You can add whatever dried fruit you wish to these Almond & Fruit Biscotti– heck, even chocolate-covered ones work! Serve them with regular coffee or a Peppermint Mocha to complete the holiday experience.
It’s interesting how every biscotti recipe I’ve tried so far has been incredibly different from one another. It’s not just the procedure that’s different, even the consistency of the dough runs the gamut! (In fact, I can’t even call some of them “dough” because they’re loose enough that they’re more like batter.) It’s almost as if I’m making different things each time I take on a biscotti recipe. But so far, I’ve been lucky with the recipes I’ve chosen to try. All of them have produced some pretty darn good biscotti.
Even luckier still, nearly all the biscotti recipes I’ve tested have become household favorites. There are many great biscotti recipes out there, and that makes me incredibly glad because I do love a good biscotti!
Sometimes, while in the process of making a biscotti recipe, I have doubts about whether it’s going to come out well. Well, having faith and pushing on through does pay off at times, and that was the case with this Almond & Fruit Biscotti. The dough was so loose it was literally like thick sticky batter. As I piled the “batter” onto the baking sheet into two separate mounds, they naturally kept flowing toward each other. I had to push the dough mounds apart and into shape with my spatula, then hope it would bake quickly enough to maintain shape! It came out beautifully, I must say.
I’m learning that in our household, the two most popular cookies are chocolate chip and biscotti. These Almond & Fruit Biscotti in particular might have been one of the fastest selling biscotti I’ve ever made. They were crunchy and addictive. The flavor of the biscotti takes on whatever dried fruit you add, which means the base cookie itself is like a “blank slate”.
I used chocolate-covered goji and raspberry from Brookside because I figured it would be a clever way to get both chocolate and fruit into the biscotti. (I also feel like a lot of people will be receiving this in their Christmas basket because it’s such a good product, so maybe set some of it aside for this biscotti?) The biscotti literally absorbed all that juicy, tart, and sweet flavors from the goji and raspberry, it tasted almost candy-like. I also want to mention how amazing this smelled while baking.
Although the primary flavor profile of these Almond & Fruit Biscotti is indeed almond and fruit, the pockets of melty chocolate among the pieces of almonds adds something extra. If you’re using dried fruit and not chocolate-covered ones, you can of course chop up some chocolate to add in here.
There are some flavorings added to the biscotti that enriches the flavor, but rather than steal the show, I think it helps to push out the flavors (and the scents) of the mix-in’s more. It’s an interesting and ultimately fabulous recipe that I feel has some really fun properties that fits in with the season at hand.
Because I’m me, I had to figure out what drink to serve these biscotti with as well. I ultimately settled on Peppermint Mocha, even though peppermint and mint seem to be pretty divisive. Funnily enough, I seem to be the only one who likes anything pepperminty at home considering I drink peppermint tea nearly every night, and so I totally understand if you aren’t a hug fan of peppermint drinks. Just serve these biscotti with regular coffee or regular Mocha because they’re great with anything.
However, if you like to drink pepperminty things when it’s Christmastime, then I think you’ll love this combination as much as I do!
- USE YOUR FAVORITE DRIED FRUIT. If I didn’t have chocolate-covered berries, I would’ve used dried cherries for these. I love dried cherries for biscotti-making. However, if you happen to have been gifted with some Brookside Dark Chocolate-Covered Berries for Christmas, I highly suggest you chop some of them up and add them to this recipe. I love munching on these too but you only need about 3 heaping Tablespoons here, and already you’ll get a very interesting biscotti. If you only have dried fruit but would like some chocolate in these, you can of course chop up some chocolate to add in here– about 3 Tablespoons worth at the minimum.
- CHOP THE ALMONDS FINER IF YOU DON’T LIKE CHUNKY BISCOTTI. I usually just halve my almonds when I add them to my biscotti, but I know that some people don’t like having large bits of nuts in their cookies. Feel free to roughly chop them into smaller bits so they’ll be easier to bite into. Some people like adding in whole almonds to their biscotti and I personally don’t do this because whole almonds are difficult to slice, but you can do that if you prefer bigger bits of almonds. (Use a sharp knife to help with the almonds!) You can do whatever you want as long as you add the nuts in lol.
