This cookie has all the aroma of peppermint you expect for the holidays, but balanced with warm and rich macadamia nuts. Typical biscotti are cut from firm dough logs, but these cookies are inspired by the Roman style of biscotti called tozzetti, which are made by baking up a slab of pourable batter that’s cut into bars for a second bake. Once the bars are cooled and crisp, dip the tops in melted white chocolate and sprinkle them with crushed peppermint candy canes. An added sprinkling of flaky sea salt, along with the macadamia nuts, helps ground the white chocolate and mint flavors and keep them from being too cloying.
This recipe is a part of the L.A. Times 2022 Holiday Bar Cookies.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with baking spray, then line the bottom and two long sides with a sheet of parchment paper, cut to fit so it lies perfectly flat in the pan. Bend the excess parchment paper over the edges of the pan. If using metal binder clips, fasten the parchment to the edges of the pan (see Essential Bar Cookie Equipment).
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the macadamia nuts so they’re well-coated in the flour.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk (or in a large bowl and using a handheld mixer), combine the sugar and eggs and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture falls back in a thick ribbon when lifted from the whisk, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the rum, vanilla extract and mint extract.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and use a silicone spatula to fold the two together just until there are no patches of flour remaining. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until the batter is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
Invert the cookie slab onto a cutting board to unmold it and discard the parchment paper. Using a serrated knife, first trim off both short ends of the slab and discard. Next, cut the slab in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ¾-inch-thick bars. Transfer the bars, spaced at least ½-inch apart, to two parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake the biscotti, flipping them once halfway through, until golden brown on the cut sides and crisp, about 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the biscotti cool completely.
Melt the white chocolate in a shallow bowl in the microwave or using a double boiler. Dip the topside of each biscotti in the white chocolate to coat, then let the excess drain off. Quickly sprinkle the crushed peppermint and flaky sea salt on the biscotti so they stick to the white chocolate. Let the biscotti stand until the chocolate hardens before serving.
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