You might notice things have been a little quiet on the blog lately. One of the reasons is that I’ve been working away behind the scenes on a couple of really exciting projects… one of which I finally get to reveal – starting today, I’m joining forces with a fantastic group of bloggers to bring you a full week of non-stop holiday treats!
Welcome to Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. Each day we will be celebrating a new holiday baking theme where each blogger makes a dish they love. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting Monday December 3rd and ending Friday December 7th.
Here’s what we’ve got up our collective sleeves:
Monday December 3 – Christmas Cookies/Bars
Tuesday December 4 – Peppermint Surprise
Wednesday December 5 – Christmas Cakes/Cupcakes
Thursday December 6 – Gingerbread Surprise
Friday December 7 – Christmas Pie/Pastry
Now, when it comes to today’s theme of Christmas Cookies and Bars, there’s only one kind of cookie worth talking about as far as I’m concerned… biscotti!
As a mixed-faith household that tends to identify as indifferently atheist, The Boy and I don’t really have an awful lot of holiday traditions, but biscotti is definitely one of them. No matter what else I choose to bake for the holidays each year, there’s always at least one kind of biscotti that makes its way onto the menu.
In fact, if you’ve been around for a while, you may have noticed that I’ve posted a biscotti recipe every single December going back to 2008. Not bad, eh?
This year, I chose a Christmas colour palette as my inspiration, and spruced up my basic vanilla biscotti base with a blend of red cranberries, green pistachios, white chocolate and golden candied peel to make these jewel-toned beauties.
I think these just might be my favourite flavour yet. They’re very much a classic biscotti, with a dense, crumbly texture that just begs to be dunked into a big mug of piping-hot coffee or strong black tea, and a simple sweetness that’s punctuated with pops of bright cranberry and citrusy peel. Not to mention they’re just so gosh-darned purty.
Pack up a few of the prettiest slices in cellophane with a box of holiday-flavoured tea for a simple hostess gift, set them out on the cookie plate at your Christmas bash, or keep them all to yourself – no matter how you choose to enjoy them, these crisp holiday-coloured cookies are just the thing to get even the grinchiest of hearts into the Christmas spirit.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- ½ cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup finely chopped candied peel
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir until evenly combined. Add the white chocolate chips, pistachios, cranberries and candied peel, and stir to distribute evenly throughout the flour mixture.
- In a small bowl, beat eggs, cream and vanilla extract until frothy. Pour into the dry ingredients and combine until you have a loose, crumbly dough. Turn out onto a clean surface and, using your hands, knead lightly until you have a soft, cohesive dough.
- Divide dough into two halves. Shape each half into a 9" long log, and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 6" between the two logs. Gently flatten each log to about 1" thick.
- In a small bowl, whisk together water and egg white. Brush over the rolls, and top with a sprinkling of sugar.
- Bake the biscotti in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until just barely browned. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 325F.
- Once biscotti are cool enough to handle, cut into ¾" thick diagonal slices using a serrated knife (you should have around 36 slices). Arrange the slices on the baking sheet, cut side up, and return to the oven to bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and lightly toasted.
- Set the biscotti on a wire rack to cool completely, then pack in an airtight container. If stored in a cool dry spot, these cookies can keep for several weeks, though they'll probaby get gobbled up much faster than that.
Today’s theme for Christmas Week is “Cookies and Bars”. Make sure you visit all the participating bloggers today to see what special dish they whipped up for you.
- Mice Cookies from Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic
- Biscoff Blossoms from Jen of Juanita’s Cocina
- Double Chocolate Thumbprints from Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cookie Sticks from Anuradha of Baker Street
- Snickerdoodles Snowballs from Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
- Cranberry Pistachio Christmas Biscotti from Isabelle of Crumb
- Mint Chocolate Pudding Cookies from Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Hot Cocoa Blossoms from Erin of Spiffy Cookie