Orange Almond Biscotti

I spotted this in my google reader the other day, and lo and behold, it was another recipe from the Good Things Catered blog :) She is doing 25 Days of Treats, so of course there are many more recipes I have marked to try as well. This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen, and so far, they haven't steered me wrong.

I had never made biscotti before, and was surprised at how simple it was. (Other than mistakenly adding only 2 tsp of zest, rather than 2 Tablespoons. Oops.) They still turned out really well, and I just dipped 'em in chocolate, which should more than make up for the zest. Biscotti is a great gift for friends, coworkers, and family, and make a yummy treat for yourself as well on a cold winter's morning.

Orange Almond Biscotti
America's Test Kitchen
2 cups A/P flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened but still cool (I like to cut the butter up into small pieces prior to creaming)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup almonds, toasted, cooled and chopped coarsely
2 Tbsp minced orange zest (I was out of oranges but found I could substitute the zest from clementines, which I had a whole box of.)

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, then the extracts. Stir in almonds and zest. Fold dry ingredients into wet until dough is just mixed.

Halve the dough, and turn portions onto prepared baking sheet. Stretch each portion into a rough 13 x 2 inch loaf, and pat smooth.

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top. Remove baking sheet from over, and let cool for 10 minutes.

Lower oven temp to 325. Cut each loaf diagonally into 3/4 inch slices. Lay each slice cut-side up on baking sheet, and return to oven. Bake, turning each cookie halfway through baking, for a total of about 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown on both sides.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

I dipped my biscotti in melted semi-sweet chocolate, as well as in white chocolate drizzled with semi-sweet.

White Chocolate Dipped Dog Bones

I wanted to make some special treats for the furry children in our families, but I wanted something super easy and quick. I decided to just buy some regular milkbones from the store, and dip them in melted white chocolate. You can also make your own bones, and do the same for a completely homemade treat!

White Chocolate Dipped Dog Bones

1 lb. white chocolate chips
2 - 3 dozen milkbones (you can probably get 4 dozen if you buy the smallest size bones)
Colored sprinkles

Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler. Dip each biscuit halfway in the melted white chocolate. (I used a spoon to make sure I got both sides covered completely.) Set on parchment paper, wax paper or a silpat. Add colored sprinkles before chocolate sets, and allow chocolate to harden before packaging for your furry friends!



For Christmas this year, I decided I wanted to bake some of my gifts for my clients and co-workers. I made some of the Malted Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookies (and of course, saved some for myself), and then I decided I wanted to make some fudge after seeing a really easy recipe on Beantown Baker.

She suggests using the defrost setting on the microwave to melt the chocolate, which worked out really well! The only problem I had was that I forgot to pick up some sweetened condensed milk at the store, but luckily I found a recipe for a substitution for it, so I didn't have to run back out to the store. The fudge was nice and creamy, and hopefully everyone I made it for enjoys it!

All Recipes

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (like Beantown Baker, I used 2 cups milk chocolate and 1 cup semisweet, Ghirardelli chips.)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Place chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter in large microwaveable bowl. Cook in microwave on defrost until chips are melted, about 3 - 5 minutes, stirring once or twice while cooking. Stir in nuts, if desired.

Pour into well-greased 8x8 inch baking dish (I just lined mine with aluminum foil for easy removal); refrigerate until set.


Cranberry-Orange Cookies

These cookies are absolutely amazing! I picked up some extra bags of fresh cranberries from the grocery store during their post-Thanksgiving sales, and was excited to come across this recipe last week. The orange zest & juice combined with the tartness of the cranberries is an unbeatable combination. I seriously can't stop eating these; they are super simple to throw together, and will definitely be in my rotation of holiday cookies from here on out. I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Good Things Catered. You can never gone wrong with any of Katie's recipes, they are all fantastic!

Cranberry-Orange Cookies
Good Things Catered

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp grated orange zest
juice of 1/2 orange
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. chopped fresh cranberries

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment.
-In medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and whisk; set aside.
-In bowl of stand mixer, combine butter and sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
-Add yolk and beat until fully incorporated.
-Add orange juice, then zest and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.
-Turn mixer to low speed, add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
-Remove bowl from mixer, stir in cranberries, and place 1 Tbsp rounds of dough onto cookie sheets. Be sure to place the cookies several inches apart, as they do spread a bit while baking.
-Place cookies in the oven and bake, switching baking sheet positions half way through baking time, for 12-14 minutes (they should not brown)
-Remove from oven and let cool on pans completely, about 10-15 minutes.

Makes about 18 Tbsp-sized cookies