Tuesday, November 24, 2009

'Tis The Season To Start Baking

Last year I went absolutly crazy with the holiday baking with this great idea of making all the members of my large family baskets full of cookies. Every weekend I was in the kitchen stirring and mixing, baking and frosting, until I had a freezer full of goodies. A week before Christmas with snow on the ground I put together many baskets and got them all wrapped and ready for the trip up north to Seattle.

Oh how I envisioned the cheers of delight as I passed out these treats to my loved one. What I didn't count on however was that on Christmas Eve, we came to the realization that we weren't going anywhere. We could barely get out of our driveway due to all the snow and ice, never mind 250 miles on I-5 which was even worse still. All was not lost though. I shared my baskets with co-workers for weeks and I think they were appreciated.

This year I have curbed my baking enthusiam considerably. I am still going to go with some homemade treats for the family, but limit it to two selections; a cookie and some homemade candy, a recipe I haven't not selected yet. For the cookie though, it's going to be this delicious biscotti recipe that I have made in the past called Dried Cherry Biscotti but instead of cherries, I have used dried cranberries. I think they represent the holidays better and I have also doctored the recipe a bit by dipping them in some chocolate for a little more elegance. Let the baking begin! Dried Cherry Biscotti

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup ground almonds
Melted chocolate of your choice for dipping (optional)

Lightly grease one cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until dough is formed. Stir in almonds and cranberries.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead several times. Using the greased cookie sheet as a surface, divide the dough in half and form into two flat logs about 9 inches long by 3 inches wide. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Let cool directly on baking sheet resting on a rack for 10 minutes.

Lower heat to 325 degrees. On a cutting board, cut the logs on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Put back in oven for 5 minutes. Turn over and bake 5 more minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a baking rack. When totally cooled, dip one end in melted chocolate and place on wax paper until chocolate solidifies. Store in an airtight container.


KandN said...

Whenever Fran treats us to Biscotti, I'm amazed at how many steps there are. I suppose once you've done it a few times you get the hang of it, but it definitely gave me a new appreciation for those delicious treats.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I want to make biscotti for the first time, in my life. Love the idea of dipping it in chocolate. Yours are beautiful. Wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

What! Not absolutely crazy? Disappointed family member.

www.dhaleb.com said...

I'm making truffles and cookies for my family this year. I didn't even think about making the cookies and freezing them. Such a great way to work on the project much sooner than later :) Thank you!