A delicious holiday treat with crushed vanilla candy canes. Dip in coffee, tea or wrap up as a hostess gift.
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs, divided
3 cups all-purpose flour (approx.)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
7 Allan French Vanilla flavoured candy canes, coarsely crumbled
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Step 2: Place dried cherries in a small, heat-proof bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand for 10 minutes or until plump; drain well and reserve.
Step 3: Use an electric mixer, on medium speed, to beat butter with sugar for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add 3 eggs, one at a time; beat in vanilla.
Step 4: Sift flour with baking powder and salt into a separate bowl; add to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until combined. Stir in cherries, pistachios and candy cane pieces.
Step 5: Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Shape each portion into a 16" x 2" log; flatten the tops slightly.
Step 6: Place the logs 3" apart on a large, parchment-lined baking sheet. Beat remaining egg and brush evenly over tops of the logs.
Step 7: Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden and firm. Carefully slide the logs, with the parchment paper, onto a wire rack. Cool for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
Step 8: Use a serrated knife to slice logs on an angle into 1/2" thick slices. Arrange slices on parchment-lined baking sheets. Arrange the oven racks in the centre and upper third of the oven. Bake, rotating pans and turning biscotti halfway through baking, for 30 minutes or until crisp and golden. Cool completely. The biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 4 dozen biscotti.
Tips: To garnish biscotti, crush two candy canes. Drizzle biscotti with melted white or dark chocolate and sprinkle lightly with candy cane pieces. To crumble candy canes, place in a re-sealable plastic bag and strike with a rolling pin or heavy bottom saucepan.