Vanilla Biscotti

Oh my gosh! These vanilla biscotti are amazing! So simple, and such a classic flavour. Paul was extremely happy about these, and so was I. I added a little extra vanilla, just to amp up the flavour, and when Paul took his first bite, his reaction made me a little scared that I put too much vanilla in. Nope! He said it was just the right amount, and I agree.

Biscotti are definitely this year’s Sugar and Spice addiction. You know how it is. These things come and go, and right now, my favourite thing to experiment with is biscotti!

I got the original recipe here, and as I said, I just added extra vanilla. I also changed the second bake time instructions slightly. I didn’t lower the oven heat, and I flipped the cut biscotti after about 12 minutes. Other than that, I did learn a new trick for slicing the biscotti and making it easier, instead of crumbly ends.

When you take the biscotti out of the oven after the first bake, spritz it lightly with water, making sure to get the tops and sides. It softens the outer crust just enough to make a nicer cut. Who knew?! Well, now I do, and you do as well!

Go make these. They are such a lovely, classic flavour that they will go with any warm drink!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 20-22 biscotti, depending on cut size

6 tbsp. butter
2/3 c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract (I used 2 tsp.)
1½ tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
2 c. flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a mixer, or a medium bowl, combine the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and baking powder until mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs. The batter may look slightly curdled, but it isn’t. Add in the flour, and stir until smooth.

Scoop out the dough, and shape it into a rough log about 12 inches long. Flatten slightly, but keep the middle slightly mounded.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the biscotti is light golden brown all over. Remove from oven, spritz all over with room temperature water, and let sit for five minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board, and use a serrated knife to slice biscotti. Place cut side down on the baking sheet, and return to the oven for 12 minutes, or until bottoms are just starting to turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven, flip the biscotti to the other cut side, and bake for 10-12 minutes until outsides are dry, and they are starting to turn golden brown, then remove from the oven.

Cool on a wire rack, and serve with a warm drink, like tea, coffee, or hot chocolate!

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White Dinner Rolls

I’m a sucker for bread. We know this. So, I came across these dinner rolls and something inside me yelled “WE HAVE TO MAKE THESE RIGHT NOW!”. I’m not one to argue when it comes to bread and baked goods, so I made them.

Let’s just say I am SO GLAD I did. The recipe makes a lot (as in two dozen rolls), but that’s okay. No one ever really turned their nose up at homemade buns…. did they? At least, Paul never has. These were pretty easy to make, and the appealing thing was that they use shortening. I’ve never used shortening in rolls or breads before (that I can recall, that is…), and I was excited because I forgot to take my butter out of the freezer to that last night.

Like I said, super quick to make, and they weren’t that difficult. The rise time is relatively short for bread dough, which also made me happy. I got the recipe from here, and this is a winner in my books.

Speaking of, I am feeling a little peckish as I write this. I think I’ll wrap up, and go get a mid-afternoon roll with butter. My kind of snack!

Ingredients

Yield: 2 dozen rolls

½ c. water
2 tbsp. active dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
2 c. milk
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
¼ c. shortening or butter
1 egg
4-5 c. flour
¼ c. melted butter, for brushing

In a small bowl or coffee mug, microwave the water for 20-30 seconds, until lukewarm, but not hot.

Add the yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar and stir. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes. Watch it so it doesn’t overflow! (As in, if your yeast is still alive, it will foam and rise very fast! If it doesn’t foam, the water was too hot and killed the yeast. Try again.)

In a glass measuring cup, microwave 2 cups milk for 1-2 minutes until it is warm but not hot.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the second measurement of sugar, salt, and shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Stir together with a wooden spoon, or use your dough hook. Add the warm milk, yeast mixture, and 1 egg. Mix well and let rest 5 minutes.

Add 2-3 (or up to 3 ½) cups flour, one cup at a time, mixing in between. Once all the flour has been incorporated, knead for 5-6 minutes, using your hands or the dough hook. (I ended up adding the extra 3½ cups of flour.)

Grease a large bowl well with oil or butter. Scrape all the dough into the bowl, shape it together, then turn it over so that the top is greased. Cover loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball (pinch one end with your fingers).

Place the rolls in 2 well-greased pans. I used two 9×13 pans.

Cover the pans with tea towels and let them rise in a warm spot for another 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size. When they are almost done rising, preheat your oven to 375°F.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown all across the top.

Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Serve warm.

 

 

Double Chocolate Biscotti

Well, ladies and gents, I did warn you that more biscotti was coming.

It’s so simple to make, and it yields such high results! It’s a perfectly crisp little cookie, and then you dunk it in your favourite morning beverage, and it becomes the best morning snack (or mid-afternoon snack… or after-dinner snack… Let’s just say it goes well at any time of the day!)

I found this double chocolate biscotti recipe from Pinterest, and the original recipe is here. With a blog name like “Chocolate, Chocolate and More”, I knew we were going to be on to something good.

I still can’t believe how easy biscotti is to make! This dough took me ten minutes, tops, to whip together. It had to bake for longer than it take to make the dough! I call that an easy recipe. The only difference I made is swapped the dark cocoa powder for regular, because I was all out of dark. Not much of a difference, though, because it was still double chocolate to me!

So, the verdict about these biscotti is… go make them! What are you waiting for?

