Friday, December 20, 2013

Gingerbread Biscotti

   Every year at Christmas I like to give a homemade gift of some kind to our neighbors. Since Christmas is only a few days away I decided it was probably time to get something made. =) I love biscotti but have never made it myself. (although I have had many good intentions to do so.)
    After tossing several options around I decided to give it a shot. I thought, if it flops I'll just start over with option #2 and enjoy the spoils myself. Thankfully, (but also rather regretfully) it turned out wonderful. I had a sample and the rest went out the door. Guess I'll be making more soon. =)

Gingerbread Biscotti
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
 2 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz white baking chocolate
crystallized ginger
Preheat oven to 350º. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, molasses and vanilla and mix until well combined. In a separate bowl sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves allspice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to the creamed mixture, about 1 cup at a time until it is all incorporated. 
Flour your work surface and transfer dough to the surface. Divide the dough in half and on a parchment lined baking sheet form each piece of dough into a log about 11"x5".
 Bake for 30-40 minutes until the surface springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and transfer from baking sheet to cutting board. Let cool 10-15 minutes then with a serrated knife slice 3/4-1 inch slices. Place the slices, cut side down back onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Return to oven and bake for 10-15 minutes more, flipping halfway through. The longer you bake it the harder and crunchier it will be. Once done place on wire racks to cool. 
When completely cool, melt the chocolate and drizzle it over top or dip the biscotti in it. Garnish with finely chopped crystallized ginger. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or your favorite tea. 


 Glory to God in the Highest, 
and on earth peace, goodwill
toward men.
~Luke 2:14

   As we celebrate our Savior's birth, may the love, joy and peace of the season surround and go with you into the new year! From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Old Fashioned Sand Tarts

   Husband's grandmother used to make these cookies for her family when his Mom was growing up. Ever since his grandmother passed away unexpectedly a number of years ago his Mom has continued the tradition with her family. Instead of Christmas cut outs they make turkey shaped cookies and we have them for Thanksgiving. I just love them and when our annual Christmas cookie exchange with my aunts was planned I decided to make these as my contribution. 
   The recipe says to decorate with cinnamon sugar, pecan and gumdrop halves. I had a lot of cookies to make though, so I thought that may a bit too time consuming, so I just used gourmet colored sugar on most of mine. For the gingerbread men I used cinnamon sugar. I was happy with how they turned out.

Old Fashioned Sand Tarts
yield: 4-5 dozen
 1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Sift flour. Add salt and baking powder, sift again. Add sifted ingredients to creamed mixture. Mix until a medium-soft dough is formed. Refrigerate for several hours.
Place onto a floured surface and roll into 1/4" thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on greased baking sheet. Brush tops with whole milk and decorate as desired with either cinnamon sugar, pecan and gumdrop halves or colored sanding sugar. Bake  @ 400º for 8-10 minutes or until edges are just beginning to brown. Cool on wire racks.
   All packaged and ready to be given to everyone today! I always look so forward to these exchanges each year. We normally have a brunch on the same day, but this year we are going to my great Aunt's house instead. She and another elderly lady live together and their health isn't the best so family take turns staying with them. We thought this would be a day brightener for them.

She will give birth to a Son, and
you are to give Him the name Jesus,
because He will save His people from their sins.
~ Matthew 1:21