Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday Biscotti

Holiday Biscotti
makes 20 biscotti
In Italian biscotti means twice baked.  These traditional anise and almond flavoured Italian cookies are great any time but at Christmas time they are made extra special with the addition of chopped pistachios, candied fruit and a white chocolate dip. 


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon anise extract, or 3 drops anise oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup candied fruit (as you would use in a fruit cake)

decoration (optional):

12 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped
Red and green sugar crystals, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

prepare the dough:

In the large bowl of your stand mixer (or in a medium bowl if you use a hand mixer) beat the sugar and eggs on high speed until thick, pale, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).  At this point beat in the anise extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. 

Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat until combined.  Fold in the chopped pistachios, lemon zest and the candied fruit.

form the biscotti loaf:

Transfer the dough to a well floured counter and form into a log shape, about 12 inches (30 cm) long and 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) wide. You may have to flour your hands to form the log as the dough is quite sticky. 

first baking of the biscotti:

Place on your prepared baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

second baking of the biscotti:

Reduce the temperature of your oven to 325 degrees F.  Transfer the cooled log to a cutting board and cut into about 1/2 inch slices, on the diagonal. Place the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.  Store in an air tight container 

optional white chocolate dip:

Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip half of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals to form red, white, and green diagonal stripes. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.


Serve on a plate accompanied by anisette spiked espresso coffee.

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