Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti

Cranberry and White Chocolate Dipped Biscotti

Biscotti are long, hard Italian cookies that usually get dunked in coffee and sometimes wine before eating to soften them up. They get their distinctive crispiness from a double-baking process. They are formed into a log for the first baking, then they are sliced and baked a second time. The crispiness can be controlled on the second bake. For a crispy cookie that remains soft enough to eat on its own pop them back in the oven for about 8 minutes, for a super hard cookie that is best eaten with coffee cook them the recommended time of 20 minutes.

Cranberries and white chocolate are such a good match for biscotti. The sweet creamy vanilla flavor of the white chocolate tempers the tartness of the chewy berries for an equal balance of flavors and textures that hold up well to the dense cookie. Dipping them in chocolate makes them extra special and when you dunk them in your coffee (or tea) a little bit of the chocolate melts off and sweetens up your drink.

One of the things I like most about biscotti is that they don’t have any butter in them. That gives them their dense texture and also makes them fairly low in fat. They are ridiculously easy and fun to make, store well and are extremely versatile. They hold up well to a variety of different flavors and you can add whatever nuts, dried fruits, candies or chocolate you like. So go ahead and conjure up your own delicious combination of flavors!

Cranberry and White Chocolate Dipped Biscotti
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries, rough chopped
1 + 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening

1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda together. Add eggs one at a time and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until mixed well. Beat in vanilla extract then cranberries and 1/2 cup of the chips.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough in half and form each one into a log about 2 inches in diameter and 15 inches long. Bake until puffed and golden brown around the edges about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on wire racks.

3. While still warm but cool enough to handle carefully remove the logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on the diagonal about 1/4 inch thick and place back on the cookie sheet standing upright on their bottoms, not flat. Bake again 8-20 minutes depending on how crunchy you want them.

4. Cool cookies on wire racks. When cool melt remaining cup of chocolate and shortening together, whisking well. Dip ends of each cookie allowing excess to drip off. Place on parchment paper and allow the chocolate to set. Store in airtight container up to 1 month.

Cranberry White Chocolate Dipped Biscotti

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Chocolate Bon Bon Cookies a.k.a. Rudolph’s Red Nose Cookies

   
A rich, candy-like chocolate cookie topped with vanilla frosting and a red peanut m & m reminiscent of Rudolph’s red nose.

These cookies are nothing short of extraordinary! Dutch processed cocoa really makes the chocolate flavor pop. The cookies have the consistency of fudge and a taste to match. … 

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Vanilla Crescent Cookies

Almond Crescent Cookies

Vanilla Crescents or Vanillekipferli are an old Viennese traditional cookie made with ground almonds and fresh vanilla beans. The dough is shaped by hand into crescents before baking and then dusted with copious amounts of vanilla sugar after. They’re buttery like shortbread, nutty and soft, much like a Mexican wedding cookie or a Russian tea cake.

If you have vanilla sugar already on hand you can use that to dust them. An easy way to make vanilla sugar is to use your scraped out vanilla beans. Fill an airtight container with sugar and immerse the beans in it. The vanilla sugar will be ready to use in a day or two but the longer you leave it the better. This way you can always have vanilla sugar on hand!

I love that such a delicious cookie comes out of so few ingredients! I hope Santa likes them!

Almond Crescent Cookies
Vanilla Crescents
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup blanched almonds
pinch of salt
1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 moist vanilla bean
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg yolk
Topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 moist vanilla bean

1. Pulse the flour, almonds and salt together in food processor to coarsely chop nuts, then process until nuts are finely ground.

2. In a large bowl beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla beans and beat for 1 minute, add confectioner’s sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolk. Add about one-third of flour mixture and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining flour mixture mixing until just blended.

3. Scrape dough onto plastic wrap and shape into a large, flat disc, cover well and refrigerate until firm about 1 hour or overnight.

