Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year and Gingerbread Biscotti

Happy new year everyone! I cannot believe the Holidays are over! I will be sad to see the Christmas decorations come down, but I am ready to get back into the normal swing of things. I took my last day of Christmas Holidays (Jan 2nd) to relax, do some cooking, and get organized to start the year off right.

I made some nutrient rich vegetable broth with a bunch of veggie scraps I had in the freezer. It never ceases to amaze me how scraps that were headed for the compost can end up creating something so great!

All I did was fill the biggest pot I have, half way with veggie scraps and then add 3 garlic cloves, 2 bay leafs, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp rosemary, 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper. Then I fill it almost to the top with cold water, bring to a boil, and then simmer uncovered for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the broth has good colour. This batch yielded about 18-20 cups of broth which will mostly be frozen to be later used in soups and stews. 

I also made some crackers, which is something I have wanted to do for a while. They turned out rather nice  considering I had low expectations.

Now I know it is the new year now and the sweets are being left behind while we all make new years resolutions to eat better, but I have to share some of the Holiday recipes that I last posted about. Save the recipe for next Christmas, you will thank me for it. I will be sharing the recipe for gingerbread biscotti today as I know there are many people who would like their hands on the recipe.

Gingerbread Biscotti slightly adapted from Annie's Eats
Makes 2 dozen

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup loosely packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 bag white chocolate chips
1/4 cup molasses
2 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix dry ingredients together, including the chocolate chips. I used a stand mixer on low.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and molasses together. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients while stirring. Mix until just combined.
4. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, form two logs which have a few inches between them so they do not expand into each other. Bake for 30 to 32 minutes.
5. Allow logs to cool for 10 minutes before slicing diagonally with a serrated knife. Cut pieces about 1.5 inches wide. Be careful at this step as the logs crumble relatively easily.
6. Arrange the biscotti on their sides on the baking sheet (another baking sheet will most likely be needed) and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the side of the biscotti on the pan has browned a bit. Flip and bake for another 5 minutes. The biscotti will continue to harden so do not over cook. If they are too hard, simply dip into coffee or tea before eating :)

After baking the logs
After the third bake
These biscotti are seriously addictive and it is hard to resist popping all the crumbly bits in your mouth as you slice the log. The white chocolate chips give a nice touch, which was not in the original recipe. The original recipe calls for cinnamon chips which I have not been able to find. I am glad the white chocolate chips came to save the day.

Good luck with all your new years resolutions! I will try not to tempt you for much longer with Holiday sweets.

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