These tasty Christmas Biscotti are our very first recipe here on colourful beautiful things. But hey, it’s Christmas, and these crunchy, spicy, Italian treats are definitely things of colour, beauty and joy.
Best of all, they are incredibly easy to make. My sister-in-law introduced me to them a few years back (she’s amazing at finding great new recipes) and these delicious Christmas Biscotti are now a festive staple in our house.
Pistachio nuts and dried cranberries or cherries add festive notes of green and red to these crispy biscotti, and a generous amount of mixed spice and orange zest add warming spice and bright citrus notes for that evocative Christmas flavour.
I love these special Christmas Biscotti with a cup of strong coffee for a quick, crunchy pick-me-up mid morning. Or, do as the Italians do, and serve them with a sweet dessert wine after dinner for a light and boozy end to a meal.
If you can bear to part with them, they’re also ideal for making and giving as gifts and it’s a lot of fun to find or make pretty packaging for them.
I’ve adapted the recipe from the BBC Good Food version as I found their method a bit of a faff! Trust me, this way is much simpler… I hope you enjoy making and eating them.
Fruity Christmas Biscotti
350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
250g golden caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
Coarsely grated zest 1 orange
85g dried cranberries (or cherries)
50g blanched almonds
50g shelled pistachios
1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 180C/gas 4. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper or silicone baking sheet liners.
2. Put the flour, baking powder, spice, sugar, fruit and nuts in a large bowl, then mix well. Stir in the eggs and zest until the mixture starts forming clumps, then bring the dough together with your hands – it will seem dry at first but keep kneading until no floury patches remain. (If the mixture is a little dry, add a very small amount of milk until it comes together).
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 pieces. With lightly floured hands, roll each piece into a sausage about 30cm long.
Place 2 on each tray, well spaced apart.
Bake for 25-30 mins until the dough has risen and spread and feels firm. It should still look pale.
Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack for a few minutes until cool enough to handle, then turn down the oven to 120C/fan 140C/gas 1.
4. Using a bread knife, cut into slices about 1cm thick on the diagonal, then lay the slices flat on the baking sheets.
If you like, the biscuits can be cooled and frozen flat on the sheet at this point, then bagged and frozen for up to 2 months.
Bake for another 15 mins (20 mins if from frozen), turn over, then bake again for another 15 mins until dry and golden.
5. Tip onto a wire rack to cool completely, then store in an airtight tin for up to one month, or pack into boxes or cellophane bags if giving as gifts.
Recipe and image above originally from www.bbcgoodfood.com
Other images: © colourfulbeautifulthings