Fig and walnut biscotti are a delightfully crunchy cookie, perfect for the holidays, and great for gifting. Some flavor combinations are just so traditional and perfect for the holidays and this is one of them. The sweetness of plump dried figs and the warm scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and orange peel. SO nice and cozy.
There is snow falling outside my window as I write this, for the first time this year. It’s always a bittersweet moment for me, that first snowfall. You see, I don’t consider myself a winter person. I love a white Christmas, but after January first, I just can’t think of snow as anything other than a nuisance. Digging my car out. Wrestling an uncooperative two year old with chubby feet into boots that never seem to fit properly. Driving at 5 miles an hour behind a snow plow. Oh the joy.
I don’t ski or skate, or sled, or in anyway take advantage of what people call “winter activities”. To me a winter activity involves a bathrobe, a book and a cup of something warm. But this may need to change soon, because keeping a rambunctious two year old cooped up in the house is probably ill-advised. Anyway.
Another great winter activity is baking. The kitchen is warm from the oven, and the fragrance of spices fill the whole house. With a few Christmas tunes playing, that’s pretty much as good as a winter day gets, in my book.
And while we’re on the subject, want to get a head start on your holiday baking? Make some biscotti. They will stay fresh for a couple of weeks in an airtight container, and will be ready whenenever you are for whatever you have planned for them.
Put some in a jar, tin or mug for a lovely edible holiday gift. Maybe add a bag of your favorite ground coffee, because biscotti and coffee are a match made in heaven.
These fig and walnut biscotti also make the best after-dinner treat. Served with coffee, they are perfect after a heavy Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. Aaaaand, if you really love biscotti, give these awesome chocolate almond biscotti a try ;).
Fig and Walnut Biscotti
- 1 cup walnut halves or pieces
- 1 cup dried figs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, with extra for sprinkling
- 6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (about half of one large orange)
- 1 7/8 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Preheat the oven to 325.
- Put the walnuts and figs in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, and pulse for about 30 seconds, until finely chopped.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together on medium high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract and orange zest. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl and beat on medium low speed for a few seconds until just incorporated.
- Add the fig and walnut mixture and mix until combined. Scrape the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, shape into a ball, and chill for about 20-30 minutes
- Turn the dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. For large biscotti, shape the dough into one log, about 9 x 4 inches (it should be about 3/4 inch thick). For smaller biscotti, shape into two logs, about 9 x 2 inches. Set the logs at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet because they will spread while baking. Sprinkle the logs with granulated or coarse turbinado sugar for some sparkle.
- Bake the logs in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let scool for 5 minutes. Spritz logs with water and let sit again for five minutes. This will soften the dough just a bit to make it easier to slice.
- Remove the logs to a countertop and slice them with a serrated bread knife into about 3/4 inch cookies. A straight up and down motion works better than a sawing motion in my experience.
- Place the biscotti back on the baking sheet, separating them a little and return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes, or until dry (smaller cookies will need a little less time, so keep an eye on them.
- Cool completely before eating, storing or packaging.