Monday, June 25, 2012

I’m going on a Picnic and I’m Bringing Limoncello Biscotti

July is National Picnic Month. I’m celebrating with bloggers from all over the country and beyond, by joining Louise of  Months of Edible Celebrations in the Picnic Game.  Although this is my first time playing, Louise has hosted this game for several years now! This game is based on a children’s game where everyone chooses a letter and comes up with a picnic item that begins with that letter. In this case, each blogger will bring to the picnic a variety of virtual food to fill the picnic basket; starting with A and working through to Z!! Does it sound like fun? Let’s play!!

I love picnics! They always evoke memories of my childhood. My grandmother packed the best picnic basket ever!  Her food was simple! Her style was simple!  To this day, I can’t think of another picnic I would rather be part of than hers...packed with so much love!  I was one of eleven grandchildren, and every summer my grandfather would gather all of us together to make a day trip to the Jersey Shore.  My Aunt Louise and my Aunt Lillian would be designated drivers, along with my grandfather.  Then we would caravan through the back roads of New Jersey. That’s the way it was done before the Parkway…  always stopping to picnic at a halfway point.  It was a roadside stand that offered picnic tables to sit on.  My grandmother would pull out her picnic basket, an old tablecloth, and set up lunch on one of those picnic tables. My grandfather would buy drinks for all the kids, and the feast would begin.  Looking back at these trips, the picnic was just as much fun and met with as much enthusiasm, as the destination!! These trips were full of excitement and anticipation! We would start out early in the morning to make the long drive to the shore.  Cousins divided up among the three cars would be yelling to each other from one car to the other…which one of the cars would win the race to the beach!! 
Lunch consisted of hard cooked eggs, boiled potatoes, chicken, cheese and pita bread. We also had a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits from my grandfathers garden!  Cucumbers, tomatoes, and lots of peaches!  My grandfather had a small peach orchard along with a few cherry trees, apple trees and quince!
The years have gone by quickly, and now I have grandchildren of my own. However, those days still live fondly in my memory! Sometimes the very simple things of life are the best! Last summer when my grandchildren came to visit…we packed up several picnics and headed out to explore some new places!  I hope someday they will remember our picnics with such fond memories!  So, pack up a picnic of your own, make some memories, and celebrate National Picnic Month!! 
I chose to bring Limoncello Biscotti to the picnic. Not something my grandmother would have packed, but delicious none the less!!  These are a lovely cookie and a perfect addition to any picnic basket! They pair nicely with cold Limoncello. They are also quite wonderful with a cup of tea or coffee. I used all-purpose flour but, I am looking forward to making them with the whole wheat flour next time!  

Make logs out of the dough and flatten slightly
Baked and ready to slice
These are quite delicious!!

Love the nuttiness of the pine nuts 
Happy Picnicking! 

Limoncello Pine Nut Biscotti

1 cup all-purpose flour or 1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra
granulated sugar, to sprinkle on top
1 pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
1 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large lemons, zest of
2 tablespoons limoncello
3/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a cookie sheet.
Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in food processor and pulse briefly to blend.
Add chopped butter and pulse until the butter is broken down into very tiny bits.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla, zest and limoncello. Stir in pine nuts and add to food processor and pulse, just to blend. The mixture should be moist but crumbly.
Turn out onto a flat surface and press together. Press the dough away from you using the palm of you hand once or twice so everything is well moistened.
Form dough into a ball. Cut in half and roll each section into a long 1" thick rope. If the dough seems too sticky, dust your hands with flour while rolling it.
Place the two ropes on the baking sheet a few inches apart and flatten the tops slightly.
Sprinkle lightly with sugar and bake until lightly golden, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. If the logs are too hot when you try to slice them, they can break.
Cutting the biscotti:.
When the two ropes are cool enough to remove from the sheet pan without breaking, place them on a flat surface and cut into approximately ½-inch slices, cutting on an angle using a quick, clean stroke with a sharp chef's knife. A sawing motion may cause the biscotti to break. Don’t worry if they feel a bit crumbly. If you handle them gently, they will be fine.
Place the cut biscotti, cut side up, back on the sheet pan, and bake for about 10 minutes longer, or until they are lightly browned.
Cool on wire rack and store in a covered container. They will keep about one week.

So here we go…I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing

B…Baked Beans @Moveable Feasts
C…Cauliflower Tabbouleh @Bookcase Foodie
D…Dunkin' Donuts with maple syrup & honey frosting @My Little Space
E…Eggplant Casserole @Yummy Chunklet
H…Halibut and Salsa Verde @Squirrel Head Manor      
I…Iced Coffee Two Ways @Artofnaturalliving
J… Jubilee Sandwich @Culinary Time Travel
K…Key Lime and Ambarella Juice @Riceball Eats
L…and my Limoncello Biscotti


  1. Kathy - those biscotti look absolutely wonderful! Makes me wish I was back home in my kitchen so that I could whip up a batch!

  2. What a wonderful story to accompany our picnic Kathy. Such cherished memories. I knew I was going to be excited to see your biscotti I just didn't realize how much I was going to want one right now! I'm not sure I'll be able to wait for the picnic. Can Limoncello Biscotti be called beautiful because they sure are!!!

    Thank you so much for joining us on our picnic. Our Picnic Basket may not be filled with the goodies of your past but I'm sure your grandmother will approve in spirit!!! Thank you!!!

