Poor fruitcake….. It really does have a bad reputation….The mass-produced version is loaded with ingredients, some questionable at best, artificial at worst, and it has so much sugar that your dentist would cringe if he or she only knew…It’s the butt of holiday jokes and hated by most people who are on the receiving end when gifted.
But much like anything, the homemade version is so much better! But that’s another story….Instead, let’s focus on something most everyone loves: biscotti!
I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like a good biscotto. Dipped in an espresso, anisette liquor or glass of vin santo, and you have yourself a most perfect treat!
But how can we change it up a bit and make them more “Christmassy?” Hazelnut and anise biscotti are great and all, but they are so “everyday” that they hardly scream “holidays.” So how about some fruitcake biscotti!? Now, I know what you might be thinking…. But “I HATE fruitcake!” But unlike the dreaded fruitcake, these are delicious, crisp, but not rock hard, eggy and hit the spot during this time of year! Other than the candid fruit, the rest of the ingredients are very basic and you likely already have them in the fridge and pantry. For the fruit mix, I use Paradise Old English Fruit and Peel Mix. It’s cut just right in size, very small and perfect for these biscotti. And amazingly, the mix is not overly sweet.
Double-baked, as biscotti usually are, these crisp up and get a bit chewy, from all the fruit. Left un-toasted, and they remain a bit cake-like and a bit softer.
Be sure to add these to your holiday baking list this year for a new twist on a classic treat!
3 ½ tablespoons butter
3 cups flour + 1 tablespoon
1 ½ cups sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ cups fruit cake mix (mix of candid citrus peel, cherries, pineapple)
4 egg yolks, divided
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon honey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set your oven rack to the second to last position from the bottom. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place butter in a small, microwave proof container and melt butter fully in the microwave. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl sift three cups of flour; add the sugar, pinch of salt and baking powder. Using a hand whisk or fork, mix the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the candid fruitcake mix and add the 1 remaining tablespoon of flour. Coat the fruit pieces with the flour and set aside.
- In a stand mixer, mix the two eggs and three egg yolks. Add the orange zest and honey and mix well.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternating with the cooled melted butter, mix all the ingredients well until combined.
- When the biscotti dough is well mixed and all ingredients have been combined, reduce the speed of the mixer to the lowest speed and carefully add the candid fruit. It’s unlikely that all the fruit will be added by the mixer so move your dough to a floured counter and continue mixing by hand until all the fruit is well incorporated.
- Divide the dough into three equal logs; weigh them on a measuring kitchen scale for accuracy, if needed.
- Shape the dough into 14-inch logs and place them on the prepared cookie sheets. Do not add more than 2 logs per cookie sheet, as they tend to spread during baking. Slightly flatten the logs and shape so that they are as uniform in shape as possible.
- With a fork, blend the remaining egg yolk and using a pastry brush, brush the logs with the egg. For added crunch, sprinkle some granulated sugar on top, if desired.
- Bake biscotti for 23 – 25 minutes, until they are golden in color.
- Remove from the oven and allow baked logs to cool for 5 minutes. Using a serrated bread knife, slice the logs into 1-inch biscotti and transfer them back to the cookie sheet, cut side down.
- Lower the oven to 300 degrees and re-toast the biscotti for an additional 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can skip the double-bake and enjoy them a bit softer. Biscotti will last for several weeks when stored in an airtight container.
What to Pack for Italy
Cosa Mettere in Valigia per l'Italia
Everyone is always asking me what they should pack for Italy,
so I’ve created a quick reference guide that you can use for your next trip.
Hint: You don’t need nearly as much as you think you do!