Happy Baking, and Happy December!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 20 biscotti

6 tbsp. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
¼ tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
½ c. cocoa powder (dark or regular works)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

Preheat oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the vanilla, and combine again.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients in three additions, mixing after each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Form into a log, about 12 inches by 4 inches. Place dough log onto baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, let sit for five minutes, then cut into slices, and place cut side down. Bake for 8 minutes, then turn cookies and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Cool completely on a cookie rack, and store in an airtight container. Serve with a warm beverage (tea, coffee, hot chocolate), and dunk away!

Eggnog Scones

Firstly, I have not been posting on a regular basis, and I am sorry! Starting a new job in September, juggling all of these new commitments and time crunches… I apologize indeed! Life has still been a little crazy here in our neck of the woods.

Also, I told you I was on an eggnog kick. Therefore, these seemed perfect! Besides, Paul and I love scones. I think they are a perfect breakfast treat. They are usually very quick to whip up, don’t take too long in the oven, and always yield good results.

I wasn’t disappointed by these eggnog scones, either. I found the recipe here, after a short search on Pinterest. I was looking for a recipe I could make without going to the store, and this one delivered. Paul was definitely overexcited to have an eggnog scone for breakfast.

They are soft and flaky, and the glaze just puts them right over the top. Delicious. Paul also made his own eggnog spice for when he indulges, and instead of sprinkling the tops with cinnamon, I used his eggnog spice. So good! They also made my house smell heavenly. In my opinion, you really can’t beat the taste and smell of eggnog (but you all know how much of a sweets person I am!)

I really don’t have much else to say, except go make these!

Ingredients:

Yield: 8 scones

For the scones:

2¼ c. flour
½ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. nutmeg (or 1½ tsp. eggnog spice)
1/3 c. sugar
½ c. butter, cold
1/3 c. eggnog
1 egg
¼ c. sour cream
½ tsp. vanilla

For the glaze:

1 c. icing sugar
2 tbsp. eggnog
½ tsp. vanilla
Eggnog spice or cinnamon, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, spices, and sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces, add it to the dry ingredients and mix with your hands or a pastry blender until the mixture is coarse and only small, pea-sized chunks of butter remain.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, eggnog, sour cream, and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients, and mix with a spatula or your hands, until a dough forms.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet, and pat down into a circle about one inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 sections. (I used a pizza wheel.)

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven, re-cut the scones, and pull them apart slightly. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until they are golden.

Allow the scones to cool before adding the glaze.

To make the glaze, whisk together the icing sugar, eggnog, and vanilla into a smooth, somewhat runny (but not too runny) consistency. Add more eggnog if the glaze is too thick.

Drizzle the glaze generously over the scones, and dust with cinnamon or eggnog spice.

Eggnog Biscotti 

Why haven’t I made biscotti sooner?!?! I didn’t realize how absolutely amazing it is until I tried this recipe. Also, it is so easy to make!

You form the dough into long logs, flatten them slightly, bake, cut, and bake again! Bam! Biscotti! Low effort, maximum reward. My kind of snack, that’s for sure.

This recipe I found from Pinterest, from this link. There is a great eggnog flavour throughout the cookie, as well as in the glaze. This is the biscotti for eggnog lovers. I am an eggnog lover. So when I paired this eggnog biscotti with Eggnog Tea from David’s Tea, I was in complete heaven! (Did I mention instead of milk to my tea, I added eggnog? I’m an eggnog lover through and through.)

The nice thing about this biscotti is that the eggnog flavour, while you can certainly detect it, is not in-your-face strong. I find it’s a subtle little hint at the creamy deliciousness, and absolutely to-die-for when dipped in a hot beverage.

So, the world of biscotti is now open to me. I feel like it’s going to be a biscotti-filled Christmas! I even warned Paul that I might make a TON of biscotti in the next few months, and he was completely fine with it. He was A-OK with a reason to drink lots of hot chocolate and coffee.

If you like eggnog though, give these a shot, and try them with coffee and eggnog!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 3 dozen biscotti, depending on cut size

For the biscotti:

½ c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
½ c. eggnog
2 tsp. rum, rum extract, or vanilla*
3¼ c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. salt

For the glaze:

1 c. icing sugar
1 tsp. rum, rum extract, or vanilla*
2-3 tbsp. eggnog

(*Depending on preference. I used spiced rum.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter, sugar, and eggs until well combined, at least 1 minute. Add in the eggnog and rum. Blend again.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt and whisk until combined. In small additions, add the dry ingredients to the wet, until everything is incorporated.

Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface and separate into two equal segments. Shape each dough half into a long roll, approximately 14 inches. Place the rolls on the baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches of room between them. Press down lightly on the rolls to flatten them slightly.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Carefully remove rolls from pans and place on cooling racks. Set aside baking sheet, but do not throw out parchment paper. When the rolls have cooled enough to handle, but are still warm, transfer to a cutting board and cut into half-inch-thick slices.

Place slices, cut side down, back on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip cookies over, and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer to wire racks, with the tops facing up.

To make the glaze, whisk the sugar, rum, and eggnog together (only add 1 tablespoon at a time to get the consistency you want). When biscotti have cooled, drizzle glaze over tops with a fork or small whisk.

Serve with a hot beverage, and dunk away! Store in a sealed bag.