I tried to make this chocolate-dipped peppermint biscotti recipe (picture above from recipe page) and was unable to find one of the main ingredients: peppermint.
I checked ALL the grocery stores in my neighborhood and they had vanilla, lemon and almond extracts, but no peppermint extract. The Al Natura shop (kind of like Whole Foods) had some sort of strong peppermint oil but it is not meant to be eaten.
My boyfriend said the pharmacy might have some sort of peppermint oil that’s more edible, but I was tired of searching and decided just to go home and start baking, and use vanilla extract instead.
At least I had found some candy canes to crush for the topping. There were also none of these in the grocery stores, nor in the Starlite mint form. But there was a gift shop near the train station that had them, so I picked up 12 of them for 25 cents each. (Euro cents, yo. That is not cheap!)
So I was baking and unwrapping the candy canes and I licked my sticky fingers and realized that these candy canes don’t taste like peppermint. At first I thought I was crazy, and so I took a bite of one of them. And my suspicion was correct. They were cherry-flavored! I was perhaps a little too upset about this. I must admit that I pouted for a few minutes and may have said something along the lines of, “WTF, Deutschland!” – but I felt defeated. I really wanted to try this recipe! So much for peppermint biscotti.
So I made do with what I had and modified the recipe. I still covered them with chocolate, and used the rest of the leftover pecans I had chopped up for the Turtle Graham Bars. They’re still good, but a totally different feeling. Not as Christmasy as I would have liked! Oh well. C’est la vie. Good thing I wasn’t planning on making my mom’s famous peppermint fudge this year! I’ll just have to figure out where I can get me some peppermint extract and stock up. Even if I have to bring some back with me from the States next time I visit. :)
This afternoon I was annoyed, but now it’s kind of funny. Life is just like that when you live in another place: you have to get used to new things and/or not having the things you’re used to (or having them in a different flavor!). The great thing about that is that it brings a great opportunity to be creative and try something new.