Biscotti stole my heart on a very specific day in 1995. I had just biked to my friend’s house and was surprised to find nearly every surface of her kitchen covered in pan after pan of long skinny rectangles. They smelled like cookies and didn’t look like cake. Flummoxed, I asked my friend’s mom what on earth was going on.
“We’re making biscotti,” she said, pressing the t’s into the back of her teeth so that the word fairly danced and trilled in the air. And I was sold. Hook line and sinker.
How To make PEPPERMINT BARK BISCOTTI
I love that biscotti comes together in a heartbeat while using very basic ingredients–butter, flour, eggs, and sugar. What sets them apart from every other cookie is the fact that they are twice baked. First as a long skinny rectangle, after which they are sliced on an angle, then baked yet again to toast each cookie to crisp perfection.
(Tangent–the above photo totally reminds me of that gorgeous, glorious Focaccia with Gorgonzola Fondue I made earlier this year.)
This version of biscotti is my very favorite as it combines two delicious holiday favorites into one awesome cookie: biscotti and peppermint bark. Nothing beats that. Not even–dare I say it–that delectable Peppermint White Chocolate Cheesecake of yore. That’s right, not even that.
I promise you that Peppermint Bark Biscotti will be your new best friend. Your neighbors, coworkers, and friends will adore you–if you have the graciousness to share, though I will not judge you if you just sit back and eat a cookie after cookie dunked in a cavernous mug of hot cocoa. (You must absolutely eat biscotti dunked in something.)
This biscotti is my absolute go-to holiday cookie since it ships well. We’ve used it ever since I got my paws on the recipe a few years back.
Do you have a favorite holiday cookie from your childhood? Has it changed as you’ve grown up?
PS: We are off to Florida to visit family for Christmas–I’ll be back to Club Narwhal in 2014 (how?!). Have the merriest and warmest holiday!
PEPPERMINT BARK BISCOTTI Recipe
For the biscotti
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the peppermint bark
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- crushed candy canes (about 3/4 cup)
For the biscotti
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a small bowl and then add them one at a time to the butter mixture, making sure to fully mix them in each time.
- Add the flour, salt, and baking powder and beat until just combined. The dough will be super, super sticky. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dump the dough on it. Using your hands (I sprayed mine with cooking spray to make it easier to handle), pat the dough into a long rectangle, about 12 x 5 inches. This size will give you large biscotti. You can also halve the dough and create two rectangles for smaller pieces.
- Bake the rectangle for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Using a very sharp knife, cut the rectangle diagonally to form 1/2 inch wide pieces. I got the best results using my fancy pants chef's knife (don't judge, but I totally sold Cutco in high school) and pushing straight down rather than sawing, though you might have a serrated knife that does the trick.
- Place each slice cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. The biscotti should be lightly toasted and firm. Set aside to cool–as it cools, it will crisp up. When the biscotti have cooled, go ahead and slather with the peppermint bark (recipe below).
For the peppermint bark
- Put the chocolate in separate glass bowls and melt in the microwave on high for a minute. Stir, then microwave another 30 seconds. Continue until both chocolates are melted (though be careful and watch so it doesn't scorch).
- Use a table knife to smooth melted chocolate across the biscotti (Warren obviously prefers the white chocolate while I am a semisweet fan–we divided this batch up equally to be fair) and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Refrigerate for ten minutes until set. Enjoy!