Pipe Dream #239: To Make Some Cultural Mash-Ups – Spicy Chai Pine Nut Biscotti

chai biscotti 4


I’m going to keep this ultra-vague so that I don’t offend you. I find some cultures in some places at some times to be very boring. The food, the art, the weather. It’s just true, and some days I feel bad about it. Not today, but some days.

Anyway, the whole spicy chocolate thing? Not boring. And when combined with a pine nut biscotti? With chai spices? Let’s just say we have a massive cultural mash-up on our hands. Not one, but three ethnic foods that have no business doing business are in this mix, baby. There is no going back.

chai biscotti 3

You might think this combo of flavors is a little weird. I did, even as I was eating it, but I feel like biscotti is one of those cookies that you could throw the kitchen sink into and everything would turn out all right. Somewhere between being baked to the point of rock, getting dipped in chocolate and being dunked into coffee, these cookies lose any palate-numbing overload that may result from too many people cramming onto the bus. Besides, don’t you think that an Indian-Italian baby would be beautiful? (Just googled it. Oddly, I found a lot of wigs.)

chai biscotti 5

chai biscotti 1

Important things in this recipe:

  1. Bake your cookies for long enough. Or else you’ll end up with semi-soft biscotti like I did. Pointless.
  2. Use quality chocolate for dipping. It makes all the difference.
  3. These keep so well. They are perfect for wrapping and gifting for the holidays.

chai biscotti 6


Other biscotti for the more traditionally inclined:

chai biscotti 2

Ever googling my slightest inclinations,


Spicy Pine Nut Biscotti
An LH Original

2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup strong brewed chai tea, room temperature
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pine nuts
In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the tea, egg, egg white, milk and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in the pine nuts.
Divide dough in half. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and refrigerate while the oven preheats. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment, shape each half into a 10-in. x 2- inch. rectangle. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Place pans on wire racks. When cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board; cut with a serrated knife into 3/4-in. slices. Place cut side down on baking sheet. Bake for 6-9 minutes on each side or until firm. Remove to wire racks. Store in an airtight container.


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