Showing posts with label biscuits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biscuits. Show all posts

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Chewy dried cranberries lend both sweetness and tartness to these crisp Italian-style cookies and the pistachios! What can I say about the pistachios? Their color, flavor and nutty goodness elevate plain cranberry biscotti to fabulousness. 

Food Lust People Love: Chewy dried cranberries lend both sweetness and tartness to these crisp Italian-style cookies and the pistachios! What can I say about the pistachios? Their color, flavor and nutty goodness elevate plain cranberry biscotti to fabulous.

We were so well-organized! Weeks and weeks ago, Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook wrote to ask if I’d like to participate in a virtual baby shower for our fellow blogger, Tara of Tara’s Multicultural Table who was expecting baby number two. The theme was going to be biscotti because it means twice cooked. You know, like second time with a bun in the oven. Pretty clever, huh? Who could resist the opportunity to make a big deal out of a second baby AND bake biscotti! Not I.

This whole thing is a surprise party for Tara, who, as far as we know, doesn’t suspect a thing. But the biggest surprise was for us, when the baby came four and a half weeks early! It’s been so hard keeping the virtual baby shower a secret when we just wanted to be shouting from the rooftops. If you follow Tara on Instagram, (and you should!) you’ve seen a picture of the little one. Adorable! Congratulations, Tara, to you and to your newly expanded family!

Now let’s bake some biscotti! I had never made them before but, I can tell you, I will certainly be making them again. My recipe was adapted from this one in The Daily Telegraph.

Ingredients for about 3 dozen biscotti
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup or 340g sugar
Zest 1 orange (I used a blood orange but any orange will do.)
4 3/4 cups or 595g flour
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups or 200g whole pistachios
1 1/2 cups or 200g dried cranberries
4 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 300°F or 150°C and prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment or a silicone liner.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sugar until they are glossy, turn a pale yellow and the sugar has started to dissolve.

Use a microplane or small grater to zest the orange into the egg bowl and whisk again.

Measure your flour into another bowl and add the baking powder and salt. Mix well.

Sift the flour mixture into the egg bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until you get a soft dough.

Add in the pistachios and cranberries and work them into the dough.

Divide the dough in half and roll the pieces into logs about 12-14 inches or 30-36cm long. The dough is still rather sticky so I found it easiest to wrap it in cling film and shape it by pressing on the cling film until I reached my desired size and shape.

Place the logs a few inches apart on your prepared cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes. As you can see, one log is longer than the other. I decided not to care and you shouldn’t either. You want to make sure that the logs are baked completely through so, like bread, they should sounds a little hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. I left mine for just over an hour so I turned the oven off when I took them out.

Once the logs are completely cooled, preheat the oven to 300°F or 150°C again. Use a serrated knife to cut the logs into 1/2 inch or 1cm slices. I cut mine on an angle so that the biscotti were longer. My helper dog and I shared the end bits but I still got 36 bake-able slices.

Place your slices on cookie sheets and brush them with the melted butter.

Food Lust People Love: Chewy dried cranberries lend both sweetness and tartness to these crisp Italian-style cookies and the pistachios! What can I say about the pistachios? Their color, flavor and nutty goodness elevate plain cranberry biscotti to fabulous.
This is the first pan and it held 25 biscotti. The second small pan held only 11.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden.

Food Lust People Love: Chewy dried cranberries lend both sweetness and tartness to these crisp Italian-style cookies and the pistachios! What can I say about the pistachios? Their color, flavor and nutty goodness elevate plain cranberry biscotti to fabulous.

Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!

Food Lust People Love: Chewy dried cranberries lend both sweetness and tartness to these crisp Italian-style cookies and the pistachios! What can I say about the pistachios? Their color, flavor and nutty goodness elevate plain cranberry biscotti to fabulous.

Are you ready for a virtual baby shower? No gifts, just lots of love and biscotti! 

Biscotti Baby Shower

Many thanks to Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook for organizing this virtual baby shower for Tara! Check out all the other lovely recipes that have been made in Tara’s honor!

Food Lust People Love: Chewy dried cranberries lend both sweetness and tartness to these crisp Italian-style cookies and the pistachios! What can I say about the pistachios? Their color, flavor and nutty goodness elevate plain cranberry biscotti to fabulous.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Christmas Pudding Cookies #CookieWeek #Giveaway

These little rounded cookies have the rich taste of Christmas pudding – dried fruit, dates, orange peel, spices - in bite-sized portions, complete with brandy butter to serve.

