Mulled Wine Biscotti

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Apparently as soon as the weather dropped below 65°, I went into full holiday baking mode. These past few weeks have been taken over by my former pastry chef life… and I love it! Thanks to nostalgia, I feel the need to be in the kitchen baking nearly every day. Recently I was inspired to come up with a baking project that uses one of my favorite holiday scents: mulled wine! Mulled wine has been associated with my holiday season for as long as I can remember, even before I was old enough to enjoy its taste. Whether it was the smell that permeated from my dad’s kitchen, warming up my hands as I walked through a Christmas market in Germany, or the warm mug perched on the floor in front of me as we watched holiday movies in front of the fire — mulled wine will forever be one of my most cherished holiday scents.

img_4402 What’s not to love: cinnamon, citrus, nutmeg, and delicious red wine that warms you up before you even take your first sip. This recipe challenged me to get my holiday gears moving by finding a way to combine all of those warm, spiced flavors into a crispy cookie.

Mulled Wine Biscotti

Yields 18 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups red wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 2¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup almonds, slightly toasted and rough chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Over high heat in a small saucepan, reduce red wine for 10 minutes. (You should be left with about 3 tbsp. red wine syrup.) Stir together sugar, butter, red wine syrup, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add in the eggs and stir until incorporated. Stir in flour, baking powder, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cranberries, almonds, and salt until just combined. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes.

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Using moistened hands, halve dough and form 2 loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until pale golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer the loaves to a rack and cool for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 300°F. Cut loaves into 3/4-inch slices with a serrated knife. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on a clean baking sheet and bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely. Serve with a cup of coffee, hot tea or cocoa, or mulled wine, of course.

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