Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Candy Cane Biscotti
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is baking cookies. Last year, we had an office cooking baking contest. I'm a litttttttle bit competitive, and in the end I squeaked by and won by 1 vote with these cookies. Seriously delicious.
This year, I was thrilled that I was invited to a cookie swap that 2 of my friends were holding. I was very torn about what I wanted to make, but in the end I decided on these Candy Cane Biscotti. I feel like biscotti can be a little controversial, because people expect it to be rock hard, but it's one of my absolute favorite cookies to make.
Let me start by saying homemade biscotti is completely different than the small bricks that you might find somewhere like Starbucks. They're crunchy, but not break-your-teeth hard by any means. My go-to cookie last winter was gingerbread biscotti and it was always a hit. I also loved making cinnamon sugar biscotti, and it made me fully trust Tracey's biscotti recipes. I also love that biscotti stores well for a bit longer than other cookies - I actually brought some home on the plane for my family last December.
These particular biscotti are perfect for the holiday season. It turns out crushing candy canes is not so easy - we crushed right through several plastic baggies. I recommend using freezer bags. I also over-tempered the white chocolate so I was only able to dip 4 biscotti. Listen to Tracey, use bars instead of chips. You also might need to bake them a little bit longer than the recipe says, although my oven might be off. I wanted to brown the tops a little bit more. I really should purchase an oven thermometer one of these days.
Our cookie swap ended up being so much fun! I was really impressed with some of the cookies the girls made. Folks seemed to enjoy these biscotti, and I think they turned out pretty delicious. They weren't hard, and the peppermint gave great Christmasy-flavor. Plus, even without the white chocolate, they're quite pretty! This is a great recipe to make ahead of time and put out for Santa on Christmas Eve. They're sure to put you in the holiday spirit!
Candy Cane Biscotti
from Tracey's Culinary Adventures
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)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 dozen