'Tis the season for tins and boxes full of goodies! Today's recipe is a nice sized little treat to pair with a friend and a hot cup of tea or coffee. Confession before we get started: I'm completely new to making biscotti. Biscotti has always intimidated me with it's multiple bakes and perfect little shape. I didn't think I could pull it off...but this recipe came together nicely after some inspiration when I watched Irish Chef Clodagh McKenna make her orange chocolate biscotti (which is an amazing flavor combination I might add). So, I got to my kitchen and began playing around with recipes. I first made a chocolate coconut biscotti on Halloween (pics are on my instagram if you're interested). Those came out nice but the recipe needs more tweaking and I really wanted to play with a light, holiday flavor and I think these hit the mark. The almonds and almond extract bring a soft balance to the tart cranberries and the drizzle of white chocolate adds just the right amount of sweetness. And I promise...these aren't too complicated. I'm happy to report that I've cured by biscotti-timidation.
Cranberry Almond Biscotti with White Chocolate
-3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 1 TBS softened butter (my go-to favorite is Kerrygold!)
-1 tsp almond extract
-2 1/4 cups flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 cup sliced almonds
-1 cup fresh cranberries
For White Chocolate Drizzle
-1/2 package of white chocolate chips (more is fine too!)
-1/4 cup sliced almonds for garnish (chop them up a little bit more)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Add your eggs and sugar to a mixer and beat together. Add in the butter, almond extract and continue to mix until incorporated. Sift in the flour, baking powder and mix with the butter/eggs/sugar mixture until blended into a sticky batter. Pour in the almonds and cranberries and fold in gently. Lightly flour your counter or a cutting board and pour the entire batter onto the floured surface. It will be sticky! No worries here! With floured hands, divide the dough into two halves and knead/shape each into a log. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully slice the biscotti into individual pieces, approximately 1/2 inch thick, and turn over each piece flat on the tray. Don't stress about the exact size or if a piece or two breaks...rustic biscotti tastes just as good! Return the tray to the oven and bake for another ten minutes. Remove it from the oven and flip them over flat on the other side. Return to the oven one last time for ten minutes and remove from the oven. Allow the biscotti to cool completely on the tray before adding the chocolate drizzle.
For the drizzle, place a heat safe bowl over a pot of boiling water to use as a "double boiler." Add the white chocolate to the bowl and stir frequently to allow the chocolate to melt evenly. Once melted, you can pour the melted chocolate into a coffee mug and dip the biscotti ends into it and return to the parchment paper to set or you can use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate on top. Sprinkle the additional sliced almonds on the melted chocolate before it sets. Let the biscotti set, brew a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!
This recipe makes approximately 15 various sized pieces. I hope you like them and happy holiday baking!
How is it already the day after Thanksgiving? I feel like fall flew by and the holiday season arrived so much more quickly than last year. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family from near and far. It was an evening full of great food, amazing company, singing, dancing and then more dessert. I'm incredibly grateful.
Today's recipe brings you an easy, lighter and healthier muffin recipe to use up the cranberry sauce that's just sitting in your fridge in one of the many tupperware containers in there this week. The recipe doesn't have any refined sugar and I used all oatmeal instead of regular flour so they may be a welcome whole grain breakfast after a holiday weekend of splurging. The orange brings a bright flavor that combines nicely with the tart cranberries. I made the whole recipe from start to finish in my Vitamix, which was a splurge on myself a few years ago due to a compelling QVC deal of the day, so required time and dishes are minimal. I absolutely love this blender. I use it all.the.time. I mostly use it for shakes and smoothies. I also ran it all the time to make baby food a couple of years ago, but I'm starting to use it more for baking too these days.
Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins
(makes 12 servings)
Ingredients for Blender
-1 cup Greek yogurt
-3/4 cup maple syrup
-1 tsp orange extract
-zest of 1 small orange (I used a Halotop Cutie)
-3 cups oatmeal
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 TBS cinnamon (you can use less or more depending on your preference)
12 TBS cranberry sauce (I made my cranberry sauce this year by combining 2 cups of orange juice, 3/4 cup of maple syrup and 4 cups of fresh cranberries. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer while stirring frequently until the cranberries pop and the sauce thickens. This recipe is simple but you can't walk away from the stove (I know from experience!). Keep stirring!
Optional Crumb Topping
-2/3 cup oatmeal
-2 TBS butter
-2 TBS maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the ingredients in the blender in the order listed. Secure the top and insert the tamper. Turn the Vitamix on low and use the tamper to help mix the ingredients. Increase the speed of the Vitamix and continue to use the tamper until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly into a batter. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop a small amount of batter into each of the muffin cups of a pre-greased or lined muffin tin. Add 1 TBS of cranberry sauce on top of the batter in each muffin tin and then pour the remaining batter over the cranberry sauce in each muffin cup.
For the crumb topping, place the oatmeal, butter, maple syrup and cinnamon in a bowl and use a fork to mix and cut it all together. Sprinkle a small amount of topping on top of each muffin.
Bake the muffins in a 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes (check by using a toothpick to see if it is cooked all the way as oven times may vary). Allow to cool in the muffin tin for 15 minutes and then place the muffins on a wire rack to cool further. Enjoy the muffins and the very few dishes you will need to do after this recipe!
Have a wonderful and peaceful holiday weekend!
I know that we are just getting to know each other so you may not yet know that pumpkin season is my absolute favorite....hands down. FAVORITE. I love fall. I love the leaves, the colors, the crisp mornings and nights, the sounds of a football game on TV in the background, fall fashion, that back to school feeling, the sweater and rosy cheek weather...and the pumpkins. I don't know that I could live anywhere where there isn't fall.
Today's recipe is a reflection of this love for pumpkin season. I know we are all gearing up for Thanksgiving this week and I'm going to take the holiday a little bit further into the late breakfast the morning after. Whether you're a black Friday shopaholic who is going to return home without any sleep or you're hosting the family over night, this pumpkin bread is an easy and delicious option to go with everyone's morning coffee. You can also make this ahead of time and store it in the freezer, take it out on Thanksgiving night before you go to bed and leave it on the counter in the ziploc freezer bag to thaw out. Done! Who wants to cook on the morning after turkey day, right?
This recipe isn't one of my lighter creations but everything in moderation, right? This is also one of Mr. Sunday Bakers' favorites. So grab a couple bowls, your mixer (you can mix this one by hand if you prefer too!) and let's get baking!
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-3/4 cup vegetable oil
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 cup pumpkin puree
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tbs cinnamon
-1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In one bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. In another bowl, mix the eggs and brown sugar. Add in the vanilla and mix further. Add in the pumpkin puree and mix until blended. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes (oven times may vary) or until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for at least 20-30 minutes and then take the bread out of the loaf pan and let it cool on a wire rack for another 20-30 minutes. Slice and enjoy! (If you are freezing this recipe, let the loaf cool completely before putting it into a freezer bag and placing in the freezer).
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