Eid Eats 2017: Baklava Biscotti

You guys, my favorite day of the blogging year is here- Eid Eats 2017 is officially live! Ramadan is rounding out, and I love that us food bloggers band together to celebrate the blessed month! I, along with my cohost, Asiya of Chocolate and Chillies, are excited to see the yummies that are being brought to the party 😉

The party is live from now until June 24, so you’ve got some time to get in on the fun (the guidelines can be found here).

By the Grace of God, Eid Eats is in its 4th installment (2014, 2015, and 2016), and this year we have some fun in store for you all, but more on that later 😉

Click on this graphic to submit your entry for #EidEats2017. You can also click on it to check out all of the delicious bites our participants are sharing.

This year I’ve decided to attend this party in my finest attire, bearing Baklava Biscotti! I was inspired by a recipe shared by the genius blogger behind Brewing Bliss. I used a mish-mash of recipes, including the topping from Brewing Bliss, and the base of the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. The resulting biscotti is a treat for the senses! It’s nutty, chocolatey, not tooth-breaking-hard, and downright irresistible! The end product results in a decent-sized batch (and is a great make-ahead item!), perfect for your Eid entertaining needs 🙂

(Check out what my co-host Asiya has contributed here! Looks amazing!)

Baklava Biscotti

Yield: 15 – 20 Pieces

Ingredients:

For Biscotti:

  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  •  ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Egg wash: 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon milk

For Topping:

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • ¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions:

Make Biscotti:

Preheat oven to 300°F and set aside two parchment paper lined baking sheets.

Spread almonds evenly over one baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, stirring twice during that time. Remove from oven and pulse the almonds in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix together all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the mixture is crumbly. Fold in the almonds and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix together until moistened.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough gently until soft and slightly sticky.   If the dough is too sticky to handle, knead 1 or 2 more tablespoons all-purpose flour into the dough.

Divide the dough in two. Place each half on a baking sheet. Using floured hands, gently shape each piece into a 8 or 9-inch log, patting down to ½-inch thickness. Lightly brush the slabs of dough with prepared egg wash.

Bake until the top and sides are lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Cut each slab into 1-inch slices. Set the slices cut-side upwards, ¼-inch apart, on the baking sheets. Return to oven and bake for 9 minutes. Flip each biscotti over and bake for an additional 9 minutes. The centers of each biscotti will be slightly soft, but will crisp up after cooling. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make Topping:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place nuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a small bowl. Add honey and butter and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a separate bowl in the microwave or double broiler until smooth.

Dip the top of each slice of biscotti in melted chocolate, and then top with nuts. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet or cooling rack to allow the topping to set.

***

This biscotti pairs very well with a cup of piping hot tea- which brings me to the question: How does tea play a roll in you and your family’s Eid festivities? For my family, tea is a must! No celebration, especially Eid, is complete without trays of piping hot chai being passed around and enjoyed. Chai is the icing on the cake, so to speak, after a day of celebrating.

Speaking of chai, Tea India teabags are an excellent choice to quench your tea needs. They use only top notch ingredients and recognize the importance of quality packaging. Also, did you know that Tea India teabags come in four unique flavors, so there’s something to suit everyones taste? They include: orange pekoe black tea, masala chai, cardamom chai, and ginger chai.

Now, the fun part that I mentioned a little bit earlier- Tea India has graciously offered to sponsor a giveaway in honor of Eid! The winner of the giveaway will be sent a Tea India prize pack which includes a box of Cardamom Chai, Ginger Chai, and Masala Chai. Also included in the price pack is a set of coasters made from recycled Tea India teabags handcrafted by a group of South African women from a local township.

Here are the terms and conditions:

Giveaway runs from 12:00 a.m., June 20, 2017 through 12:00 a.m., June 25, 2017.

Open to Residents of the United States and Canada (excluding Quebec) aged 18+ only. Winner will be randomly picked and emailed and will have 48 hours to respond. If they fail to do so another winner will be picked. Entrants can enter on multiple blogs but can only win one prize. Blogger is not responsible for delivery of prize. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook or Twitter.

Be sure to enter through the link below (you can enter through Chocolate & Chillies too!)

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

*This post is sponsored by Tea India and I have been compensated for it.*

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Mis Amores! I’ve missed you! It’s been a busy summer, and now that school has started (my son started kindergarten! Crazy!), we’re on a tightly packed schedule.