It’s Day Four of Cookie Week and I’m finally getting around to my second cookie! It’s been a busy week. But if this year’s Cookie Week is anything like last year’s Cookie Week, I know folks are going to be using our Pinterest board for holiday baking inspiration in weeks to come, so I wanted to share something a little different, with a British twist.

This recipe comes from a Jamie Oliver Christmas magazine a couple of years ago, December 2012, in fact. But, of course, he called them Christmas Pudding Biscuits. I think the only thing I’ve changed, besides the name, is to put just a little bit less flour so that the round cookie I like to bake is less dry. Jamie rolls them out and bakes them flat, like sugar cookies, but my cookie scoop makes the most perfect little Christmas pudding-shaped cookies and when that idea originally popped into my head, I couldn’t resist.

Make sure you scroll on down to see the other cookies we’ve baked for you today and, if you haven’t already, do enter the drawing for all the great baking ingredients, equipment and cookbooks generously donated by our fabulous sponsors: Imperial SugarCirculonPeanut Butter & Co. and Page Street Publishing.

For the cookie dough:
2 2/3 oz or 75g toasted flaked almonds
5 1/3 oz or 150g medool dates, pitted
3 oz or 85g dried mixed fruit
Grated zest 1 orange
1/3 cup + 1 rounded tablespoon or 85g caster sugar
1/3 cup or 85g butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/3 cups or 165g flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

For the brandy butter:
1/4 cup or 50g butter, softened
1 cup or 125g icing or powdered sugar
Pinch salt
1-2 teaspoons brandy

Put the toasted almonds in your food processor and process briefly to chop them up.

Add in the dates, mixed fruit and orange zest and pulse until finely chopped. This could make your food processor jump around quite a bit so make sure to hold it down while pulsing.  Set aside.

There are still going to be some small chunks and medium-sized chunks.

Combine your flour, baking powder, cinnamon and mixed spice in a bowl.

In another larger bowl, cream together your butter and sugar. Add the egg to the butter and sugar and beat well until combined.

Stir in the flour mixture, mixing well.

Now fold in the almond/fruit mixture from the food processor. It looks like it’s going to be dry and bits keep falling out but persevere. Soon it will come together into a nice thick dough.

At this point you can wrap the dough in cling film, chill it for 20 minutes and then roll it out and cut it as you would sugar cookies or  - my idea - you can scoop it into little balls with a cookie scoop.  They look like little Christmas puds!

Either way, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare a baking pan by lining it with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

I scooped mine into little balls and baked for about 14-16 minutes, until they were golden on the outside and a little darker on the bottom.

While they bake, you can make your brandy butter.
Use a wooden spoon to beat the softened butter together with the powdered sugar and a pinch of salt.

Once it’s light and fluffy, add in the brandy one teaspoon at a time, beating well in between.

The brandy transforms the butter and sugar into something even more fluffy and light and wonderful. If you aren't using it right away, it will stiffen back up in the refrigerator and you may need to let it warm up a little before it will spread.

Once the cookies are baked, allow them to cool completely before you top them with a swipe of brandy butter.


I cannot tell you how perfectly these go with a cup of tea!

Many thanks to our Cookie Week hosts Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen! We’ve got a great team of 12 bloggers bringing you five fantastic days of cookie recipes to get you in to the holiday spirit. Are you feeling like a cookie monster yet? If not, you should be – because resisting all these delicious cookies is nearly impossible!

Grab a warm cookie from our Cookie Week bloggers!

And here's what you might have missed from Tuesday and Wednesday while I was shaking cocktails and stirring noodles!

How about some hot baking PRIZES?! One winner takes all! 

    How to enter
    Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment telling us what your favorite cookie is to bake during the holidays. Additional ways to enter will be then be revealed in the Rafflecopter widget.

    1 (one) lucky person will win ALL the prizes listed above. The winner will be randomly chosen through Rafflecopter. This giveaway is open from Monday, November 3rd, 2014 to Monday, November 11th 11:59 EST to US residents only. The winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond, at which time a new winner will be drawn. Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

    Chocolate-filled Chocolate Cookies

    These great chewy chocolate-filled chocolate cookies have a surprise in the center of each one. Pour yourself a cold glass of milk and get stuck in!

    This recipe comes from a cookbook I haven’t picked up in ages, Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days with the Naked Chef. Of course, Jamie called them Chocolate Biscuits with Soft Chocolate Centres. I’m sharing these for Belleau Kitchen’s Random Recipe Challenge merged this month with the Chocolate Log Blog’s We Should Cocoa challenge, cohosted this month by both Dom and Choclette.

