Lemon Poppy Seed Biscotti

poppy 2

There are so many questions around the holidays. Do all reindeer fly? How does Santa get down the chimney? How can he visit every house in the world in only one night? Can we go to the North Pole?

Yet, right now in our house these questions are overwhelmingly about elves.

A few years ago Santa sent us an elf to keep an eye on the kids before Christmas, you know…to report back to Santa if they are bad or good. We named him Inglemauker. Every year since, Inglemauker joins us on the first day of December, returns to the North Pole at the end of every day, and returns each morning until Christmas Eve. Inglemauker is not as naughty as some other elves and rarely gets into trouble, but he finds some ingenious spots to hide in our house.

Our daughter keeps telling our son, “You know Inglemauker is watching.” Then he comes running to us asking if he is going to get “black rocks” for Christmas. My husband and I have a tendency to answer that one differently.

So we thought we would share with you the top 5 questions and conversations we’ve had lately about elves.


Son: Does Inglemacker fly or poof?

The Baker: That is a very good question.

Son: I think he poofs because it is faster to get back to the North Pole.


Daughter: Can elves become invisible?

The Baker: I don’t know if that is part of their magical arsenal.

Daughter: What’s an arsenal?


Daughter: Will Inglemauker die?

The Baker: No. Inglemauker is magical. He and all his elf friends will live forever.

Son: Will Santa die?

The Baker: No. Santa is also magical and will never die.

Daughter: Will Mrs. Clause die?

The Baker: No. She is magical too.

Daughter: Will we die?

The Baker: Yes.


Daughter: Why do think Inglemauker picked the same place to hide again today?

The Baker: Maybe he loved it there so much he decided to come back today to the same spot.

Daughter: Do you think he likes sitting on the wreath on the door because he likes the ride when we open and close the door?

The Baker: Absolutely!


Son: What happens if we touch Inglemauker?

The Baker: He would lose all his magical powers, return to the North Pole and we’d never see him again. He could never do his job or visit any other boys and girls.

Son: Would he be sad?

The Baker: Yes.



Although Inglemauker is a usually a good elf, we did find him with his hand in the biscotti jar. He can’t seem to get enough of these Lemon Poppy Seed Biscotti with Homemade Candied Lemon Peels. 


Lemon Poppy Seed Biscotti 

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons black poppy seeds

3 eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lemon


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

2.  In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds.

3.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon zest.

4.  With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together.  Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.

5.  Separate the dough in half.  Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.

6.  Sprinkle hands with Lemoncello and rub each log. Sprinkle to top of each log with sugar.

7.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split.  Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

8.  Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board.  Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.


What to do with the ends #56: We give Santa cookies and leave carrots for the reindeer, but what about the elves that work all December long? Leave them some ends!