  3. I so enjoyed reading your picnic memories, Kathy. This looks like a fun gam. I have not heard of this biscotti before and it looks and sounds marvelous.

  4. What a great flavor for biscotti!

  5. Kathy, Your limoncello biscotti just came up on my Pinterest screen. I pinned it and then came to your site. This virtual picnic sounds like so much fun for you. And, your biscotti. Do you remember that two friends and I made Limoncello this Spring - it took three months and it is delicious. We just made sorbet with it, if you remember. I just sent them your Post. These sound so good.

  6. Your limoncello biscotti looks yum! I love pine nuts and lemon, two of my favourite ingredients! These are perfect to bring for a picnic for snacking, which I'm sure will be gone in no time at all! I'm bringing a fruit dessert!
    Thank you for sharing and have a nice day!

  7. I love lemon flavoured biscotti's. I've only had them once. Adding the limoncello is brilliant. I can just imagine the intensified flavour, Good choice for the picnic!

  8. This is such a brilliant picnic item my friend :D
    I am very happy you were part of the lovely blogger program!


  9. I have a picnic today and don't know what to take!! This could be a great idea!!!

  10. Smiling from ear to ear this is a great cookie and one heck of a sharing for any picnic!

  11. How brilliant. I would never have thought of lemon biscotti!

  12. These biscotti sound perfect to bring to a picnic! Another reason to get a bottle of limoncello.

  13. Kathy your biscotti are always perfect looking! I would love to go on a picnic with limoncello biscotti in the basket;-)

  14. These biscotti look wonderful:) I enjoy lemon flavored cookies especially during the summer months. Can't wait to make some.

  15. What a wonderful, nostalgic post, Kathy! And what a fun group.

  16. Fantastic, lemoncello and biscotti together!

  17. I wanted to join in on the picnic fun, but time didn't allow it this year. Hopefully I can be a part of the fun next summer. I enjoyed your picnic memories. Food always tastes better when paired with a fond memory from the past! I've never made biscotti before, but this reicpe makes me want to try.

  18. Kathy-sounds like such a fun blog event...'going on a picnic'. I will look into that and check out all those delicious foods featured.
    Your limoncello biscotto is right 'down my alley'...yumm! one of my all time favorites, and I happen to have limoncello in the freezer at Lora's which actually, we both use just for baking.

    Love the recipe,and the way it turned out so perfect, and crunchy, I would love some right now with my morning coffee!

  19. Double yum, Kathy! A wonderful post filled with your memories.
    These are perfect for a picnic as you can make them ahead. Love that limencello!

  20. I so agree! Picnics are wonderful - and even better with these delicious biscotti - love the ingredients - they would taste fantastic anywhere!
    Mary x

  21. Such a perfect picnic treat!!! Your biscotti is gorgeous. I was too disorganized to join in, but I'm off to visit more excellent picnic ideas :)

  22. I'm not really a big fan of DRINKING limoncello but I bet I'd adore it in biscotti form!

  23. The biscotti are almost as delicious as your memories :-). They are a perfect picnic treat and they would be gobbled down. Have a wonderful evening. Blessings...Mary

  24. The biscotti sounds delicious! And I loved your stories about picnics in your childhood. What lovely memories!

  25. Hi, stopping over from the Picnic Game. Thanks for the lovely story and the biscotti looks so delicious. Please pass me a piece or two during the picnic.

  26. Kathy, what a wonderful story, I loved reading it and what wonderful memories. My kids love picnics too and I already have one planned but you know that these biscotti would be a nice treat for my husband and me, a new recipe to try and something new to bring along. Of course, the idea of the virtual picnic is sooo much fun.

    So, since we will be going/driving to my favorite Italian store today, I will pick up some Limoncello and pine nuts and will let you know how they turn out once I have had a chance to bake them, hopefully this weekend.

    You always have such wonderful ideas, thanks for all of them!

  27. Stopping by from the picnic. Biscotti look great and perfect for a picnic--if there are any left can you save me a couple for my daughter who is away for the summer?

  28. Biscotii is fun to make and this recipe looks delicious!

  29. Visiting from the picnic game. Thanks for sharing your memories with us :) Your limoncello biscotti looks amazing and they are perfect for the picnic!

  30. Hi there, and thanks for visiting my blog today. We seem to share some culinary common ground... in addition to tabouli (courtesy of my father's side of the family) I have my Sicilian grandmother's recipe for soft-baked biscotti, which I'll be posting on my site when the holidays come around. I'll definitely be trying your limoncello version. (Are you by any chance half Italian?) I've just started on Pinterest, so I'll look for you there. All best, Marci

  31. Kathy, it is me again - I did it, I bought pine nuts and limoncello and baked those biscotti yesterday - they taste absolutely wonderful, summery and lemony and I am keeping this recipe! Thanks again for sharing it!

  32. Fabulous.. I'll just make a batch and tote them in a tin. Perfect for a picnic. Great combination...

  33. I'm stopping by from the picnic & love your story. These limoncello biscotti looks delicious , perfect for picnic! Have a lovely day! :)

  34. I love biscotti. I must try making this soon. Bookmarked your recipe. Thanks.

  35. Kathy, I love your idea of using limoncello in the biscotti. Your biscotti look very professional. Congratulations on being featured in the Huff Post. They obviously know where the great recipes are.