Portion/Yield:Makes approximately 50 biscuits
I cannot believe it’s already November, where has the year gone? I have to start making plans for Christmas. The sheer thought of events surrounding Christmas period is for some a headache. If you need a something that will cheer you up and encourage you to ‘catch’ the festive cheer then this is the perfect biscuit recipe to make and bake and enjoy with a cup of tea whilst sorting out presents lists and Christmas menus.
This recipe is a variation on the traditional cantuccini also known as cantucci and biscotti means cantucci that is twice baked. Traditionally the recipe will have almonds and lemons, I have adapted the recipe to contain cranberries and chestnuts instead to reflect the season.
These biscuits are as pretty as a picture and very tasty indeed. I love the sour tang when you bite on a cranberry, it brings a perfect balance to the sweet crisp biscuit. They will make pretty and perfect gift bags. I will definitely bake them for Christmas eve to enjoy with a glass of mulled wine or two. Mmm finally I can say I’m looking forward to Christmas!
Ingredients & Method
- 300g caster sugar
- 4 medium whole free range eggs + 1 egg for glazing
- 500g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp of baking powder
- Zest of one orange
- Pinch of salt
- 150g roasted, shelled and and roughly chopped chestnuts (Packet of whole cooked chestnuts will be fine)
- 130g fresh whole cranberries
Preheat the oven to 200°C and line one large baking tray with parchment paper.
Place the eggs and sugar into the bowl of a mixer, attach the whisk attachment and whip until light fluffy and aerated, whip it for about 5 – 6 minutes at full speed.
Remove the whisk and attach the paddle attachment.
Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder over the whipped egg, add the orange zest, roughly chopped chestnuts and the whole fresh cranberries mix it in on low speed until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Let the dough rest in the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes, the dough is very soft and sticky, it does make a bit of a mess but well worth the effort.
Turn the chilled dough out onto a floured work surface, divide into two even logs 28cm long x 5cm wide, place the two logs onto the lined baking tray with 10cm gap between the two to allow them to cook evenly and not get stuck together.
Whisk the remaining egg, using a pastry brush brush the egg glaze over the logs.
Bake the biscuit logs in the preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes, test if it’s cooked by inserting a metal skewer. If the skewer comes out clean then its cooked, if not return to the oven and bake until cooked.
Let the biscuit logs cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 160°C. Cut the logs into 1cm thick slices and place the slices on two baking trays, place them in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes turn them once during the cooking period, bake the biscotti until dry but not too dark in colour.
Let the them cool completely on a cooling rack and keep them in a clean air tight container for up to two weeks.
Dust them with icing sugar just before serving them with a glass of mulled wine or Vin Santo.