I know I’m cutting it a bit fine posting my one brand new edible festive creation late on Christmas Eve Eve but these biscotti are so fabulous that I think they warrant a fashionably late arrival. I have been doing a fair amount of yuletide baking recently but everything bar these have used recipes from books/magazines (which is unusual for me), hence why I haven’t posted them on here.
I was originally going to make the divine-sounding stollen muffins from the November issue of Good Food, but the only problem with muffins is that they’re quite heavy and I wanted to bake something lighter to enjoy with a cuppa after the hefty indulgence that is Christmas lunch, hence the idea for a biscotti version came to me. I used to hate marzipan as a child and have distinct memories of painstakingly picking it off every slice of wedding or Christmas cake while carefully salvaging the sweet, sticky white icing. However, I’ve started to love it in my old age, and I now can’t imagine a December without stollen.
This biscotti recipe and technique are very similar to the wonderfully versatile ones I blogged about here: https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/fabulous-biscotti/. Despite this, I feel that their rich, festive flavour and all-round fruity, almondy deliciousness means they deserve a separate post. Again, feel free to experiment with ingredients and flavours – you could try adding pistachios, candied peel and/or chopped dates, among other things, to create a similarly Christmassy taste if you’re not a fan of marzipan.
I’ll sign off now by wishing a very MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone reading this, and a huge thank you for supporting my little blog 🙂 Here’s to more culinary fun in 2016!
INGREDIENTS – makes approx. 15 pieces
- 180g/6 oz self-raising flour
- 80g/3 oz caster or granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- 40g/1.5 oz dried cranberries
- 40g/1.5 oz sultanas
- 40g/1.5 oz marzipan, chopped into small cubes
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 0.5 tsp baking powder
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (or 160 fan) and line a large flat baking tray with parchment paper.
- Mix the flour, sugar, ground almonds and baking powder together in a large bowl then add the cranberries, sultanas, marzipan cubes and almond extract.
- Beat the egg and milk together for around 1 minute and pour into the mixture.
- Mix with a wooden spoon and then your hands until the ingredients come together to form a stiff dough. If it’s too sticky add a little more flour and if it’s too dry and crumbly add a splash more milk.
- Roll the dough into a sausage shape about 25-30cm long and place on the baking tray then gently flatten it until it’s about 2cm tall.
- Place in the oven for around 25-30 minutes until the dough is firm with a crust but still fairly pale.
- Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 140 degrees C then allow the dough to cool for around 10 minutes before sawing into pieces about 2cm thick using a serrated knife.
- Place the biscuits back on the baking tray and cook for a further 25 minutes or until lightly browned then leave to cool before enjoying with tea, coffee or a festive tipple!