Whenever we’re invited to Christmas parties, I try to bring something sweet, homemade, and chocolate. On Christmas day, I also prefer to serve a medley of Christmas cookies with coffee, instead of one single dessert after the big feast. I spent this past weekend frolicking with my family, attending holiday parties, and making four of my absolute favorite cookies to give and share. Here are two of those cookies I make that are sure to please any chocolate lover on your list !
Chocolate Dipped Handmade Biscotti
and Chocolate Wafers with Peppermint Buttercream Filling
I used to be completely intimidated by biscotti recipes, but it really is so unbelievably easy to make. You can always mix in dried fruits or nuts like cranberries or almonds or pistachios into the mix to add your own flavor. And they always taste better than store bought because they’re so fresh.
Plain Biscotti Ingredients
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp anise seeds (optional)
Chocolate Dip Ingredients
Baker’s Semi Sweet or Unsweetened Chocolate – 6 squares (I use 4 semi and 2 unsweetened)
Chopped pistachios, almonds or hazelnuts (optional)
Mix all dry ingredients with a fork. Add eggs and butter then blend for two minutes in a mixer or until crumbly like this.
Spray cooking oil on your hands and form rectangular loaf on parchment paper.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes.
Slice your biscotti loaf in 1/2 inch slices, layer on parchment paper, and bake again for 8 minutes for more chewy biscotti, 10 minutes for firm biscotti.
Melt your Baker’s Chocolate in the microwave on medium for 90 seconds, stirring once in between. Do not over microwave or you risk scorching your chocolate. I use 4 squares of semi-sweet and 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate to get the perfect dark chocolate flavor – not too bitter, not too sweet. Mmmm mmm, just right. Yum.
Dip your biscotti slices in your melted chocolate.
Optional step: Dip in chopped nuts. I used hazelnuts this time, but I’ve also used almonds in the past.
Layer on parchment paper and allow to dry for one hour.
Store in airtight container for two weeks, or package up in a beautiful wrap with a homemade tag for a totally incredible handmade gift.
My next favorite recipe is for Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies with Peppermint Buttercream and it comes right out of my tattered Bon Appétit from December 2005. These taste so good with a cup of coffee! Kids love them too. I’ve made them every year since 2005.
Bon Appétit gives you the recipe for homemade chocolate cookies, available online right here. When pressed for time, like this year, I follow Sandra Lee’s semi-homemade philosophy, and use Nabisco’s Chocolate Wafers – they work just as well and save a ton of time.
Peppermint Filling & Coating
1 cup plus two tbsp powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
Crushed peppermint candies or candy canes
To make the peppermint coating, gather candy canes or peppermint candies into a plastic bag and have at it with a mallet or rolling pin.
Mix sugar, butter and extract in a mixer until well blended. Spread evenly to the edges on top of chocolate cookies or wafers, press two together, then roll in your candy coating mixture.
So easy and so Christmassy delicious ! Pretty too. In a clear cellophane bag tied up with a red ribbon, these also make a marvelous hostess or cookie exchange gift !
I hope you had a delightful weekend as well. Happy baking, chocolate lovers !
These look absolutely scrumptious and so festive! A fresh change-up from traditional holiday goodies. Will definitely have to add these to my list of recipes to try!
Mmmmmmm……who would not love a box of these treats! Or to see them on the dessert/buffet table!
Not sure that you actually do anything with awards. But I just love what you do…and Bay Area girls need to stick together. Posting awards late tonight and listing you as one of my favs. Have a wonderful Christmas…and the cookie creations are as usual…AMAZING!
YAY! I wanted the real biscotti recipe. THANK YOU!
You can make them from a betty crocker vanilla or white cake mix very easy.
I am looking forward to try this recipes out.
Those biscotti look de.li.cious! I’ll definitely try them sometime soon. Hope they turn out as good as yours! Happy holidays, Kate!
Aaaah! It’s painful to just look at those Christmas Cookies esp., your chocolate dipped handmade biscotti. Yep, chocolate lover here and those cookies look soooo good! Simply scrumptious! Need to eat some!
Wow…you continue to amaze us.Thanks a million..we’ll be trying those today.Merry Christmas Kate and a blessed year ahead of you.
Both look sinfully delicious and both are so pretty to look at! Thanks for both recipes. I love how you rolled the outside edge of the peppermint cookies. I am definitely giving these a go. Thanks!
Now I know what to do with all the extra candy canes that no one eats. I’ll use them for your cookie recipe! They all look delicious.
My waistline thanks you. ;)
Love them both! Yum.
Great looking cookies! Love biscotti, but those peppermint ones are screaming my name.
I just made the chocolate wafer cookies for a dinner I am going to tonight. Thanks for the tip!
I made both of these cookies last night and they were a HUGE hit! Thank you for sharing!!
yhyyyyuuuummmmmmmmmyyy!!! best ever!! Love them all!!
Kate, I’ve vowed to make the chocolate peppermint cookies with the kiddies this year! But, that’s not why I’m contacting you. I’d love to feature your post in an upcoming roundup of Holiday gifts you can make with your kids. The round up will post on Parentables.com. Would you mind if I used one of your photos and linked back to this post?
Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl
Just made the peppermint cookies and they were amazing. Thanks for the recipe