Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Biscotti Extravaganza!

I have a best friend.  As true blue as they get.  The kind of friend you can always count on even when times are beyond bad...or may seems so.  But, what is most wonderful about my best friend is we have FUN!  I am talking about balmy with an emphasis on silliness.  We are pirates~~~yes with pirate names!  I am Desdemona and she is Esmeralda...Desmo and Esmo for short.  To keep my best pal blog-nonymous  (this is my baby) I will refer to her as Esmo her true pirate name.  

We are both crazy hard workers.  To some, our fun may look like a whole lot of effort, especially our annual tradition of biscotti making.  We are not talking about a leisurely day of baking.  It is a flour flying, tunes cranking, egg cracking event!  This year we broke our record with 34 loaves!  (we made a note on the recipe that this just~ might ~ be enough).  We give most of our creations away.  I have a tradition of random acts of blog post.  In the mean time here are some photos of the fun +++ the recipe!

Basic Recipe
All Ingredients Room Temperature 
Pre-Heat Oven to 350

Cream Butter & Sugar
10 Tbs of Butter
1 cup of Sugar

Add Next 3 Ingredients & Mix
1 Tbs of extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Add Eggs One at a Time Until Blended
4 eggs

Add Flour to make a Moderately Stiff Dough
4 cups of unbleached flour

A splash of Milk if too Stiff or More Flour as needed

Now Stir in the Goodies (see ideas below)

Form 2 Long Loaves on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone liner

Bake about 20 minutes at 350 ~~~ Until tooth pick comes out clean.
Keep an eye on the baking you may need to rotate the pans depending on your oven

Remove from the oven and cool thoroughly 
we use my unheated breezeway as a cooling area...really speeds things up
Then slice 1/2 inch to and inch thick...what ever is your pleasure

Time for us to open our bottle of wine and enjoy while we clean up the kitchen too.

Oven at 375

Bake Slices Flat for about 8 - 10 minutes

Flip and Bake Again for 8 - 10 minutes

Until just a hint of browning happens.

Eat crumbs that were created during the cutting for the second bake!

Keep records of the goodies you like best for future enjoyment

The Biscotti Freezes Beautifully for a Month...never lasted longer than that!

Dueling Mixers

Runa's Favorite Part!


Here are some of the combinations Esmo & Desmo have made over the years...

Heaping Cup of White Chocolate & 1 cup of Dried Cranberries (all time fav)

The Zest and Juice of 2 lemons (need a bit more Flour) Use Lemon Extract instead of Vanilla and a cup of Dried Blueberries OR Dried Cranberries (I LOVE lemon)

2 cups of Toffee Chips

1 cup Peppermint Candy Crushed & Heaping cup of Dark Chocolate (kid fav)

1 cup Crystallize Ginger & 1 cup of White Chocolate 
plus 4 Tbs~yes tablespoons~of Ginger Powder.  Bazinga!  Didn't share these TOO good!

2 cups Andes Mint Chips

Substitute Butter for PEANUT BUTTER 
+ 1 cup Reeses Chips + 1 cup Chocolate Chips + 1 cup Dry Roasted Peanuts
(My Hubbies fav)

1 cup home Dried Apples (chopped) + Caramel Baking Chips + 1 tbs Cinnamon

We have tried many others but these have proved to be delicious!  I encourage you to be creative and find your own wonderful combinations.  I think it is time for tea!

The Staging Area

Runa on Guard 

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