Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chocolate-Orange Biscotti

One family tradition that I can't seem to shake is baking cookies for Christmas.  When I was growing up all four of my sisters and I would bake batches and batches of a variety of cookies.  Biscotti wasn't in our repertoire, but it was in my Nana's and every year we enjoyed homemade authentic biscotti.  She also made a rum cake that I never learned to appreciate, but that's a different story.  This year I made a mix of cookies and small breads.  Pictured above are chocolate-orange biscotti that I made this year, so good and so easy!  Especially easy because I cheated and instead of using chopped bittersweet chocolate, I used Nestle's semi-sweet chips.  My secret is safe, right?

Chocolate-Orange Biscotti  
Recipe from Epicurious
Makes about 3 dozen
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl to blend. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add the liqueur and orange peel. Add flour mixture and beat until blended. Stir in pecans and chocolate. Gather dough together; divide in half. Wrap in plastic and freeze 20 minutes to firm. 

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Using floured hands, form each dough piece into 14-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Transfer logs to prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer parchment with logs to rack. Cool 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. 

Place 1 log on cutting board. Using serrated knife, cut log on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Stand slices upright on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining log. 

Bake biscotti until dry to touch and pale golden, about 30 minutes. Cool completely on rack. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in airtight container.)


Monday, September 30, 2013

Forgive Me, But

Sorry that I've been absent for a LONG, LONG time, but I have good excuses!  Does anyone want to hear them?  No one!??  How about some amazing news then!!?  We've put our gorgeous home on the market (picture me a little weepy) and are hoping to buy a place with a little more land!  One of us (pointing to myself) would be thrilled if we could grow grapes and produce enough wine for us and Amore's family.  After all, they supply us with olive oil and fresh eggs year round as well as some amazing produce from the enormous family vegetable garden.  I'd like to be able to give a little something back.

Below is a little slideshow video I made.  If you want to view it larger here is the link to the video on Youtube.  Be sure to "like" it if you visit there! Also, here is a link to the realtor's site with all the info and more photos.  Please keep in mind that I was not aware the realtor was going to be taking photos so the house was not prepared for a photo shoot, yipes.  Look away from the mess and instead notice how utterly fabulous this place is and, oh --  please feel free to share these links with anyone and everyone!