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"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.

In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."

~ Julia Child

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chirstmas Biscotti For St. Patricks Day???

Strange title you say?  Well, I had planned to write this post during the Christmas season.  God had different plans for me and on Christmas Eve I had a baking day planned with my BFF Carrie and fell down my stairs and dislocated/fractured my right ankle and severely sprained my left.  All my plans for the Holiday season became secondary.  

I was in the hospital for 4 days and in a nursing home for two weeks for rehab. The nursing home experience was awful! Except for the rehab part that was fun! I have been at my sister Brenda's house for the past 6 weeks and for that I am grateful! I am doing much better now, walking now and  going home this weekend.
Now back to the Biscotti!  I have always wanted to make it and King Arthur Flour has an awesome recipe in their baking book.

Traditional Biscotti
1/4 cup (12 stick, 2 ounces)unsalted butter
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oun
/ces) vegetable shortening
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 teaspoons anise extract or 1 to 2 tablespoons aniseed, to taste (I left this out not a fan)
1/8 teaspoon lemon oil or 1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) blanched almonds or blanched hazelnuts (filberts), toasted* and coarsely chopped
*Toast almonds or hazelnuts by placing them in a single layer on an ungreased pan and baking them in a preheated 350°F oven for 7 to 10 minutes, or until they smell "toasty" and are beginning to brown.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl midway through. Beat in the vanilla, anise, lemon, baking powder and salt. Mix in the flour, 1 cup at a time, till you have a cohesive, well-blended dough. Add the nuts, mixing till they're well-distributed throughout the dough.

Transfer the dough to a work surface (we don't bother to flour the surface; the dough is sticky, but is easily scraped up with a bench knife or dough scraper). Divide it into three fairly equal pieces, and shape each piece into a rough 10-inch log. Transfer each log to a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between each log; you may need to use two baking sheets. Wet your fingers, and pat the logs into smooth-topped rectangles 10 inches long x 2 1/2 inches wide x 7/8 inch thick.

Bake the logs in a preheated 375°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're beginning to brown around the edges. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool for 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.

Gently transfer the logs to a cutting surface, and use a serrated knife to cut them on the diagonal into 1/2-inch wide slices. Because of the nuts and the nature of the dough, the biscotti at this point are prone to crumbling; just be sure to use a slow, gentle sawing motion, and accept the fact that some bits and pieces will break off. (It's the privilege of the cook to eat these warm, tasty bits and pieces as they're created.) Carefully transfer the slices, cut sides up (and down) to a parchment-lined (makes cleanup easier) or ungreased baking sheet. You can crowd them together, as they won't expand further; about 1/4-inch breathing space is all that's required.

Return the biscotti to the 300°F oven, and bake them for 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, quickly turn them over, and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until they're very dry and beginning to brown. Remove them from the oven, cool completely, and store in an airtight container. Yield: about 60 biscotti.

  Now for a little fun and flavor I used the Willton Melting Candy
First I dipped one end of the biscotti into melted milk chocolate 
Next I drizzled red and green melted melts onto the biscotti to make a fun festive coffee treat!
I put them on a large platter and served them at work.  The platter was gone by 10am :)
This was so fun!  Be creative roll in some nuts or change up the colors for any holiday!

Time to get your yum on!!!  

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