Biscotti are such a perfect addition for this type of present. You can personalise them by using a variety of nuts and dried fruit. And they can last up to a month in an airtight container.
Just like I did, you could make a batch and put a few in a box, then wrap it in a beautiful piece of fabric using the furoshiki method (Japanese gift wrapping).
These biscotti are easy to make and packed with wonderful flavours. Apricot and pistachio go really well together. I also added some grated tonka bean because I love its delicate taste in cakes and biscuits. I know this might not be easy to find everywhere so feel free to skip it or replace it with seeds from a vanilla bean instead.
Enjoy them with tea or coffee over the holidays or wrap a few to give as presents. You could even add a few of those mendiants in the package.
P.S.: Wear a mask!
Ingredients (make 18 biscotti)
230g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 teaspoon baking powder
160g caster sugar
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
60g diced dried apricots
100g blanched pistachios
1/2 teaspoon grated tonka bean*
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan).
Spread the pistachios on a baking tray. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and roast for 8 minutes. Set the pistachios aside to cool down. When cooled, roughly chop them.
2. Raise the temperature of the oven up to 200˚C (180˚C fan). Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Mix the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and grated tonka bean in a large baking bowl.
3. Stir the lightly beaten eggs in the dry mixture. Add in the chopped pistachios and diced dried apricots. Work the dough with your hands so the nuts and fruit are evenly distributed and the flour is well incorporated.
4. Dust a large surface with flour. Lightly flour your hands and roll the dough into a 5cm diameter sausage shape. Place it on the baking tray, then on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly golden. Place on a wire rack to cool a bit for 10 minutes before cutting.
5. Turn the oven temperature down to 150˚C (130˚C fan).
Using a bread knife (a serrated knife is better for this so the dough doesn't crumble), cut 1cm wide slices on the diagonal. Transfer the slices flat onto a large baking tray lined with baking paper (I reused the same paper since it was still good). Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.
6. Turn the slices over on the tray and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.
Transfer the slices onto a wire rack so the biscotti can cool down completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to a month.
Note: *If you cannot find any tonka bean, replace with seeds from half a vanilla pod or skip altogether.