    The rules are the same as normal Random Recipe Challenges. Choose a cookbook at random, make the first recipe you open to, except this month, it is make the first chocolate recipe you open to. I like to make my life simple, so I used Eat Your Books to choose both. Click on the graphic for full details.

    2/3 cup or 145g butter, softened at room temperature
    3/4 cup or 145g sugar
    1 whole egg
    2 cups or 250g flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Scant 1/3 cup or about 26g cocoa powder
    3 1/2 oz or 100g chocolate bar (milk, white or dark) I used chocolate mint.

    Grease a large baking sheet or line it with baking parchment. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

    Whisk your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in another mixing bowl.

    Beat the egg into the butter/sugar mixture.

    Add in the cocoa powder and the flour to make a soft dough. Beat until completely combined.

    Wrap it in cling film and put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

    When the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

    Roll the dough into small balls about 1 inch or 2 centimeters across and break your chocolate bar into small squares.

    Press them out into circles on your prepared cookie sheet, making sure to leave a good space between them for rising while baking.

    Top each circle with a piece of chocolate.

    Add another dough ball on top and press out to cover the chocolate.

    Bake for 10 minutes in your preheated oven. These cookies are delicious as is but would also be great for ice cream sandwiches!


    ***This post has an affiliate link, which means I earn some small change if you click on the Amazon link and buy.**

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Glenys’ Chocolate Chip Pecan Biscuits

    With all the trials and tribulations in life, it’s important to keep perspective.  For instance, yesterday morning I was 6700 miles (or 10,800km) from my current location and the only way to cross that distance quickly was to strap myself into a flying metal capsule and trust God and pilot to get me there safely.  The first leg of the trip from Dubai to London was spent in the aisle seat next to a very nice man from Arizona who was going home after six months working on government contract in Afghanistan.  He hadn’t seen his family since September.  I didn’t actually chat with him as we sat together since it is nigh impossible to turn to talk to someone who is so close that his elbow spends most of the flight in your left ribs, but, at one point we were waiting to use the bathroom, along with our third seatmate, Mr. Window who was from Austin, and then we did chat.  Turns out both men had been in the army years ago and were now working in Afghanistan under amazingly challenging conditions.  They are, in fact, in harm’s way most days and live daily with limited electricity and minimal facilities.

    Mr. Middle and Mr. Window didn’t know each other before so they compared notes about locations and exchanged tidbits of information about the end of US troop involvement in Afghanistan.  I listened to them talk of time away from family and plans for the future (Both hope to work in the US again when they can find good jobs at home.) and it confirmed for me that everyone has a story.  Every soul on that plane was traveling for a reason.   Holidays, funerals, family visits, business meetings, to seek better medical care or who knows why.  Some travel with reluctance, some with excitement but all with a purpose, even if it is just to see the world.   This life should be about getting to know each other’s stories, don’t you think?   And appreciating the blessings of our own.

    Today I want to share a recipe with you that a dear friend made for the movers as she packed up from a freezing house in London to move to one that actually had working heaters.  She said that the moving guys liked them so much that they asked for the recipe so she shared it with me as well.  I don’t know which moving company she hired, but I can tell you, they have good taste!

    125g or just little more than 1/2 cup butter
    50g or 1/4 cup caster sugar

    125g or 2/3 cup brown sugar

    1 egg

    1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract

    250g or 2 cups flour

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    150g or a 5 1/3 oz chocolate chips
    125g or almost 4 1/2 oz pecans (You can substitute with walnuts if you want but the taste will be slightly different.)

    Preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C and grease your cookie sheet well.

    Pop your pecans in a baking pan into the preheating oven so that they can toast a little.  Watch them carefully to prevent burning and remove and allow to cool once they are slightly toasted.

    Cream the butter with both of the sugars until light and fluffy.

    Beat in the egg and add the vanilla.

    Chop your toasted pecans and set aside.

    Sift in the flour with the baking powder and salt.  Beat well to mix.

    Fold in the chocolate chips and the nuts. 

    Drop the dough by spoonfuls or with a small scoop on to the well-greased baking sheet, leaving space around each to allow for a little spreading.

    The first batch stayed very round so for the second pan, I mashed them down a little with a spatula for a flatter cookie.

    Bake for 15 minutes or a bit longer if you prefer a crunchy cookie to a soft one.  Cool on the baking sheet and eat!

    Some of the rounded first batch.


    Some of the flatter second batch - both were fabulous cookies.