Christmas biscotti

I generally find that tackling wrapping a particularly daunting pile of Christmas presents is easier with something close by to keep your energy levels up.
Yes, coffee alone could do it but a piece of gingerbread biscotti on the side doesn’t hurt. And your reward after the final bow is tied and gift tag signed? A wee drop of your favourite festive tipple with a piece of Christmassy mincemeat biscotti to dunk in it of course!

Gingerbread biscotti
Biscotti in America tends to have a slightly softer texture to the stuff I’m used to in Europe so that’s what I’ve aimed for with these but it’s just down to the length of the first bake really. If you want these to be very crunchy (which is better for dunking) then give them an extra five minutes or so the first time the dough goes into the oven. This will also make them a bit easier to slice.
I like to use dark chocolate to decorate the gingerbread ones and white for the mincemeat but use whatever you like. Or even leave them plain (although it is Christmas…)

Mincemeat biscotti

Ingredients
makes 20 slices

75g butter
50g white sugar
50g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
pinch of salt
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

100g of mincemeat
OR
75g golden syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
big pinch of allspice
40g crystalized ginger, finely chopped

chocolate to decorate

Christmas biscotti

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Cream together the butter, sugars and salt until they are pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and follow each addition with a spoonful of flour to stop it from curdling.
Next add either the golden syrup, if you’re making the gingerbread biscotti, OR the mincemeat and mix this in. Finally tip in the flour and baking powder (and spices and crystalized ginger for the gingerbread flavour) and beat the mixture to leave you with a soft sticky dough.

Mincemeat biscotti
Coat your hands in flour and then roll the dough into a sausage shape on the baking sheet. Flatten it a bit and then bake it for about 20 minutes. It should be starting to crack on the surface a little but not yet browned when it’s ready.
Take it out of the oven and leave it to cool for at least 20 minutes, until it is cool enough to handle and feels fairly firm. Cut the biscotti dough into 1.5cm thick slices and lay them out flat on the baking sheet.
Return these to the oven for 10 minutes then flip them over and cook them on the other side for another 10 minutes. They should be quite golden and crisp when they are done. Leave them to cool on a rack.
Melt some chocolate, any type you like, and use this to dip or drizzle over the biscotti. Allow the chocolate to set before munching away!

Gingerbread biscotti