Soon after Eid ul Fitr, the kids and I left for California to prepare for my brother’s impending wedding festivities. To say the wedding was amazing would be an understatement. Like, understatement of the century.

We’re back now, and in the thick of a standard school year. Although the summer was fun, it is nice to be back home and into a normal routine. It’s nice to have some predictability.

While in California, I got the chance to test out some amazing new recipes. Luckily for me, my mom and brother are both amazing taste testers. I’m excited to recreate some of the stellar recipes that were tested.

Now onto today’s recipe- Chocolate cream cheese frosting. A few days ago I was asked to bake some cupcakes for an Eid ul Adha kids gathering. Surprisingly, I was low on butter but had a few packages of cream cheese (very strange in my home!). I wanted to try my hand at something different, and I’ve seen recipes floating around for a chocolate take on cream cheese frosting. I adapted this recipe and came up with this fabulous frosting! It’s slightly tangy with an amazing chocolate kick. It’s an amazing alternate to regular buttercream!

 

chocolatecreamcheesefrostingpic

 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: Enough To Frost 2 Dozen Cupcakes

Or a 2-Layer Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder

Directions:

Place cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl, and using a whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and whip on low speed until incorporated. Add cocoa powder and whip on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to high and whip until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, remembering to scrape the sides of the bowl along the way.

Use as needed.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Note: Frosting may be made and frozen in advance. To use, simply leave on the counter and bring to room temperature. The frosting may need to be whipped lightly to bring back t original consistency.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I fell in love with the flavor of pumpkin a few years ago (here are just a few of the goodies I like to make with the flavorsome squash). I’ve been experimenting with it a bit more this season, and this delicious, moist, and autumn-centric Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread was a result of said testing. It pairs well on its own, or alongside a mug of steaming tea or coffee, and it is Zuni-approved 😉

(Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.)

 

PumpkinChocolateChipBreadPic

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon ground all-spice
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, water, and eggs until smooth.

Add all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and all-spice. Stir to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 60 to 80 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Allow bread to rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Chocolate Cake (and a little update)

It is common in the South Asian culture to celebrate good news with something sweet. Today’s post was the first time that I baked something specifically to blog about. I’ve been trying to think of ways to share this news with you, and I finally settled on just baking a good old-fashioned chocolate cake. You see, we are awaiting a second addition to our family, due at the end of May, God willing. My Zuni is about to become a big brother, and has decided that he would like to called Zuni Bhai (Bhai in Urdu, literally means brother, and is used as a respectful means to address an older brother or older male) as opposed to Zuni Bhaiya (Bhaiya is just another way of saying Bhai).

I ask that you, my dear friends, remember our family in your thoughts and prayers, and that you send your positive vibes our way 🙂

 

Now, with that, I present to you this delicious chocolate cake. The recipe is courtesy of Smitten Kitchen, and has officially made the cut for the go-to chocolate cake. This recipe yields a very friendly 8-inch cake, and can easily be doubled to fit a 9”x13” pan (although the baking time may need to be adjusted). The crumb of the cake is moist yet holds together well, and it isn’t cloyingly sweet. I frosted the cake with my go-to chocolate buttercream, although this cake pairs well with any type of frosting.

 

ChocolateCakePic

 

Chocolate Cake

Yield: One 8-inch Square Cake

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased 8-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat until combined. Add buttermilk and mix until just combined (batter may look uneven), and scrape down bowl. Place a sifter over the bowl and shake in flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking salt. Mix on low speed until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth out, and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 18 to 30 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Hot Cocoa Mix

How is the weather in your parts? We’ve been freezing our tooshies off here in the Midwest. Most days are spent indoors, trying to keep warm by baking up lots of goodies and drinking warm cups of deliciously milky chai and hot cocoa.

I’ve been on the lookout for a recipe for hot cocoa mix that not only keeps well, but also has the perfect amount of chocolate flavor without being overly sweet or thick. When I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, I knew I had to give it a shot. The resulting cup’o cocoa is just the right thing to help combat the winter blues 🙂

 

HotCocoaMixPic

 

Hot Cocoa Mix

Yield: Enough For 8 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until powdery. If a food processor is not available, finely grate the chocolate and mix with remaining ingredients.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

To use: In a saucepan over medium heat, warm one cup of milk until steamy. Add 3 tablespoons of prepared hot cocoa mix and stir or whisk until dissolved. Serve warm, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows.