Chestnut Biscotti

chestnut 4

Maybe you believe in aliens, dragons, mermaids, or giants. Around here, we believe in fairies.

We have a Sign Fairy that visits our house, hanging new signs or posters on the kitchen wall every once in a while. My son is quite certain I am the Sign Fairy. He claims to have seen me tearing tape and sticking up signs early one morning when I was sure he was asleep. Yet, I reassure him every chance I get that it is not me.

Every few days we walk into the kitchen for breakfast and notice that the Sign Fairy visited us during the night. So far she (we are assuming it is a girl fairy and not a boy fairy, although I’m not quite sure why) has helped us learn about visual literacy, parts of speech, homophones and homographs, synonyms and antonyms, onomatopoeia, alliteration, idioms, and palindromes. She has taught us about carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Recently, she started sharing sayings by famous people. We learned that Albert Einstein is known for saying “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” Although I am constantly reminded we don’t say “stupid.” And that, Mahatma Gandhi in his efforts to spur people to action said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Our Sign Fairy is well loved. And although we’ve never seen her, she brings smiles to our faces and we look forward to the treasures she leaves behind.

We also have a Mailbox Fairy, although we are pretty sure she takes a human form. Occasionally we find biscotti inspiration from special ingredients left in our mailbox. These Chestnut Biscotti are one of our Mailbox Fairy inspired creations. We coated the top of each biscotti log with a mixture of Chinese Five Spice and sugar to give these Chestnut Biscotti a little kick. Thank you Mailbox Fairy!


Chestnut Biscotti

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup finely ground cornmeal

1 ¼ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 eggs and 1 egg white

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ cup chestnut puree

1 cup chopped roasted chestnuts

¼ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice

2 teaspoons granulated sugar


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

2.  In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

3.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg white, vanilla extract, and chestnut puree.

4.  With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together.  Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.

5.  Add the chestnut and knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.

6.  Separate the dough in half.  Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.

7. In a small bow combine the Chinese Five Spice and sugar. Press the mixture firmly on the top of each log.

8.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split.  Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

9.  Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board.  Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.


What to do with the ends #68: Use the ends to play Pass the Biscotti instead of Pass the Pigs.


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