For a long time I hated peppermint. It makes me feel like a bit of a scrooge to say so this time of year given the iconic nature of candy canes and my especially unabashed love of Christmas. As a kid I’d never turn down cherry flavored candy canes, but the mint ones, for me, were cringe-inducing. Over the years, through experimentation I’ve warmed up to many flavors and peppermint is on the list. I’m still unlikely to pop a complimentary mint at the end of a meal out, but when well balanced by other flavors in baked goods, I’m warming up. The Candy Cane Cookie Dough Truffles I made last year are proof as are the Candy Cane Blossoms I shared earlier in the week as part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. And now I have yet another recipe to add to the list – Candy Cane Biscotti.
This was another one of the recipes I sent in my care package for Operation Baking Gals. Knowing that my package might take longer than usual to arrive with chaos of overseas mail before the holidays I went with another biscotti recipe, but really wanted to give it holiday flare. And with a lot of mini candy canes still on hand, they served as the inspiration for these biscotti as well. What’s fun about these biscotti is they actually get their mint flavor from three ingredients. In addition to the candy canes I also incorporated some peppermint flavor and Andes Mint Baking Pieces. As a result, the entire cookie is infused with a soft hint of mint flavor. If you don’t have the peppermint extract or the Andes Mint Baking Pieces you could always increase the amount of crushed candy canes in the dough. (This recipe from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures calls for a whole 2/3 cup.)
I decorated mine simply with some red and green Wilton Candy Melts, but you could also dip yours in white or dark chocolate and scatter more candy cane pieces or Andes Mint Baking Pieces over the melted chocolate for good measure.
If you’ve made a lot of biscotti before you may notice this dough is a bit softer and stickier than what you’re used to, but don’t worry it still yields fantastically crunchy biscotti
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yields about 1 1/2 dozen biscotti, depending on the thickness of your slices
-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
-2/3 cup sugar
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-2 large eggs
-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-3 tablespoons crushed candy cane pieces
-1/2 Andes Mint Baking Pieces
reheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet (or alternatively grease) one large baking sheet.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, peppermint extract and baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs; the batter may look slightly curdled. At low speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until smooth; the dough will be sticky. Slowly stir in the candy cane pieces and chocolate.
Plop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Divide it in half, and shape it into two 9 1/2″ x 2″ logs, about 3/4″ tall. Straighten the logs, and smooth their tops and sides; a wet spatula or wet bowl scraper works well here.
Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool on the pan anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Wait another 5 minutes, then use a serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into slices about 1/2 an inch thick. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal—for fewer, longer biscotti.
Set the biscotti on edge on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, till they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden. They’ll still feel a tiny bit moist in the very center, if you break off a piece; but they’ll continue to dry out as they cool. Remove the biscotti from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool. Once cool, decorate if desired with Wilton Candy Melts or melted chocolate.