Candied citron and bitter orange peel are typical ingredients in German Christmas bakes such as the famous christstollen as well as Christmas fruit bread. With both citron and bitter orange very rarely being available fresh, it is maybe little surprising that you do need to walk the extra mile (or two) to get hold of the actual thing – whatever it is they are selling in the baking sections of the average German supermarket is certainly not it. But note that the walk is worth its while: The taste of „real“ candied citron and bitter orange peel is so incredibly delicious and notably different from any of the rather sad artificial replacements!
And its not only good in Christmas cakes! – I actually tweaked a cantuccini recipe for these distinctly citrusy biscotti and they are quite simply delicious. Instead of dipping them into Vin Santo like the classic model, serve them drizzled with orange syrup – and just enjoy!
- 100 grams of candied citron peel (succade, German: Zitronat) + ca. 25 to 30 small pieces for decoration
- 50 grams of candied bitter orange peel (German: Orangeat)
- 85 grams of almond meal
- 240 to 300 grams of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 100 grams of sugar
- 1 shot of orange liqueur (e.g. Rosolio di Arancia)
- 2 eggs
- 50 grams of butter, cut into small cubes
- For the egg wash: 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of icing sugar, 1 teaspoon of water
- Orange syrup (optional): 1 orange, 75 grams of sugar, 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Chop the candied citron and bitter orange peel into small dices.
- Spread the almond meal on an oven tray. Toast in the hot oven for approximately 5 minutes. Let cool down.
- Mix the flour (start with 240 grams), the sugar, the baking powder, the salt and the toasted almond meal in a bowl.
- Add the liqueur, the eggs and the butter. Using an electric mixer with kneading hooks, knead the ingredients until you have a smooth dough. Should the dough still be too sticky to work it with your hands after this, gradually add more flour until just firm enough.
- Fold in the candied citron and orange peel.
- Halve the dough and form two rolls which are approx. 3 cm wide and 1,5 cm high.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the rolls of dough on the tray with some distance left between them.
- For the egg wash, mix the egg yolk, icing sugar and water well and thinly coat the top of the rolls with the mixture.
- Decorate each roll with a line of candied citron peel pieces (leave enough space between the single pieces so that every biscuit will eventually be decorated with one piece).
- Bake in the oven (175 degrees Celsius) for approximately 25-30 minutes until the dough turns lightly brown.
- Take out of the oven and let cool down completely (give it at least 2 hours).
- Cut the rolls into slices approx. 0.5 cm to 1 cm thick (depending on how you prefer it). Place the slices on the baking tray with the cut sides facing up.
- Let dry in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius for approximately 30 minutes, turn around and dry for another 30 minutes.
- Turn off the oven, open the door of the oven a few centimeters and continue drying for approximately 2 hours.
- For the syrup, juice the orange. Pour the juice into a saucepan, add the sugar, the orange blossom water and bring to the boil. Let cool down.
- Serve the biscuits drizzled with orange syrup.
The biscotti keep well for several weeks in an air-tight container.