3 Coffee Biscuit Recipes Perfect for Christmas

Italians aren’t particularly famous for being great dessert lovers. They’ll indulge in a gelato, a tiramisu or a cannoli or two, but most would rather have a nice, not too sweet, biscuit to round off their meal.

During the festive season, an array of holiday biscuits is a must in any Italian household. Layers of biscuits are artfully arranged on a glass serving tray and positioned in prime position on the coffee table to anxiously await the first visitors.

And when everyone is gathered, it’s not long before the host will ask “chi vuole un caffè?” (who wants a coffee?).

To celebrate this great Italian holiday tradition, we’ve put together a collection of not just our favourite biscuits to serve with coffee, but our favourite coffee flavoured biscuits to serve with coffee for a double hit of Christmas caffeine cheer.

1. COFFEE FLORENTINES

A sweet twist on an Italian classic. Florentines are more like little candies than biscuits. They’re perfect with a bitter after-dinner espresso. We’ve made ours more festive with seasonal cranberries and pistachios.

INGREDIENTS

  • 130g caster sugar
  • 70g honey
  • 70ml pouring cream
  • 100g pistachios
  • 70g dried cranberries
  • 150g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons espresso

METHOD

Combine sugar, honey and cream in a saucepan over high heat.

When the mixture reaches 170°C on a sugar thermometer, add the pistachios and cranberries. 

Place a lightly oiled 3cm-round cookie-cutter on an oven tray lined with baking paper, place 1 tbsp of Florentine mixture in the cutter and press with the back of a spoon to fill evenly. Repeat and leave to cool. 

Melt the dark chocolate and espresso in the microwave in short bursts. Use a spoon to coat the backs of the Florentines and leave to harden. 

2.COFFEE & CHOCOLATE CANTUCCI

The traditional Italian after-dinner biscuit is made to be dipped into a cappuccino or latte. During the holiday season, Italians never invite friends or family over without having a plate of these cantucci on hand. It just wouldn’t be a party without them.

INGREDIENTS

  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 50g chocolate chips
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • eggs
  • 2 tbsp espresso
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder

METHOD

Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Add eggs and coffee and beat to combine. Add the remaining ingredients

Divide in half and roll into 2 logs. Place on a baking paper-lined tray and bake for 20 minutes.

Cool, then slice thinly. Bake until light golden.

3.COFFEE GINGERBREAD

Okay, so gingerbread are German, but who says they can’t take a little Mediterranean vacation? The coffee intensifies the spices, while the dark honey gives these biscuits a delicious colour. Use a lighter honey, for lighter biscuits.

INGREDIENTS

  • 350g plain flour
  • 110g chilled butter, diced
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp each ground cloves and ground allspice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 60g dark honey
  • 30g espresso
  • egg

METHOD

Process flour, butter, spices and baking powder, and a generous pinch of salt in a food processor to form fine crumbs. Add dark honey, coffee and egg and process until mixture comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C and line baking trays with baking paper. Roll out gingerbread dough. Cut out shapes with biscuit cutters, transfer to baking trays and bake until edges start to darken (6-8 minutes). Cool.

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