Cool before cutting.

Use a serrated knife and  cut across the log, making 1/2 inch slices .  Place the mandelbrot, cut side facing up.

Reduce the temperature to 160 C. Bake for 10 minutes on one side.

Turn over the sliced biscotti. Bake again for another 10 minutes until the edges are brown .

Cool in the pans.

These cookies can be frozen.

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