Biscotti holds a large portion in my heart based on its demeanor. The exterior is hard when eaten alone and it takes a particular level of delicate gnawing to crunch through the cookie. When dipped in coffee, tea or hot chocolate, the biscotti slowly softens—it has met its perfect match. I usually avoid dipping cookies or brownies in my beverages, because I hate the crumbs that get left behind, floating like water bugs and leaves on the surface. When it comes to biscotti, it’s the perfect versatile treat—it can be dunked, leaving no traces of itself behind, or eaten alone, being hard enough that it forces me to slow down and savor. Sometimes when things are so good, I rush them. (It’s a minor little thing called self control that even the best of us sometimes ignore.)
I think the reason I’m so attached to biscotti (it is absolutely possible to grow an attachment to food—I’ve seen it happen between Kaitlyn and cornbread) is because it’s the epitome of compatibility. Some of us believe in soul mates, better halves or matches-made-in-heaven. I believe that when pairing the right two things together, a perfect balance can be created.
I don’t think “better halves” exist, because that’s saying one of the halves is worth less than the other. (Unless we’re discussing half dipped cookies.) I prefer to believe people are made up of puzzle pieces, small bits and pieces fit together creating a whole. As humans we naturally drift to one another, analyzing and test driving our sense of humor and personalities, waiting to see who contains compatible cardboard cutouts that can mold to our unfinished edges.
Take melted butter mixed with graham crackers. Take oranges spiked with cloves. Take Julia Child and Paul. Take Kaitlyn’s love and talent behind her Nikon lens mixed with my amateur attempts at baking. Take biscotti dipped in hot chocolate. Some things are just meant for the other. And when dipped right, biscotti can still be a combination of both the major textures: soft and crunchy. Who doesn’t like the best of both worlds?
Candy Cane Biscotti
• 1/2 cup butter, room temperature • 1/2 cup sugar
• 3 eggs
• 2 1/2 cups flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 2 teaspoon almond extract.
• 2/3 cup finely crushed peppermint candy canes, plus more for decoration • bar of baking white chocolate for drizzle
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In a stand up mixer, cream sugar and butter. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add almond extract. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in crushed candy canes.
Dividing dough in half, create two logs about 1/2 inch thick and as wide as you will want your biscotti length to be cut into. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the top is hardened and edges browning. Reduce temperature to 325 and slice the logs into biscotti desired lengths. Put back in oven and bake for about 10 minutes to harden up.
Melt chocolate and drizzle, garnishing with crushed candy canes. Enjoy!
Writer Aiyana Edmund and photographer Kaitlyn Ferris are North Fork natives who together explore and adore Long Island’s sights, smells and sounds, usually found at golden hour. They bring an appreciation of local and homegrown ingredients to their recipes and are inspired by the simple things in life, like manual focus and windowsill grown herbs. See more of their recipes at savorysenses.com.