Sunday, November 18, 2007

#17 and #18 Christmas Cookies

So as promised yesterday Here are the two new recipes. First off holiday biscotti. There is always someone around who doesn't eat cookies. Biscotti is a good alternative for someone who is not a cookie eater per se.

#17 Holiday Biscotti

It is a bit labor intensive to make biscotti but well worth the effort. Begin with these ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons anise seed*
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed*
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup pistachios, shelled
1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into small pieces
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees when dough is ready.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; beat until combined. Beat in the 3 eggs, vanilla, and almond extract until combined. Beat in the flour. Stir in the anise and fennel seeds; add the dried fruits and pistachios. Chill for 2 hours.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 12 inch long log. Place the logs on a light greased cookie sheet at least 3 inches apart. Flatten the logs to 3/4 inches thick. Combine the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon of water. Brush top of logs with egg wash.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool loaves on cookie sheet for on hour. When cooled lower oven temp to 325 degrees. Cut loaves diagonally in 1/2 inch slices lay slices cut sides down on baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Turn slices over and return to oven for an additional 5 minutes or until the biscotti is dry and crisp. Cool on wire rack. Place in layers separated by waxed paper. Store airtight for up to three days or in the freezer for three months. Makes 48.

*I do not like anise or fennel. I use spices to my liking to spice up these biscotti. You can change the spices to meet your needs.

#18 Candy Cane Cookies

1/3 cup shortening, all vegetable
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
4 ounces white chocolate
1/2 to 2/3 cup crushed peppermint sticks

In a medium bowl cream together shortening, butter and sugar. Add baking powder, mix in. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Beat in cocoa powder, mix well. Add in flour in 2 portions. Cover dough and chill for an hour and a half.

Divide dough in half. On a well floured board, roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. Use a candy cane shaped cookie cutter, cut out candy canes using as much dough as possible. Repeat using all dough; placing all canes on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees F for 7-9 minutes until the cookies are firm and slightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack. Cool.

Melt chocolate to a drizzle consistency. lay cookies out on rack. Drizzle white chocolate over cookies. Sprinkle peppermint over chocolate before chocolate sets up.