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Candied fruit are made by cooking and soaking fruits in sugar syrup. The fruit is saturated with sugar which conserves it. They have been prepared by many cultures worldwide for centuries. Depending on the amount of sugar absorbtion, the fruits can last for years.
In Italy they are commonly used in desserts such as Spumoni, (Sicilian ice cream), Panettone, (a sweet bread commonly made at Christmas), preserves, Florentins, Cassata, (a Sicilian cake), gelato, tarrone, and biscotti.
Baskets of candied fruit are traditionally given during Christmas. This time of the year you can find stands in Christmas markets all over Italy filled with all sorts of colorful candied fruit selections.
We make candied fruit biscotti as part of our Christmas biscotti tray. These biscotti are colorful and are also very pretty in a Torta di Biscotto di Nozze (Italian wedding biscotti cake). It needs no frosting and is very easy to make.
Candied Fruit Biscotti
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes @ 375º F
Yield: 5 Dozen
2 cups sugar
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup of walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup candied fruit, chopped
2 teaspoons anise extract
2 sticks butter
Cream the eggs and sugar, and add the butter and extract and beat until smooth. Gradually add the flour and baking powder. Fold in the nuts and chopped candied fruit. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Form the dough into long cylinders about 12” long. Place the loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Teflon mat.
Bake at 375º F for 20-25 minutes. Remove them from the oven and slice the loaves diagonally when cooled. Place the slices on their side and return them to the oven. Bake for another 2 minutes on each side.