Before I get started on this, let me share with you that I’ve lost all track of time. Seriously, during a casual conversation yesterday, it was brought up that next week is Christmas and I was in total surprise! It’s not that I haven’t been preparing….decorating, baking and shopping, but more so that I have been so immersed in all the holiday activities I honestly thought I had at least two more weeks to go!
Thankfully, my baking is done; at least the Christmas cookie baking that I share with family and friends. This year I decided to only bake biscotti. For a couple of reasons…1) it’s my favorite and always in my cookie jar year round…2) I felt this year I didn’t need to tempt and tease myself with loads of cookies, though not overly sweet, Italian cookies are truly best made with all the real ingredients – white flour, sugar, butter….
Those were my past Christmas cookie trays filled with every type of Italian cookie possible!!
Biscotti are generally low in fat; easily being able to use coconut oil in many of my recipes, a small amount of sugar, again, easily able to switch to using coconut sugar and as biscotti is a crisp, harder cookie, swapping out the white flour to a wheat blend or in some recipes, almond flour and oat flour, work well.
The peppermint flavor and candy cane crunch enhanced these biscotti to holiday happiness and added a pretty touch to my cookie tray. I truly wanted to test out using beet juice instead of the red food coloring but didn’t have enough time because, as you know, Christmas is next week!!
Candy Cane Biscotti
2 ¾ cup white/whole wheat flour
½ cup coconut or turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crushed candy canes
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 large eggs
For the glaze:
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 drops red food coloring
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 cup crushed candy canes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or Slipat. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and crushed candy canes. In a separate bowl, mix together the vanill, coconut oil and 3 eggs. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix together. The dough will be crumbly at first; empty the bowl onto a floured board and knead 7-8 times until dough is smooth. Divide into two and form each into a long log. If dough is sticky, wet hands lightly. Place logs on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Allow logs to cool for 10 minutes and then slice diagonally. Place slices back on baking sheet standing upright. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and cool on rack. While biscotti are cooling, combine the confectioners’ sugar, red food coloring and peppermint extract. To reduce lumps, warm the glaze slightly in the microwave. Brush or drizzle the glaze on biscotti when still warm, sprinkle on additional crushed candy canes. Allow to dry. Store tightly covered.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.