Hey my lovelies,
I hope you’ve all had an AMAZING Christmas!! I had a great time with my family in the Netherlands going to Christmas Mass and enjoying a (massive) nine course Christmas dinner. Then yesterday I went with my parents for an overnight trip to Bruges, in Belgium which was such a beautiful town and now today I am on my way to Berlin to ring in the New Year there with a group of friends!
After the last few days I definitely feel the below applies ;)
For example check out this amazing hot chocolate I had in Bruges!
It was basically a giant bowl of hot milk and you got an (edible) chocolate cup filled with little chocolate chips to whisk into your hot milk. To die for delicious…..
Think a January Detox will be required ;) Happy Hump Day!
At Christmas time I love preparing baking treats as little gifts for my family and friends. Last year I made delicious ‘white chocolate rocky road‘ which was a huge hit with my family. So this year I was again on the look-out to find something to bake that I could wrap up and place under the tree for them to enjoy! When I found this recipe I was excited because I had never made biscotti before and with the additions of cranberries, pistachios and white chocolate it made it perfect for Christmas…
3-1/4 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
145g (5 oz) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
zest of one orange
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup green pistachios
Start by sifting together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl use a hand (or stand) mixer to beat the sugar and melted butter together. Then and the eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest. Beat on medium-high until combined. Now add all the dry ingredients, and mix on low speed just until it’s combined. If you over-mix the biscotti will start to get tough. By the end of the mixing you should have a stiff, but slightly sticky dough. Time for mix-ins! Add the dried cranberries, the pistachios and 1/2 cup of the white chocolate chips.
Doesn’t the look of this bowl just scream Christmas? Stir until everything is mixed together! Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) degrees, and cover a baking tray with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half and form it into two rough logs on the baking paper and use your hands or a scraper to press each into a bar roughly 30cm by 10cm. Bake the Christmas biscotti logs for 30 minutes, until they’re golden brown.
After they come out of the oven, let them cool for at least a half-hour before slicing them. Use a very sharp serrated knife to cut the biscotti into 5cm slices. If you use a lot of downward pressure the logs have a tendency to crack, so try not to press down and instead to just gently saw back and forth. Place the sliced Christmas biscotti back on the baking sheet and return it to the oven for 15 minutes to crisp up. Now at this point don’t let your dad in charge. I did this and said to my dad please take them out of the oven after 5 minutes because I was heading out to quickly visit someone for a Christmas Eve cup of coffee. But when I got home to marvel at my perfect biscuits, he’d somehow forgotten them in the oven and they were soooooo burned. Black and inedible. He did feel very guilty so had quickly whipped up more of the recipe so we could re-bake. I was mad but it’s Christmas so HAD to forgive him ;)
Anyway after they are baked, the Christmas biscotti is technically done, but I like to add just a little decoration. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips and drizzle the cooled biscotti with white chocolate! Yummmmm….
Now you can wrap them up in cellophane to present them to family and friends. These biscotti are delicious on their own or ‘dunked’ into a cup of tea or coffee! Let me know if you make them and how they turn out :) Hope you have all had an amazing Christmas!!!
Here is the recipe for the delicious Christmas Crinkle Cookies I made this morning. I’d found this recipe a little while back on one of my favourite food blogs ‘Iowa Girl Eats‘. They just looked so pretty and seemed surprisingly easy to make so I wanted to give it a go myself. And guess what, they taste just as good (if not better) as they look!! A soft, fudge-brownie style cookie….yummmm. Enjoy :)
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup icing sugar
In a bowl mix together cocoa, sugar, vanilla and vegetable oil. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until mixture is smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix into wet ingredients in 3 batches, mixing until just combined in between each batch. Cover the dough and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) degrees. Scoop out one tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball between your palms and roll in icing sugar.
I was so excited one I started to see the cracks appearing in the cookies!! Place on a non-stick sprayed, or parchment paper lined, baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. And then show them off to all your friends and family, they are bound to be impressed. And they will disappear in no time. Mmmmmmmm!
I am back home in the Netherlands at the moment to celebrate the holidays with my family. I arrived on Friday night and spend most of yesterday in the kitchen; baking up a storm! I love baking for friends and family so Christmas time is no exception. Want to see the goodies I made?