The Moveable Feast Food Blog

The Moveable Feast is a Personal Chef Service that serves the Hampton Roads area of Southern Virginia. This blog is an extension of my web site www.themoveablefeastpcs.com and will go into more details about food and any food service industries. Any pictures and or recipes that are published here are all the property of The Moveable Feast unless otherwise noted.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Bake Me Into the Fall

There is no other season I love more than fall. I love to crank up the oven and do my thing. It's like certain things go hand-in-hand; baseball games and hot dogs, Thanksgiving and a turkey, Christmas and sugar cookies. For me fall and baking go together like a hand in a glove. I don't bake any other time of the year if I can help it. It's just too hot turning up that oven when the heat index is 105 here. So I cut and rip out ideas for things to bake all year and the first day the temperature goes under 70 I head for the pile of recipes and get going. Today I needed something to have with my coffee and tea. I got introduced to Biscotti by my friend Angie and her family. We were living in PA and were invited to visit during meal time. While we were there Angie's grandmother baked some Biscotti. I was smitten. Can you be that way about food? You betcha! So today I made two different kinds of Biscotti. The first recipe was Friuted Nuts Bars. Then I made Espresso Biscotti. I did make some changes to both the recipes because I never seem to have everything I need for any recipe when I get the whim to bake. Since these things are mostly spur of the moment, that explains the recipe alterations. Both recipes come from my favorite little book all about Biscotti, Biscotti written byLou Seibert Pappas.

Fruited Nut Bars

2/3 cup walnuts or pecans (I used pecans)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves, ground
1/4 tsp allspice, ground
3/4 cup chopped figs, dates or dried apricots ( I only had four dried apricots and then threw in some currants-unmeasured) I don't advise using the currants . When the Biscotti came out of the oven the second baking, they tasted a little on the burned side.
Place nuts in a shallow pan and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. NOTE: if you smell the nuts that usually means they are burned and it's too late, so set the timer for 7 minutes, take a look and then bake longer if you need to. Just be very careful! Let cool. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Add to the creamed mixture, mixing until blended. Coarsely chop nuts and fold in. Stir in fruit. Divide dough in half. On a greased and floured baking sheet pat out into two logs about 1/2 inches wide and 14 inches long, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake in the middle of the preheated 325 degree oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer from the baking sheet to a rack. Let cool for 5 minutes. Place on a cutting board. With a serrated knife slice diagonally at a 45 degree angle about 1/2 inch thick. Place the slices upright on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 10 minutes longer to dry slightly. Let cool on the rack. Store in a tightly covered container.
Makes about 3 1/2 to 4 dozen (mine never make as much as it says it should)
I didn't cut the Biscotti at the 45 degree angle after the first baking. I should have but I didn't read that part closely when reading the recipe. It would have helped the Biscotti to keep from losing some of the ends if I had done what it said. I got two small baking sheets from this recipe. The next recipe is the Espresso Biscotti

Espresso Biscotti
2/3 cup blanched slivered almonds
3 TBS coffee beans (I had ground coffee but didn't use it)
2 TBS Kahlua or double-strength coffee (I didn't have any Kahlua so I used some instant Espresso powder-I did take 2TBS of the powder and mixed 1 TBS of warm and microwaved the mixture.)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups plus 2 TBS unbleached or all-purposed flour (I only had the AP flour so I used that)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Place nuts in a shallow pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool. Grind coffee beans into a fine powder. Place in a small bowl, add Kahlua or coffee and heat in a preheated 325 degree oven for 5-7 minutes to steep. Or place in a microwave-safe dish, add Kahlua or coffee and microwave on high 10-15 seconds to steep. Set aside. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and ground coffee and liqueur. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the creamed mixture, mixing until blended. Fold in the nuts. Divide dough in half. On a greased and floured baking sheet pat out into two logs about 1/2 inch high, 1 1/2 inches wide and 14 inches long, spacing them at least 2 inches apart (they are not kidding about spreading them apart, this recipe blew up like a balloon!). Bake in the middle of a preheated 325 degree oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer from the baking sheet to the rack. Let cool for 5 minutes. Place on a cutting board. With a serrated knife slice diagonally at a 45 degree angle about 1/2 inch thick. Place them sliced upright on the baking sheet 1/2 inch apart and return to the oven for 10 minutes longer to dry slghtly. Let cool on a rack. Store in a tighly covered container.
Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen (...again, it did not make this much but the turned out HUGE).



5 Comments:

At 7:23 AM, Anonymous cookingdiva said...

Oh Vickie...they look beautiful! what I like about biscotti is that you can store them for a long long time. Another perfect idea for the holidays make ahead gifs!

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger michelle said...

ohhhh, biscotti! i love biscotti. biscotti is something i have always wanted to try making, but have never quite gotten around to it. this seems like a great excuse...

 
At 3:06 PM, Blogger vlb5757 said...

Michelle, they are super easy and turn out right every single time! Cross them at the 45 degree angle like the recipe recommends or some of the ends might fall off. I am bad about not reading directions. I ate two today with my daily pot of Chocolate flavored Oolong tea. Can't beat that with a stick!!

Melissa, that's exactly what I do for the neighbors and really special clients. I will make about 4 or 5 different kinds (some dipped in chocolate) and put them the cheap little holiday tins that I buy at the dollar store. They are so much fun to make and they keep forever!

 
At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Melissa said...

Vickie, thank you for the link! I will let you know when my post is Up! when are you planning to post yours? hugs,

 
At 9:33 AM, Blogger vlb5757 said...

Melissa, I went to the grocery store this am to buy a new pastry bag. I will be working on my creation later today while Oprah is on. I probably will post it tomorrow. I can't wait to see yours. Be sure and let me know when it's up! This is so cool. You have to read today's post so you can do that too! Follow the link (Seriously Good). It was fun peeking into others kitchens!

 

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