holiday biscotti

What better way to wake up on a cold, wintery morning than to a warm cup of English Breakfast tea and a sweet & savory biscotti on the side to deliver all the tastes of the holiday season. A sprinkle of lemon zest brightens up the warm flavors of fresh rosemary and dried autumn fruits, which all come together beautifully in this recipe inspired by Katie Lee Joel’s Wedding Biscotti. If you want to omit the savory component, a sweet variation to try involves dried cherries or figs with almonds. Substitute 1/2 cup of the all-pupose flour for 1/2 cup of almond flour and add in 1/2 cup of dried cherries and 1/4 cup of slivered almonds. Since this recipe is so versatile, consider it the perfect foundation for you to marry your favorite flavors together. The variations are endless!

You can be sure that if you leave these out by the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa instead of the usual cookies and milk, Santa will definitely return next year with gifts aplenty!




PREP TIME 30 Min
COOK TIME 50 Min
READY IN 1 Hr 30 Min
   
SERVINGS about 4 dozen biscotti

 

INGREDIENTS:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves*
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried fruits, including golden raisins, cherries, & cranberries***
  zest of 1 lemon

 

EQUIPMENT:

Electric mixer
Mixing bowls
Flour sifter or whisk**
Large cutting board
Chef’s knife (See the Guide)
Spatula
Lined baking sheet (See the Guide)
Silpat
Tongs
Tongs
Cooling rack

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and finely chopped rosemary.** Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, incorporating each egg fully before adding the next egg. Add the almond and vanilla extracts and beat for another 30 seconds.
  • Using a spatula, gently stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the dried fruits and lemon zest.
  • Cut the dough in half and shape into 2 logs. They should be about 12-inches long, and 1-inch thick.
  • Place the 2 logs onto a lined baking sheet and bake until just starting to brown at the edges, about 30-35 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet.
  • While the biscotti logs are still warm, cut each log into 1/2-inch wide slides on the diagonal with a sharp knife. Place the slices back on the baking sheet (using 2 bakings sheets if necessary) and lightly sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over the top. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Remove the baking sheet(s) from the oven. Using a pair of tongs, carefully turn the biscotti over and lightly sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over the top. Bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes until the biscotti are crisp.
  • Let the biscotti cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet(s). Serve when cooled to room temperature if you can resist the temptation to sneak a little taste! The biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, but will most likely be devoured within the first hour.

 

NOTES:

  • Since dried rosemary is much more potent than fresh rosemary, you’ll want to use fresh rosemary in this recipe to avoid overpowering the flavors of the dried fruits and the almond & vanilla extracts. As an added bonus, you can use the stems of the rosemary as skewers for delicious grilled shrimp or scallops!
  • To save some time and cleanup, instead of sifting flour through a sifter, simply whisk together the dry ingredients with a wire whisk to sufficiently break up any clumps and aerate the flour.
  • I picked up a bag of ‘Golden Berry Blend’ at my neighborhood Trader Joe’s, and it had the perfect combination of golden raisins, cherries, cranberries and blueberries. Feel free to mix and match your own favorite dried fruits to use in this recipe, but dried cranberries and rosemary are a perfect match for the holiday season.

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