Monday, December 14, 2009

Make and bake biscotti

Was reading facebook messages the other day and saw someone was after a biscotti recipe so thought would be good to post one.

These are hard biscotti, like criplingly expensive cafe ones, only very cheap. Also easy to make - dentist is expensive though! so might want to dunk em in coffee!

If you want softer biscotti - the crumble or shortness comes from fat - use a recipe with butter in it. These'll continue to get harder over a couple of days and they keep well so make good prezzies.

You can mix and match with other flavours, also good chocolate dipped or swizzled with lemon icing.

Cranberry spice biscotti

These pretty biscuits are hard biscotti ideal for dunking in coffee or a hot chocolate. They make a great homemade gift or long lasting nibble to share with guests over the festive season. The recipe makes at least 25 so you’ve enough to give away and still enjoy some yourself.

1 egg
1 egg white
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup pistachios
½ cup dried cranberries/Craisins
1 tsp of vanilla essence
1 tsp mixed spice
1 ¾ cups self raising flour
Non stick baking paper

Pre heat the oven to 180°
Beat the egg, egg white and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved, and the mixture has become pale and frothy. Stir in the vanilla, spice, flour, nuts and dried fruit. Place the baking paper onto a baking tray.
Knead the dough lightly and form into a flattish log. Bake for 25 minutes then remove from the oven and allow to cool. The log will have cracked a little on top, this is normal.
Using a serrated knife slice the biscotti in to 5mm slices – you should get roughly 25 -28 from a log. Place the slices in batches onto a cooling rack, put the cooling rack onto a baking tray and carefully place in the oven. Cooking the slices on the rack allows the hot air to circulate around the biscuits eliminating the need to turn them. Bake them for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Cheer

Feeling happy, hair not too awful, work starting to ease off, only a few school lunches left to make and have super gorgeous Christmas tree.

Love the tree, whole family allergic to it naturally, cat obsessed with trying to drink tree water and needles already everywhere, also got migraine trying to untangle lights.

We all like tree and Christmas music so made mince pies as might as well go whole hog - in fact if I eat many more will resemble hog!
Thought you might like recipe so am attaching.

Christmas Mince pies
Makes around 14 regular size with stars on top, or more if you do some as mini’s. Pastry needs cold butter, cold water and a cold rest in the fridge.
Handling or kneading the pastry will make it greasy and tough, so be gentle and you’ll have ”melt in the mouth” short pastry for your mince pies.

FYI I always make a double batch, but we are very greedy.

For the pastry
1 heaped cup of plain flour
Pinch of salt
100 g butter
1 dsp sugar (for sweet pastry)
1 egg yolk
Splash of cold water

For the filling
¾ tub of fruit mince- approx 1 big cup full

Icing sugar to dust

Put flour, salt and butter into food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form or rub butter into flour with your finger tips.
Add sugar, egg yolk, and water and pulse or mix with the blade of a knife until just combined. If the pastry is over worked it will be tough, if it is crumbly add more water.
Wrap the pastry in paper or cling film and rest it in the fridge for 1/2 an hour before rolling out.
Pre heat the oven to 190°
Use a cutter or glass to cut pastry discs to fit your pans.
Grease the pans then line with the pastry discs. Spoon a teaspoon of fruit mince mixture into each one – don’t overfill or they’ll spill over and stick to the pans.
Top with a star or other pastry shape.
Bake for around 15 minutes until pale golden. Remove from pans while still warm and place on a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container and serve warm or cold. Dust with icing sugar before serving.