October 14, 2008

Coffee Mate

Four years ago I began my first timid forays into the kitchen. I was working on a show that was wayyy into holiday gift giving and I realized the only way I could participate without blowing my bank account was to find a homemade gift that everyone could enjoy. A friend and co-worker, who was already an accomplished baker, suggested we make biscotti. We spent a full 12 hours destroying my kitchen making batches of almond, chocolate chip, and this crazy braided peppermint biscotti and putting them in little holiday bags. People at work loved it and it was such a hit I made them again and again all winter long for my friends and family. Making biscotti was truly my first baking success story. I love my tried and true recipe and was a little nervous to try a new recipe but hey, this is the new, adventurous in the kitchen me! I can change things up, throw caution to the wind, use cornmeal in my biscotti?!
Hooray for embracing change because I loved this recipe. The biscotti was crunchy but not too dry, with a delicate crumbly texture. I made the original almond recipe, modified slightly by using just 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Then I mixed sliced almonds into half of the batter, and cranberries and bittersweet chocolate chips in the the other. I did revert back to my old standby recipe on the second bake- reducing the oven temp to 325 and laying them on cut side up for 7 minutes on each side. I later melted some leftover chips and drizzled the chocolate over the cranberry/chip biscotti.


I have grand plans for this recipe this holiday season: pumpkin spice, hazelnut with nutella glaze, white chocolate cherry macaadamia...oh the possibilities! I'm gonna need a lot of those holiday bags!

19 comments:

Jess said...

Beautiful biscotti...and great variation ideas!

Lori said...

i love the chocolate drizzle! that's not too much. and i want to hear more about the peppermint braid, that's really an interesting idea....

Engineer Baker said...

Braided peppermint?! That sounds fun and tasty. Love the chocolate drizzle.

Christine said...

The braided peppermint sounds wonderful. Your biscotti looks beautiful and I love all your combos!

pinkstripes said...

Your biscotti look great and I love the chocolate drizzle. Yum!

kim said...

chocolate drizzle!! mmm :) these look so perfect, great job!

Madam Chow said...

They look great, and your future biscotti had me drooling - hazelnut with nutella glaze?! Sign me up!
Madam Chow
http://www.mzkitchen.com

Qataria said...

We both used the same vanilla/almond ratio :)

Lovely biscotti and lovely pictures!

Teanna said...

That chocolate drizzle is to DIE for! And the braided peppermint!!? Hello!

Peggy said...

I like your chocolate drizzle! beautiful biscotti too.

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

Can't wait to hand these out over the holidays! Such an awesome recipe.

TeaLady said...

Chocolate drizzled!!! Zowhee!! Peppermint. Your future variations sound yummy!

CB said...

I am with you on homemade gifts. No one really remembers the gift cards I've bought them but everyone remembers the xmas cupcakes I baked one year. Go figure! Mmmm... that white chocolate cherry macadamia variation sounds awesome! I love the chocolate drizzle on your biscotti. So glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I'm with you on making these for friends at Christmas! They were so good! I love your chocolate drizzle.

Rigby said...

Yum! Your biscotti recipes sound yummy! Glad you enjoyed the recipe

Amanda said...

Gorgeous! This was my first attempt at biscotti so I stuck to the recipe, but agree this will be what I am making for teacher gifts this year :)

Erin said...

I love your variations! It sounds like you'll be busy in December :)

Gretchen Noelle said...

I love the drizzle and i am SO curious about the pepermint twisted biscotti. Hmm...

AmyRuth said...

Very Fun Story.....I can just imagine the madness. he he
Would love to hear about your stand by, tried and true recipe.
Very nice biscotti.
AmyRuth