The holidays are about here and I’ve been working on my cookie game. How are you doing with yours? Do you have a favorite cookie recipe you always make for the holidays? I usually go with something simple like a sugar cookie or ginger molasses cookie, but this year I decided to step it up a notch and make biscotti. (Plus, secretly/not so secretly I want to pretend I’m in Italy.) To holiday-fy these biscotti I added crushed candy canes and dipped them in white chocolate. Italians would totally put candy canes in their biscotti, right?
Biscotti are a twice-baked cookie, but don’t let that scare you, they’re really fun to make! And once you have the general process down, you can go wild and experiment with all kinds of flavor combos just by changing up any of the flavored extracts, add-ins or toppings/coatings. I’ve made cinnamon biscotti with a brown sugar glaze, cranberry and white chocolate biscotti, and vanilla biscotti dipped in dark chocolate and topped with crushed pistachios. Endless possibilities!
One of the great things about this recipe is that it’s mostly done in the food processor, so no lugging out your heavy stand mixer! You form the dough into rectangles, bake them, let them cool, slice them and bake again. Then dip them in the white chocolate…because it’s the holidays and we need chocolate!
The dough is baked at 325 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. The dough will crack on top, no worries!
Let them cool for 30 minutes then slice them about 1/2-inch thick on a slight bias.
Time for round 2 of baking: line them up on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, flipping over once halfway through baking.
Baked twice, so nice!
Melt the white chocolate then dunk the biscotti halfway in and lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet to set.
Let’s give Santa an Italian treat this year and set out biscotti. Buone Feste! Happy Holidays!
White Chocolate Covered Peppermint Biscotti
1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Vegetable oil cooking spray
11 ounces (1 bag) white chocolate chips
Preheat oven rack to 325 degrees F and adjust oven rack to middle position. Using a ruler and marker, draw two 8 x 3-inch rectangles, spaced 4 inches apart, on a piece of parchment paper. Grease an 11 x 17-inch baking sheet with cooking spray and place parchment on it, ink side down.
Pulse the candy canes in a food processor until finely chopped; remove any large pieces and transfer to a bowl and, set aside (you should have about 1/3 cup of crushed candy canes). Wipe out food processor bowl and add the almonds; pulse until finely ground, about 45 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt; process to combine, about 15 seconds. Transfer flour mixture to a second bowl. In the now empty processor, add the eggs and process until lightened in color and nearly doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. With processor running, slowly add the sugar until thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Add melted butter, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract and process until combined, about 10 seconds. Transfer egg mixture to a medium bowl. Sprinkle half of flour mixture over egg mixture and, using a spatula, gently fold until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture and crushed candy canes and gently fold until just combined.
Divide batter in half. Using floured hands, form each half into 8 x 3-inch rectangles using the drawn lines on parchment as a guide. Spray each loaf lightly with cooking spray. Using a rubber spatula lightly coated with cooking spray, smooth tops and sides of rectangles. Bake until loaves are golden and beginning to crack on top, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
Let loaves cool on baking sheet for 30 minutes then transfer to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice each loaf on a slight bias into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Lay slices cut-side down on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 35 minutes, flipping slices over halfway through baking. Let cool completely.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the white chocolate chips over a double broiler or in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between intervals until completely melted. Dip each piece of biscotti halfway in the chocolate, using a spatula to spread up the sides and wipe off excess if needed. Lay them on the parchment-lined baking sheet and cool at room temperature until until chocolate is set, or refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated magazine.