Thursday, December 21, 2006

Meanwhile...

I'm at work, but I have absolutely no motivation to format working papers or do planning for an upcoming conference. Why? Because no one else is in the office! Well, my student worker is, but she doesn't count.

So...I'm posting two recipes. One is for a biscotti that is our very favorite. It's rare that Porkchop and I adore the same baked item (Porkchop isn't a huge chocolate fan while I am a dark chocolate fool), but we both love this biscotti. I recently realized that I've been making this biscotti for 7 years now! Crazy! The other recipe is for a shortbread that is a new favorite.

Before recipe posting, has anyone out there tried needle felting? I think it looks intriguing....maybe after I learn the ins and outs of crocheting.

ORANGE-CHOCOLATE BISCOTTI

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp finely grated orange peel
1 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
2 cups flour
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate miniships
2/3 cup shelled lightly salted pistachio nuts

Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet.

In a large bowl with mixer on high speed, beat butter, 1 cup sugar, the peel, and baking powder until well blended. Beat in 3 eggs. On low speed, beat in flour just until blended. Stir in chips and nuts.

Turn dough out on a well-floured surface. Divide dough into quarters. Roll each portion into a 9-inch long rectangular log (use your own judgment about width and height - I think I usually do a few inches across and an inch or so high, but I never measure those).

Place logs 3 inches apart (logs will spread) on prepared baking sheet. Beat remaining egg in a small bowl with a fork. Brush egg on logs, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on sheet on a wire rack 5 minutes. Loosen with a spatula and remove to a cutting board. Wipe off cookie sheet.

With a long, sharp knife, cut each log diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange slices upright on cookie sheet.

Bake 15-17 minutes longer until crisp. Remove to wire rack to cool (cookies will become even more crisp). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks (but they won't last that long, believe me!).

CREDIT: From an old Woman's Day cookie insert. It's a long story...how I came to possess said cookie insert.

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ALMOND-ORANGE SHORTBREAD

1 cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
grated zest of 1 orange (or about 2 tsp)
3/4 cup sliced almonds

In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, almond extract, and salt until smooth. With mixer on low speed, add flour and orange zest; mix just until a dough forms. With a wooden spoon, rubber spatula, or your hands, gently mix in almonds.

On a piece of wax paper, form dough into a rectangular log, 12 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. Wrap log in the paper and freeze until firm (at least 1 hour and up to 3 months). If freezing longer than 1 day, wrap log again in plastic wrap.

Preheat oven to 325 F. Remove dough from freezer (if dough has been in freezer for a long time and is frozen solid, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to avoid crumbling).

With a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/4-inch slices; place on ungreased baking sheet at least 1 inch apart. Bake until edges just begin to turn golden, 20-25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet; transfer cookies to rack to cool.

CREDIT: From an Everyday Food issue. Yay for Martha Stewart and her empire!

1 comment:

Deba said...

Oh, do give needle felting a try! It's inexpensive and fun. You would be amazed at what you can create. Go to www.owning-alpaca.com to see some of the projects you can make.