4. To make topping pulse sugars and vanilla together in food processor and add to a small bowl; set aside.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

6. Roll dough between your palms or on a lightly floured surface into 1/2-inch wide x 2 and 1/2-inch long logs with slightly tapered ends. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets and bend into a crescent shape. Repeat until all the dough is used up.

7. Bake until light golden brown around edges and on bottom about 15 minutes. Slide parchment onto wire racks and cool for a 1-2 minutes, then roll in vanilla sugar, put back on parchment to continue cooling.

Almond Crescent Cookies
Merry Christmas! xoxo

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Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook and Cookie Giveaway

Tate’s Bake Shop is Southampton’s favorite bakery! Founder, owner and baker Kathleen King makes all of Tate’s baked goods from the finest ingredients, just the way she made them when she was 11-years old and first started selling cookies at her family’s farm stand. Her business has expanded a lot since then to include cakes, pies, crumbles and lots of cookies! She is well-known for her signature cookie; thin, buttery and crispy, they are among her best-sellers along with her sour cream coffee cake and pecan pie that she ships all over the country.

Tate’s has been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as in the Washington Post, New York Post, and InStyle.

Tate's Bake Shop Gift Pack Assorted image

In her new book, Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook, with a forward by Ina Garten, Kathleen shares her best-selling recipes and more. Her cookbook is “full of classic, crowd-pleasing American desserts, all made with good fresh ingredients.” According to Kathleen, “All the recipes in this book should take less time to make than it would to go to a store to buy a commercially prepared baked good, so they’re perfect for the busy holiday season when baked goodies are in high demand.”

Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook Giveaway!

The elves at Tate’s Bake Shop generously sent me a cookbook and a gift pack of cookies along with an extra to give away to one of you too! The cookies were happily devoured by my family who loved them. And the cookbook is nothing short of charming with recipes like Peanut Butter Bread, Apple Cream Cheese Tart, Hummingbird Cake, Squash Rolls, Creme de Menthe Pie, White Chocolate Brownies and Toffee Pecan Cookies…see? It’s hard to stop! I want to make everything!

I couldn’t resist the combination of peanut butter and chocolate in the flourless peanut butter chocolate chunk cookie recipe. One of my childhood favorites. They are one of the quickest, easiest cookies to make and will melt in your mouth whether hot from the oven or cooled.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(adapted from Tate’s Bake Shop)
1 + 1/4 cups peanut butter, smooth or chunky
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips or 1 bittersweet bar chopped fine

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two cookie sheets or line with silpat.

2. In a large bowl mix the peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Stir in chocolate.

3. Form each cookie into a ball using a two tablespoon-sized ice cream scoop or your moistened hands. You can leave them as a ball to cook or press them down slightly with a fork making a ‘criss cross’ in them after putting them on the baking sheet.

4. Bake 12 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the cookie or until they are puffed on top and golden on the bottom. Cool them on the cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 40 one-half inch cookies or 20 three-inch cookies.

This Giveaway has Ended! The winner is Farrah of Farrah’s Food Adventures! Congratulations Farrah! Enjoy!   

One winner (U.S. only, please) will receive a gift pack that includes Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies along with a cookbook.
To enter leave me a comment letting me know what your favorite Christmas cookie is.
For extra entries – leave a separate comment for each:
-Tweet the giveaway.
-Follow my blog through Google Friends or through Networked Blogs on Facebook (right sidebar) or both!
-Like this post (down below) on Facebook.

Giveaway ends Sunday night (Dec. 5th) at midnight EST time.

Tate’s generosity doesn’t end there! They have also given me a 15% off discount code to share with you {“cookie”} good through December 31st on all on-line orders.

As we all crowded around the kitchen table oohing and aahing over the box of goodies Moon The Kitchen Cat was feeling left out…he’s used to being the center of attention! He had to check out what all the fuss was over…

Moon The Kitchen Cat and Tate's Cookie and Cookbook Giveaway

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Leftover Halloween Candy Bar Cookies

Leftover Halloween Candy Bar Cookies

What’s better than leftover Halloween candy?

