A little italian treat for Christmas…

During the year I spent in Italy, I ate so many biscotti! They are quite hard biscuits and excellent for dipping in hot drinks or dessert wine. Biscotti come in many flavours and you can pretty much experiment with anything so long as you cut it up small enough! This year I decided to make my own fruit and nut variety so here is the recipe….

Mixed fruit and pine nut biscotti (makes 18-20)

100g dark brown sugar

1 extra large egg

175g plain flour

½ tsp ground allspice

85g dried mixed fruit (I used cranberries, apricots and dates)

55g pine nuts

Butter for greasing

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ᵒ/ Gas mark 4 and grease a baking sheet.
  2. Whisk the sugar with the egg for several minutes until the colour lightens and the mixture is still thick enough to leave a trail when you lift up the whisk.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and allspice into the bowl and fold it into the mixture. Add the pine nuts and fruit and gently stir them into the mixture (be careful not to over stir).
  4. Bring the mixture together with your hands and gently roll it into a cylinder of about 35cm in length. Press the roll to flatten it slightly.
  5. Put the dough onto the prepared baking sheet (you may have to cut it into two rolls) and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Then leave the biscotti to cool for about 5 minutes.
  6. Slice the roll into ½ inch pieces and arrange them flat on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake the slices for a further 10 minutes and then leave them to cool on a wire rack. When these are done, enjoy them with a cup of coffee or store in an airtight container… they should last a few weeks like this!

These little treats are a great way to finish a special meal and perfect at Christmas time. They don’t take long to make so give them a go!