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A young and slightly ignorant woman who has always loved baking and cooking, I want to make people happy with food as often as I can. I'm here to whisk away and explore!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Recipe! Berry Almond Biscotti

Picked blackberries and blueberries this week so I decided to create a new biscotti! (My family loves biscotti...plus it's fun to bake. You get to do it twice. Heehee.) 

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 cups flour 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2/3 cup berries
  • 1/3 cup sliced or chopped almonds
  • White chocolate for dipping or drizzling

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with no stick spray or line them with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl (or your stand mixer), beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and almond extract until well blended. Combine the flour and baking powder in another bowl, stir into the egg mixture to form a heavy dough. Add the nuts and berries and stir into the dough. If the berries are really tender they might bleed juice into the dough but that will just make them a little purple. If they are particularly juicy feel free to add more flour to the dough so that it will be good enough to form. Then divide the dough in two. Form each piece into a roll as long as your cookie sheet. Place rolls onto the prepared cookie sheet, and press/pat/smush it down till it's 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. When the loaves are cool enough to handle (as soon as possible since the warm loaves cut with less crumbles the warmer they are), slice each one crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 6 to 10 minutes on each side. 8 minutes is usually the perfect amount for my oven, but of course your's could be different. Slices should be lightly toasted.
  4. When they cookies are completely cool, melt the white chocolate. You can do this in the microwave 20 seconds at a time or on the  stove top in a double boiler. I tend to just stick with the microwave because it's faster and less mess. Remember, stirring chocolate as it melts is the most important step! 
  5. Dip the biscotti in the white chocolate or drizzle them using a fork. 
  6. Enjoy them with tea or coffee or milk or even diet coke like my dad! ;)

Happy Baking Everyone!

Friday, September 2, 2011

New Cupcake Flavor!

It's been awhile since I tackled a new cupcake flavor. I perfected my Blackberry Cupcake til it reached perfection but I haven't made a completely new cupcake in a month. (hey! that's a long time for a cupcake fanatic like me, ok?)
This month the ladies at my church are having their annual brunch to kick off the bible study program for this year and they have asked me to host it again!
(Check out last year's post here)
I had a blast last time and it was one of my favorite catering experiences, even if the smell of mushrooms did make me and my sister queasy. ;) So I'm ready to attack this one with gusto! There's something about autumn that just puts my baker side into gear. I love being in the kitchen when it's fall. All the colder weather and beautiful colors go to my head and I go baking crazy! And sure enough now that it's turned September and I'm waking up to colder mornings...well, let's just say I'm really really (really) excited.
I planned the menu for the ladies event about a week ago; I'm really looking forward to it. Of course, I'm planning on having three flavors of cupcakes, just like last year. But I didn't want them to be the same ones, even if they did get gobbled up and raved over. So I decided a nice coffee cupcake would be a nice adult flavor that would go perfectly with a brunch. And boy, am I glad I did...these might be the best cupcakes yet!

I wasn't actually going to post any pictures. They were, after all, just a taste tester. But when my sister saw it she couldn't eat it without whipping out her camera.
"WAIT!" she cried right before my mom put one in her mouth. "Can I take pictures first?" *insert puppydog face here* Of course I couldn't deny her. Who doesn't like having their culinary exploits enthusiastically photographed with vigor in awesome lighting?
So here's the break down of the cupcake himself. 
Coffee Chocolate cake soaked in Kahlua syrup frosted with Mocha Cream Cheese frosting and topped with shavings of bitter chocolate and a dash of cinnamon!