Giant Halloween candy cookies packed with pieces of kit kats, peanut butter cups and walnuts! That’s what!

Leftover Halloween Candy Bar Cookies

While I usually prefer a soft cookie like Nestle toll-house, I really enjoyed these. Crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle, they take a little more time to eat than your average, everyday cookie. One of them is all I need to feel completely satisfied. And I put all those lonely, unclaimed candy bars to good use. Made them feel wanted. I think they’re much better off this way!

A little trick for softening up hard cookies is to put a piece of bread or apple into the container, depending on how hard they are it can take up to 24 hours for them to soften, so give it time!

Leftover Halloween Candy Bar Cookies
Candy Bar Cookies
(adapted from Epicurious)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 + 1/2 packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 + 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups chocolate candy bars, chopped
(like kit kats, peanut butter cups, snickers, milky way, m&m’s)
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a large bowl beat together butter and sugars at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in eggs. Beat in vanilla.
4. Beat in flour just until blended. Gently mix in candy bars and walnuts, batter will be thick.
5. Scoop 1/4 cup batter for each cookie placing about 3 inches apart. Flatten mounds into 3-inch rounds using moistened palm of your hand. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until golden, 10 -14 minutes. Cool cookies on wire racks.

Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies

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Italian Pizzelle Cookies

Italian Pizzelle Cookies

Pizzelles are thin, flat, round Italian cookies traditionally flavored with Anise. They are made using a Pizzelle Iron that gives them a waffle like appearance and imprints them with a pretty pattern. We make them for holidays and special occasions.

My Grandma was the pro in the family and never failed to show up, no matter the occasion, with a giant tray of pizzelles scattered with Hershey Kisses and colorful mints. She could make a 100 at a time, each one perfect. The job has fallen on my shoulders now and all I can say is I need lots of practice. I am using her very old Pizzelle Iron that might be as old as me, if not older. We also inherited a long-handled, hand-held one for using over an open fire or gas stove. If you are thinking of getting a Pizzelle Iron they are well worth the money, they last forever. 

Italian Pizzelle Cookies

Warm pizzelles can be formed into shapes like cones, tubes and baskets and filled with ice cream, pastry cream, custard or candies. The tubes can be used for cannoli shells and filled with sweet ricotta. They can be made into ice cream sandwiches. My Mom remembers my Great-Grandma making a filling for them with grape jelly and crushed almond crescent cookies.

Anise gets a bad rap from being labeled as licorice-tasting. Although it’s slightly reminiscent the taste is much lighter than licorice, it has more floral notes and is sweeter. I don’t like licorice. I love anise. 

Italian Pizzelle Cookies

The pizzelles can be made with just vanilla extract or other flavors like lemon, chocolate or amaretto. I tried some other flavors but they didn’t compare to the Anise ones. Anise rules the world of Pizzelles.

Italian Pizzelles*
(adapted from Food Network)
6 Eggs
1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Vegetable oil
3 cups All-Purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Optional Flavorings:
-3 tablespoons Anise seed + 1 teaspoon Anise Extract
-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 additional egg, or
-1/4 cup amaretto and an additional 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and oil and mix until well combined.
2. Add the flour, baking powder, vanilla extract and optional ingredients if desired. Mix well to form a homogeneous batter. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Heat the Pizzelle Iron. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter onto the iron, close it, and return to the heat. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Repeat until all the batter is used.
4. Sprinkle with Confectioners’ Sugar. Store in airtight container.
*Note: You will need a Pizzelle Iron to make these cookies.

Italian Pizzelle Cookies

King Arthur Flour has an excellent tutorial on making Pizzelles with a Chocolate Pizzelle recipe and a lot of alternative flavor recipes.

Pizzelle Makers

Italian Pizzelles on FoodistaItalian Pizzelles
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