Gingerbread Biscotti

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Earlier this year I casually mentioned to husband how it would be easier to bake more often if I had a KitchenAid mixer. He agreed so I immediately ordered one for myself. Couldn’t hesitate on that one! It took me a few months to get used to mixing with this new machine but now I rely on it regular to quickly put together recipes.

sugar-cookiesThis is the fifth biscotti recipe that I’ve posted and it has become the favorite at home. The kids love the aroma while these are baking. Interestingly, I brought a plate of cookies to work and included some of these cookies and they were the only ones left on the plate. My theory is that people generally expect biscotti to be dry and hard so they favored the beautiful sugar cookies that were also there. I will admit those sugar cookies are hard to resist but I love to enjoy one of the gingerbread biscotti with a hot cup of tea.

Gingerbread Biscotti

Cream together:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Sift dry ingredients together:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350° F. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients gradually until a soft dough develops. On a lined baking sheet form two flattened logs of dough about 3-inches wide and 1-inch high. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, reduce heat to 300° F. Allow logs to cool for about 5 minutes then slice across each in a diagonal about 3/4-inch wide. Bake slices flat on the baking sheet at 300° F for 8 minutes. Drizzle with royal icing once completely cooled.

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Annie Hall’s Butter Cookies

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This cookie recipe is one that I go to when I need to plan ahead for holiday parties. It’s simple, can be frozen and pulled out and baked up in a pinch. Also it’s so versatile that this one recipe can create a variety of cookies to impress your friends and family. All the cookies in the photo above were made from this one recipe.

It’s from the “Christmas from the Heart of the Home” book by Susan Branch. One of my favorite books because it combines Susan’s artwork, hand-lettering, holiday traditions, and recipes. I could see the book becoming a family heirloom because I’ve used it for many of the recipes.

Annie Hall’s Butter Cookies

from Susan Branch (Click here to see her original recipe with artwork)

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

If you are going to bake these cookies right away, preheat oven to 350° F. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. (You can use a mixer for this or just a wooden spoon.) Add egg yolks and vanilla and stir to combine. Gradually add flour and salt, beating until a stiff dough forms. Form dough into shapes (see options below) and bake on ungreased baking sheets for about 10 minutes.  The cookies should be firm but not browned.

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Options for shapes and flavors:
  • Separate some dough and add knead in two tablespoons of cocoa powder to create chocolate butter cookies. In my photos I used the chocolate dough to twist with some plain dough to make candy cane shapes. You can also add food coloring. I also rolled in sprinkles before baking.
  • Roll out dough and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.
  • Take about a tablespoon of dough, pressing a well in the middle and fill with jam before baking for thumbprint cookies. Drizzle with icing once cooled.
  • Shape into logs, roll logs in sprinkles or chocolate jimmies, wrap and freeze. Slice dough 1/2-inch thick and bake. (My favorite way!)
  • Baked cookies also freeze well and are perfect for shipping.

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Dark & Stormy Biscotti

dark and stormy biscotti

It’s been 5 months since my last recipe!!! This is a great one to get me back into the swing of blogging. I’ve been sort of obsessed with biscotti lately and I have a running list of ideas for different flavors. Many of my ideas involve tea (of course) but a few are inspired by cocktail flavors. This recipe is modeled after the “Dark & Stormy” which contains rum, ginger beer and lime. Read more…

Pumpkin Patch Brownie Pies

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Is it a brownie? Is it a pie? Is it candy? It’s all of that rolled into one. The photos of these delicious treats were so frickin’ adorable that I found myself hoarding the mellow crème pumpkins so I could make them. I completed a test run of the recipe this weekend in preparation for our neighborhood Halloween party next weekend. Pumpkins will continue to be hoarded until after Halloween. It just occurred to me that these would be a fantastic addition to Thanksgiving. Must buy all the pumpkins now. Read more…

What I Love This Week: Cold Harbor Brewing Company

 

Cold Harbor Brewing Co

This week I’m loving craft beer from Cold Harbor Brewing Company.  Friends opened this craft brewery in Westborough, MA about a month ago. They asked if I would take photos at the grand opening and I jumped at the chance. Payment was a growler of beer but I would have done the photos for free. It’s so inspiring to see someone pursue their dream to start a business. Read more…

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

I’m a big fan of King Arthur Flour so when I noticed this recipe in the KAF catalog with a headline of “2015 Recipe of the Year” I knew that I had to bake these cookies. My first batch was baked specifically to welcome a new family to our neighborhood. Their reaction was positive.

I received a text message that said, “These are the best cookies that I’ve ever eaten!”

My family also loved this recipe but they suggested less chocolate for the next time. My version cuts down on the volume of chocolate and the cookies are still fantastic. Read more…

Feminism and Dreamforce 15

Dreamforce 15 Dreampark

This is a departure from my regular topics but since I’ve returned from Dreamforce 15 in San Francisco, I’ve had this niggling at the back of my brain. I was impressed with Dreamforce. It’s an undertaking that you can’t quite understand unless you experience it and this year was the biggest turn out ever. Never did I think that I would enjoy a conference with 170,000 people in attendance but I did. I left feeling inspired, transformed and am already planning to attend in 2016. A friend commented to me, “So you’ve been inducted into the Salesforce cult?” And it feels a little like that.

Dreamforce 15-ANIMATIONMy favorite sessions were the ones in the Women’s Leadership Summit, which were excellent yet I believe that an opportunity was missed. Read more…