I decided to make biscotti as a gift for a work colleague when I went to visit her and her new baby. I'd never made biscotti before and thought they would make a nice festive gift. The recipe comes from the Hamlyn book 200 Christmas Recipes.
50g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground coriander
finely grated rind of 1 orange plus 1 tbsp of the juice
50g polenta (though I couldn't get hold of any so used ground almonds)
1 egg, beaten
100g flaked almonds
75g chocolate chips
50g dark chocolate, melted
Cream the marg and sugar then add the flour, baking powder, coriander, orange rind and juice and polenta.
Add the egg and mix to form a dough.
Stir in the almonds
And then the chocolate chips - I recommend using these ones by Dr Oetker. Knead the mixture together to form a dough.
Divide the mixture in half and roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a thick log about 9 inches long.
Place on a lined baking sheet and flatten slightly, and bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 30 minutes.
When cooked, slice the biscotti and turn each piece so that one cut side is facing up, and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes.
I melted some Dr Oetker plain chocolate in a bowl in the microwave
Using a teaspoon drizzle the melted chocolate over the biscotti and leave to set.
I packaged the biscotti in a festive cellophane bag, though these would make a nice gift given inside a biscuit jar.
Dom from Belleau Kitchen has an interesting challenge for this month's Random Recipes. He asked participants to photograph their lard or food storage cupboard, and make something either using a favourite or a long-forgotten ingredient that needs using up. Dom's cupboards are wonderfully neat whereas mine are... rather messy. Every so often I clear the cupboards out and reorganise, but my baking cupboard in particular is overflowing and things are balanced haphazardly. It doesn't help that I can only just reach this cupboard, even standing on a stool, so I tend to shove things wherever I can! This is my food cupboard on the left, and my baking cupboard on the right:
I always keep ground almonds in the cupboard as they are very versatile, both in cakes and dishes like curry, and in this case when you can't find polenta in the supermarket. I also keep a stash of plain chocolate for baking so for those reasons I am sending this to Belleau Kitchen for the challenge.
I am also sending this to Alphabakes, the challenge I co-host with Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker. The letter she chose this month is X and because it's a difficult one,we have decided we will accept Xmas entries. Biscotti are very Christmassy so I am sending these in.
The theme for this month's Tea Time Treats is festive food gifts, which I think is a lovely idea.The challenge is hosted by Kate of What Kate Baked and Karen at Lavender and Lovage. These biscotti were given as a gift so fit the challenge perfectly.
Christmas is also the theme for December's Calendar Cakes, hosted by Rachel at DollyBakes and Laura at Laura Loves Cakes. I expect they will get a lot of entries this month!
Finally Treat Petite, the challenge hosted by Cakeyboi, has as its theme this month "happy holidays", and of course all entries have to be bite-sized. So these biscotti fit the bill.