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Citrus-Almond Biscotti

6 Aug

Recipe adapted from William Sonoma’s The Art of the Cookie

2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted, slivered almonds
The zest of 1 orange

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white with 1 teaspoon water; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the 2 eggs and almond and vanilla extracts and beat on low speed until the eggs are incorporated. Beating on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Add the almonds and the orange zest until just distributed.
3. Divide the dough in half. Shape each piece into a 4 1/2-by-7-inch log and transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them 4 inches apart. Brush the tops of the logs with the egg white mixture and lightly sprinkle them with granulated sugar.
4. Bake until the tops of the logs are light brown, 18-20 minutes. Remove the cookies and leave the oven on. Using a serrated knife, cut each log into 10 slices about 3/4 of an inch thick. Arrange the slices, cut side down, on the sheet and bake until the biscotti are golden brown, 10 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the biscotti to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Biscotti have never been my favorite cookie. Always rock-hard and stale, I have had several unpleasant experiences with biscotti in the past. This recipe altered my negative perception of the traditional Italian cookie. The savory almond contrasts perfectly with the tangy orange zest, creating an ideal consistency and flavor balance. Unlike the others I had tried, these citrus-almond biscotti are beautifully crisp and golden brown on the tops and barely moist on the insides. You can substitute the almond and citrus for various fruits, nuts, and chocolates based on personal preference or seasonal availability of products. If you are impartial to biscotti because of a sour past experience, I strongly encourage you to try this recipe. I can assure that you will not be disappointed.


Nutella Thumbprint Cookies

19 Jun

6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/2+1/8 cups all-purpose flour 

For the nutella filling:
1/2 cup nutella 
1 tablespoon milk 
1 tablespoon butter 

Makes 12 cookies.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
2. In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together  butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth, about two minutes. Beat in flour gradually, beginning on low speed and increasing to medium high.
3. Roll dough by teaspoonfuls into balls and place on an un-greased baking sheet one inch apart. 
4. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and make indentations using thumbs (if the dough is too hot to handle, use a teaspoon measure or watermelon baller for the same effect). Return to oven and bake for an additional seven to nine minutes.
5. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely before adding the nutella filling. 
6. For the filling, combine nutella and butter in a small, heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir until smooth. Add the milk and stir the mixture until completely combined. 
7. Spoon the filling into the cookies using a teaspoon measure. Cool the cookies in the refrigerator for 20 minutes until the nutella filling is firm. 

These delicious, nutella-filled thumbprint cookies spice up your standard snack break. Dip in coffee for added flavor or pop one in your mouth for sweet satisfaction. I love the contrast between the buttery crunch and silky, chocolate-hazelut filling. An easy and efficient recipe, impress your party guests with this tasty dessert. Happy baking!

Cranberry Oatmeal Sandwich Crisps with Vanilla Cream

28 Mar

4 tablespoons softened butter 
3 tablespoons sugar 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2/3 cup rolled oats 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 tablespoon chopped dried cranberries 

For the cream:
1 egg white 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/2 tablespoon water 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Makes 12 sandwiches.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
2. In a medium bowl, mix the butter, sugar, flour and vanilla extract until smooth. Once thoroughly combined, add the rolled oats. 
3. Drop teaspoons of dough, two inches apart, onto baking sheets. Slightly flatten the dough to ensure that the cookies come out thin. 
4. Bake until golden for 12-15 minutes. After baking, cool the crisps for 15 minutes. 
5. For the cream, bring an inch of water to boil in a medium saucepan. 
6. Combine the egg white, sugar, water, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. 
7. Over the boiling water, beat the cream thoroughly. 
8. Cool the cream for 10 minutes in the refrigerator. 
9. Once the cream and the oatmeal crisps are cool, sandwich a teaspoon of cream in between two crisps. 
10. Allow the assembled sandwiches to cool in the refrigerator for an additional 10 minutes. 

These dainty sandwiches will surely satisfy your sweet tooth without being overpowering. I love the contrast between the crunchy oatmeal and the airy vanilla cream. While on spring break, I am excited to devise more delicious recipes to share with you all. Enjoy!