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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Elegant, Easy, Affordable AND Delicious? Yes!

 
 
Have you ever wanted to make a nice treat for your co-workers, friends, family or the neighbors, but not wanted to become a pastry chef, or spend a fortune? This recipe is for you! The ingredient list is short, and contains a lot of pantry staples, the results are elegant and delicious, it only messes up three, count 'em three pots & pans.....and, did I mention it's delicious?
 
I scoured the inter-galactic web for an orange chocolate dipped biscotti....click here for the recipe I used. First, get your (gloriously inexpensive) ingredients together.
 
 
 
From left to right; cooking oil, chocolate chips, salt, baking powder, an orange, baking soda, eggs, flour, sugar and vanilla.  See? Did I mention these are easy to make as well? You will look like a gourmet baker after creating these. First, mix the sugar, eggs and orange rind with the vanilla...
 
 
It will look like this once mixed...
 
 
Then, mix in the flour, salt, baking powder and soda..
 
 
Mix until well incorporated, and holding together...cookie dough, yay!
 
 
Knead for a short (about 3 minutes) time until the dough is smooth...
 
 
Then, divide the dough in half, and make into rectangles (approx. 10in by 3in) on your baking sheet..
 
 
 
See how easy that was? Now, bake them for the first bake, 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees, and while they are baking, melt 1/2 a bag of chocolate chips on low heat, with a tablespoon of vegetable oil, stirring occasionally with a fork until melt-a-licious....
 
 
 
 
Keep this on the lowest possible heat, and stir from time to time as you finish the biscotti. After the first bake, pull the biscotti from the oven, and let them cool for 15 minutes.
 
 
After cooling, slice them into the 1/2-inch familiar biscotti shape....
 
 
Then, place back on to the baking sheet. Bake for another 15 minutes, turning them over once during the baking time. Here are mine going in for the second bake...
 
 
When they have finished baking, let them cool completely, then, while tipping the saucepan, dip each cookies' end into the melted chocolate..
 
 
Lay them out on wax paper for the chocolate to dry up, and sprinkle the ends with some extra grated orange rind...
 
 
The results?
 
 
And....are we ready for our close-up?
 
 
Yes, they are delicious, easy, affordable and elegant. For just a few ingredients, a little time, and without having to be a master baker, you can have these lovely biscotti. Excuse me now, the coffee is hot, and the biscotti are begging me to dunk them in it.
 
Eat well, my friends, and hug your children a little tighter this year, tell them you love them, and for goodness sake, let's take care of one another, ok?
 
Love and kindness to all,
 
Pixie


Sunday, December 23, 2012

There's no place like home...



Yes, I was gone for a while.....beeeeeeg ole life changes in the works, but baby, I'M hoooooome!  Crack open the bubbly, and bring out the kitchen gadgets! Let's just say that attempting to publish on certain less-than-user-friendly sites was not my favorite endeavor. Also, the whole "lack of the planet blowing up" has given me a new outlook on life! Tee-hee! On to today's subject; lovely, comforting, cobbler.  I was cruising the fabulous Ree Drummonds' blog, and happened upon her Blackberry Cobbler 2 recipe. Click here to spoon some up for yourself.  My problem is this-I am not living on a beautiful ranch and feeding a large bunch like Ree, it's just Dear Husband and I. Could I cut the recipe in half and have it come out just as well?  Here's how mine went.  Get your players on the field....
 
 
 
From left to right; sugar, flour, lemon, egg, baking powder, salt, blackberries, butter, shortening, and milk. Yup, that's it! One of the things I really liked about this recipe was how quick and easy it was/is to throw together a really nice, warm, delicious dessert!  Rinse your blackberries..
 
 
Then, toss on your sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice.
 
 
Now, mix together your flour, salt and baking powder. Then, cut in your shortening and butter with a pastry cutter, or two forks....or your (impeccably clean) hands. Note to waist-watchers, this recipe goes very lightly on the butter and sugars...and hey, it's got FRUIT! It's got to be healthy, right?
 
 
 
Beat the egg with the milk....
 
 
And add to the flour mixture. Mix until you have a rather sticky dough...
 


Then, using a large spoon, dollop in lovely mounds on top of your berry mixture, which has been placed into a buttered baking dish.

 
 
Lightly flatten the mounds of dough, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar...
 
 
Then, bake for only thirty minutes at 325 degrees....the results?
 
 
Oh yeah! We are talking some yum-tacular delicious-ness here! I will make this again and again. I'm going to try it with cherries, next! As it cooled a tad, I gently pressed down on the biscuit part of the cobbler, and it soaked up even more of the wonderful berry juices.  I had to guild the lily a bit for my serving...
 
 
Yes, it tasted every bit as good as it looks.
 
Well, I must say, I'm glad to be home! Stay tuned for the big announcement, and for a step-by-step pictorial on creating a holiday meal including dessert, without breaking the bank, or a sweat, for that matter. Eat well, my friends....
 
Love and kindness to all,
 
Pixie