We’ve just been loaned a Nespresso coffee machine which is very exciting! We only drink decaf as caffeine sends The Washer Up a bit loopy but the decaf options are great. We are trying the Intenso the Lungo and the normal decaffeinato. They are all good but the Intenso is a bit Intenso for me…
All this coffee drinking gives me a really good excuse to make some biscotti. You have to have a biscotti with a coffee and they also make fantastic Christmas gifts. I thought I’d “Christmas” up the original recipe by adding chocolate and cranberries but you can leave them out or add chestnuts or hazelnuts instead. Don’t be scared this is a really easy recipe that you can impress all your friends with when they pop round for coffee….
Christmas Biscotti Recipe
makes about 25- 30 biscotti vegetarian
- 25o gr plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 250 gr caster sugar
- 2 eggs , beaten
- grated zest of 1 mandarin
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- a few drops of almond extract
- 110 gr toasted almonds, chopped (you can toast them in a dry pan or in the oven)
- 65 gr dried cranberries
- 65 gr dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and toast the almonds if necessary. Leave to cool and chop roughly. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, add the sugar, eggs, zest, vanilla & almond extracts, the nuts, cranberries & chocolate. Mix everything together well with a wooden spoon. Flour your hands and the worksurface well and divide the mixture into two. Roll the first half of the mixture into a long sausage/log with your hands. (Start with both hands together in the middle and work your way out rolling). Roll the sausage to the length of your baking sheet and transfer it over to the lined baking sheet, flattening it out slightly. Repeat with the other half of the mixture. Make sure you leave space in between the two logs for them to spread.
Remove the biscotti loaves from the tray and cut them into diagonal fingers about 2cm wide, put them back on the tray, cut side up and back in the oven for about 15 minutes to dry out completely.
You can also serve these after dinner with coffee or a glass of dessert wine (classically vin santo) to dip them in…
A great way to wrap homemade gifts is in clear cellophane (sometimes printed with snowflakes etc) which you can buy in most “euro” shops here in Spain. I rolled up 6 biscotti in the cellophane then tied each end with raffia (to make a christmas cracker shape). I tucked a few sprigs of lavender in the rafia bow because we have some growing on our roof terrace that smells lovely…..
I also wrapped my Mandarin jam( See recipe here) gifts in cellophane with a pink gingham napkin tied around the lid!!
I love it!!!