- THE DOUGH WILL BE LOOSE AND SORT OF RUNNY. If you’ve seen the recipe video, you already know what I mean by this. Don’t worry, you did nothing wrong. This recipe produces dough that’s very nearly like batter. I was hesitant at first if it will work out, but it will. Trust. Use your spatula to shape your dough “logs” on your baking sheet, leaving a 1.5-inch space in between. They will spread slightly once they’re in the oven, but they will not run into each other if you do this step.
- YOU CAN SLICE THEM UP THINNER IF YOU PREFER. I like my biscotti thick and chunky, but some people prefer a very thinly sliced biscotti. If you are planning to slice them thin, I would shape them into something more compact and high, rather than into flat and wide masses as I have done. After the first bake, use a very sharp serrated knife to get precise thin slices.
- TAKE THE BISCOTTI OUT EARLIER IF YOU LIKE THEM SOFTER. After the second bake, this recipe has you leaving the cookies inside a turned-off oven for at least 30 minutes. They’ll dry up completely by this time and turn solid and crunchy. If you like something softer, take them out earlier. The point of letting the biscotti rest in the oven is to dry them out, not necessarily to make them “hard”. They firm up completely and turn crisp once dry inside, and for me this is perfect texture for a biscotti. I don’t like them soft to the bite and so I keep them in for at least 30 minutes. Feel free to taste and test to figure out what you prefer.
Almond & Fruit Biscotti
- 6 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon coffee essence or syrup, optional
- 1 teaspoon orange zest or lemon zest
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole almonds, halved
- 3 heaping Tablespoons chocolate-covered dried fruit, or just dried fruit of choice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together butter and sugar until well combined. Mix in the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully combined before adding in the next. Mix in the salt, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, almond extract, coffee essence, and orange zest.
- Switch to a spatula, then gradually fold in the flour. Once everything is well combined, the batter will be slightly loose and sticky. Fold in the almonds and chocolate-covered dried fruit until distributed into the batter.
- Divide the dough into two portions and place onto either side of the lined baking sheet. Form into logs, leaving a space in the middle at least 1-1/2 inches wide. The dough will spread as it bakes.
- Bake biscotti for 30 to 35 minutes. Take out of the oven and leave to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a very sharp serrated knife, cut biscotti into 3/4-inch thick slices using a sawing motion.
- Stand the biscotti cut-side up on the baking sheet and put back in the oven for 5 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave biscotti inside to completely dry, about 30 minutes more.
- This biscotti is best enjoyed with a cup of coffee for dipping, but if you’re feeling festive, pair it with a warm mug of Quick Peppermint Mocha (recipe below).
Watch how it's made
- MAKE SURE TO MIX ALL THE INGREDIENTS WELL. Especially since this is a drink with cocoa powder, it’s important to make sure you don’t have any unmixed lumps of powder floating around in the drink. I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder for this recipe because I felt fancy lol.
- FEEL FREE TO ADJUST THE AMOUNT OF PEPPERMINT. I realize some people might have peppermint oil at home and use that for this drink instead. Take note that the oil is more potent than the McCormick Peppermint Extract I used, so I would suggest adding in just a little at first, then build up if you feel that you need more peppermint in the drink. The same goes for the extract actually. If you’re not a super big fan of peppermint but would like to drink some in the spirit of Christmas, start with half the amount of extract first. Remember that it’s much easier to add than to subtract an ingredient once it’s in there!
- YOU CAN TOP WITH WHIPPED CREAM AND SKIP THE CANDY CANE. Much as I love the idea of having a candy cane as the stirrer for peppermint drinks, I won’t encourage you to buy candy cane just for this drink. I actually happened to have one so I used it and suggested it in the recipe. (I know, it’s so tiny it doesn’t exactly stir much of anything lol.) Feel free to top this with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or more cocoa powder instead.
Quick Peppermint Mocha
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk, whole or 2% is fine
- 2 Tablespoons sugar or other sweetener
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup freshly brewed strong coffee
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract, or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipped cream and/or chocolate shavings and/or marshmallows, to top (optional)
- Candy cane, to serve as a stirrer (optional)
- In a small saucepan over medium low heat, stir together milk, sugar, and cocoa powder until dissolved and small bubbles begin to form on the mixture. It will also start steaming at this point.
- Stir in the coffee. Mix well to ensure everything is well combined, no bits of cocoa powder remain, and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
- Stir in peppermint extract and vanilla extract. Pour the drink into a large serving mug. Top as desired and hang a candy cane stirrer on the rim of the mug just for fun. Serve hot with some Almond & Fruit Biscotti (recipe above).
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