Last Taste of Winter: Chestnut Biscotti

mondel bread

It occurred to me today that I should get as much mileage out of my cute wool sweater dresses and soft cashmere scarves as possible.  Only a few weeks left of weather cold enough for fuzzy boots to be considered a fashion statement!  And only a few weeks for enjoying steaming winter stews, or curling up in front of a fireplace with a cup of cocoa. 

I’m excited for spring of course. For daffodils, asparagus, open-toed shoes, and lemonade. But as much as I’ve whined about the constant snow this winter, I feel a need to make these last few weeks count. So I’m bingeing on steaming soups and hot beverages.  And to go with those beverages, nutty biscotti.

Chestnuts are the ultimate winter ingredient, conjuring images of cozy holidays. And they add a rustic sweetness to these simple crumbly cookies.  This recipe is actually more a riff on my grandmother’s mondel bread than an actual biscotti, but a twice-baked cookie is  a twice-baked cookie.  But don’t let the double baking process put you off, these biscotti are actually quite quick and easy, and perfect for dunking in a cup of coffee! 

Chestnut flour is often available at Italian markets, as it’s popular in European pastries, but you can also find it online.  The flavor of chestnut flour is quite unique, but in a pinch, you could substitute almond flour. 

chestnut flour cookie

Chestnut Biscotti

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chestnut flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Wisk together the egg, sugar, oil and vanilla.  Sift together the flours and baking powder.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine.  Stir in the nuts.  The mixture should be rather stiff.  Form the mixture into two logs, each about three inches wide and one inch thick.  Bake the logs on a greased cookie sheet for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then slice carefully with a very sharp knife into 1 inch thick cookies.  Replace the cookies on the cookie sheet, cut side down and return to the oven.  Cook for 15 minutes more until they darken slightly.  Cool completely and store in an airtight container.  They last for at least a week and also freeze well.

Published in: on March 8, 2011 at 8:27 pm  Comments (23)  
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23 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have never even HEARD of chestnut flour! What a delightful little nugget of knowledge on this nasty, rainy morning! I am the same way- I spend all season trying to make sure I don’t overwear any particular outfit, only to have the season end and I realize I’ve only worn something once. Ha!

  2. I’ve never used chestnut flour, and these biscotti look warm and wonderful, and the perfect dunker for a cup of chai. I, too, can’t wait for daffodils and asparagus. Only a few more weeks, fingers crossed.

  3. I’d also never heard of chestnut flour. Your biscotti look delightful! I’m envisioning them dipped in coffee . . .mmmmm!

  4. I have been wanting to use chestnut flour ever since I saw it in my favorite baking book The Bread Bible with a walnut cake. I prefer biscottis to cake and the idea of incorporating chestnut flour is brilliant!

  5. oh wow what great biscotti and great idea to add chestnuts

  6. I’ve never heard of chestnut flour but I’m now intrigued!! Sounds wonderful!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  7. Wow, that sounds lovely. I’ve got a few recipes I’m trying to squeeze in before the weather gets warm as well. 🙂

  8. great recipe, chestnut flour, how interesting..thanks for sharing!!


  9. A nice biscotti with my tea sounds like a wonderful idea on this dreary rainy night. I’ve never used chestnut flour, but I have some almond flour in my cupboard. These sound crispy and delicious! We didn’t have a lot of snow this winter, but I’m sure looking forward to spring!

  10. Katie, I love to make biscotti but have never made it with chestnut flour. Must do that soon. As Betty said above, a nice biscotti with my tea sounds like a wonderful idea.

  11. Oh yea – Tina did cashew biscuits so I am loving this series. BTW, chestnut flour? You rock! Can’t imagine this being anything but delish – you bring these and I’ll get the coffee or a pot of tea 🙂

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  12. I had biscotti on my list of things to make this week. Actually it’s been on my list for a couple of weeks and it keeps being left behind. I agree that they are the perfect make for a cup of hot tea on those last few days of winter. My favorite part of reading food blogs is discovering ingredients and ideas that you’ve never heard before. Chestnut flour sounds like an exciting new thing to try out! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  13. This looks so good! I wonder if there are any Italian markets around me.

  14. Those sounds yummy! I’ve never baked with chestnut flour and am now very intrigued!! Love your site. 🙂

  15. I need to use chestnuts more. And I “meant” to look for chestnut flour about six months ago, but never did. You’ve definitely renewed my interest in it. Your biscotti sound delicious!

  16. Thanks for following me on Twitter! You have a lot of delicious recipes on your blog and I look forward to reading. Have a great day!

  17. I blush to say that I’ve only used chestnuts a handful of times. The biscotti look lovely and something I should keep in mind.


  18. I must try using chestnut flour in baking. Very interesting idea.

  19. A hot drink and one of these biscotti sound like the perfect way to chase the winter blues away! Thanks for sharing!

  20. I totally meant to bake with chestnuts this winter and yet…it just didn’t seem to happen. I’ve seen chestnut flour at whole foods so thankfully I still have a chance! these look great!

  21. I’m A-OK with winter leaving soon! But these look really yummy and I’m sure could be enjoyed anytime of year-love the chestnut flour.

  22. […] I made chestnut biscotti last week, I still had some chestnut flour left.  The sweet and nutty flavor gave me the itch to […]

  23. These biscotti sound absolutely delightful! I need to get my hands on some chestnut flour asap!

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