For the second year in a row, my friend Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook is hosting a virtual cookie exchange. My baking list for December is already a mile long, but I look forward to seeing what everyone else made, and surely adding a few more recipes to my pile. I had a heck of a time deciding what to share for the exchange. I couldn't stop thinking about chocolate (what's new? :) ), but I made something with chocolate for last year's event, so I thought I'd go in a different direction this year.
The minute I found this candy cane biscotti recipe among my bookmarked items, I knew it was the one. I love Christmas cookies that are not only delicious, but look festive too, and these fit the bill on both accounts. Crushed candy canes are folded into a basic biscotti dough, and as they bake, the candy cane pieces melt and leave the biscotii studded with bright red specks. The cookies are buttery and rich, with hints of peppermint flavor thoughout. I loved them just as they were so it wasn't at all necessary, but for fun, I dipped a few in white chocolate and sprinkled them with extra candy cane pieces. The holiday season is all about excess, right?
Biscotti are great keepers - I always try to include them in cookie trays I put together around the holidays because they can be made a week or so in advance and are still just as good when the recipient receives them. These candy cane biscotti are the perfect treat to infuse a little bit of fun into your holiday baking plans this year, I hope you'll give them a try!
Candy Cane Biscotti
from Pennies on a Platter (originally adapted from Land O Lakes)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup crush peppermint candy canes, plus extra for garnish
14 oz white chocolate (use bars, not chips)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and beat just until incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the candy cane pieces.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Shape each into a log that is roughly 9-inches by 1 1/2-inches. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the logs are light golden brown and cracked and top. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the logs cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Reduce the oven to 325 F.
Working with one log at a time, cut into 1/2-inch slices on the diagonal using a serrated knife. Transfer the biscotti to the baking sheet, cut side down. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the biscotti are light golden brown and crisp on both sides. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Dip half of each biscotti cookie into the melted chocolate, letting the excess drip off before transferring to a sheet of wax paper. Garnish with extra crushed candy canes while the chocolate is wet, if desired. Let the chocolate set then store in an airtight container.
Makes about 3-4 dozen