Biscotti

It’s so funny how similar we are to our parents, be it in beliefs, values, manners, or preferences. Growing up (even now), while snacking on potato chips, I would actively seek out the chips that were folded. My brother would snack on them inconspicuously, while I would look into the bag and deliberately reach for the extra-crunchy folded chips.

Pizza preferences are similar- given a choice between a crunchy crust and a softer crust, I will always choose crunchy. The same goes for toast.

My father was the same way. Whenever I baked cookies, he would ask that I bake them longer so that they would be extra crunchy. Growing up, I never realized that I shared the same affinity for all things crunchy that he had; but now that I look back, I’ve realized that I too was his partner in the crunchy camp. It’s not like my parents purposefully fed me crunchy things, so that I would grow to prefer them; it’s just one of those things that happened naturally.

I see similar shared traits between my son and husband too- they both love snacking on popcorn and nuts (especially pistachios and pine nuts). Don’t even get me started on chocolate. Although we feed our son a vast variety of foods, I see him enjoying certain things that his father enjoys.

 

That’s where these Biscotti come in. I wanted to bake something to keep on hand to snack on, and when I stumbled upon them in my ATK Family Cookbook, I just knew that they would be something I would enjoy. The day after I made them, I remembered that my father too was someone who enjoyed biscotti. A few weeks before he passed, he specifically asked that I pick up a package of them for him to enjoy with his tea. He loved to eat them as is, enjoying the crunch along the way.

Oh my Papa, may Allah bless you with the gardens of Heaven, and may you be blessed with all of those things that you enjoyed and savored!

 

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Biscotti

Yield: 2 to 3 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup desired add-in (chocolate chips, toasted chopped nuts, etc.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a parchment lined baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla, until completely incorporated. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in flour mixture. Add desired add-in, and mix until combined.

Divide dough in half, and using floured hands, shape each portion into a 2-inch by 13-inch log. Transfer to baking sheet, placed at least 3 inches apart. Bake 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the loaves are golden and begin to form cracks on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven heat to 325°F.

Transfer the loaves to a cutting board, and cut diagonally into ½-inch to 1-inch slices. Lay the slices cut-side up on the baking sheet, leaving a bit of room between each piece. Bake 15 minutes, flipping halfway through baking, until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Guest Post: m&m Cookies

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Hi Friends! We just returned from an amazing trip to Orlando, Miami, and Key West; but that’s what’s not I want to talk about right now. Right now I want to tell you that I’ve been honored to be guest posting over at my blogging buddy’s, Faaiza of Modest Munchies, site!

Faaiza and my paths’ somehow crossed amongst the vast foodie blogosphere, and since then we have become very good friends. I was honored when she asked that I guest post over on her space, and for that I thank you Faaiza 🙂

You can catch the post and recipe for m&m cookies, a totally kid-friendly and overall everyone-friendly, here! 🙂

Cookies ‘n Cream Rice Krispie Treats

Asiya posted this Cookies and Cream Rice Krispies recipe a while back, and I had filed it away in my mental “must-make” file. I first made the recipe, adapting it to use regular marshmallows, several months ago to mind-blowing results. Since then, I’ve made it a number of times, each time better than the last. This is a wonderful recipe to whip up in a jiffy, and it’s also one that kids enjoy helping out with 🙂

 

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Cookies ‘n Cream Rice Krispie Treats

Yield: 1 Large Tray

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 20 chocolate sandwich cookies (12 coarsely chopped for filling, 8 coarsely chopped or ground for topping)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 (200-250 gram) package marshmallows
  • ½ to 1 cup (according to preference) white chocolate chips

Directions:

Depending on how thick or thin you prefer your rice krispie treats, set aside a greased 9”x13” or 8”x11” baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine cookies for filling and cereal.

In a large nonstick vessel, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add marshmallows and melt completely. Slowly add the melted marshmallows to the cereal and mix completely. Transfer to greased baking dish and spread out the mixture evenly. Lightly press down.

In a double broiler, melt the white chocolate chips. Spread melted chocolate over the rice krispies evenly. Lightly press the remaining chocolate sandwich cookies over the melted chocolate. Refrigerate for a few minutes, to harden the chocolate.

Cut into squares and serve.

Can be kept at room temperature.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m going on vacation y’all! My dear younger brother is graduating from college and we are going to be celebrating! I should be back (God willing) by the end of the month, hopefully with lots of inspiration and fun recipes to share.

In the meantime, enjoy these delicious Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from here) and try not to miss me too much 😉

 

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Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 1 ½ to 2 Dozen

Cookies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Brown the butter by cooking it over medium heat in a stainless-steel saucepan. Whisk so that the butter melts evenly. As it cooks, the butter will begin to foam, so be sure to whisk frequently to check underneath the bubbly surface. Soon little browned bits will form at the bottom. As soon as they begin to form, remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until solidified.

Preheat oven to 375˚F and set aside an ungreased baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat browned butter, brown sugar, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.

Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Add chocolate chips and mix to combine.

Spoon the cookie dough by a tablespoon onto baking sheet. Leave at least 2-inches of space between each cookie. Cake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

Daring Bakers: Whoopie Pies- Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Buttercream Filling

It’s that time of the month again!  For those of you who aren’t familiar, Daring Bakers is a group of bloggers and non-bloggers who are assigned a “secret” challenge at the beginning of each month.  The 27th of each month is the “reveal” date, in which those who blog can write about their experiences and recipes for the challenge.

The December Daring Bakers’ Challenge had us all cheering – the lovely and talented Bourbonnatrix of Bourbonnatrix Bakes was our hostess and challenged us to make fun, delicious and creative whoopie pies! Delicious little cake-like cookies sandwiching luscious filling in any flavors we chose… What else is there to say but “Whoopie!”

I was so excited for this month’s challenge! I don’t know why, but lately I had been in a baking rut.  When the challenge was posted in the Daring Bakers Forum on the 1st of the month, I made the whoopie pies the very next day!  While I hadn’t seem them very much while I lived in California, I do seem them around quite a bit here in the Midwest.  I decided to make a Chocolate Whoopie Pie, with a recipe provided by our hostess (which is a King Arthur favorite), and instead of the traditional Marshmallow filling, I opted for a light buttercream.  The recipe for the buttercream filling is courtesy of Annie’s Eats, and it truly makes a wonderful contrast against the deeply chocolate cookies sandwiching it.

My son, husband, and I absolutely loved these! This month’s challenge was definitely a home run, and I can’t wait to try other flavor combinations in the near future (banana whoopie pie with a cream cheese or caramel filling is going to grace our home soon)! 😀

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Chocolate Whoopie Pies

With Buttercream Filling

Yield:  1½ to 2 Dozen Pies

Ingredients:

For Whoopie Pies:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup cocoa, sifted
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk

For Buttercream Filling:

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions:

Make Whoopie Pies:

Preheat oven to 350˚F and set aside two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, espresso powder (if using), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla.  Add egg and beat until smooth.  Add cocoa and stir to combine.  Add all-purpose flour and milk alternately, and stir until thoroughly combined.

Transfer batter to a piping bag and pipe 1-tablespoon sized mounds onto the baking sheets, being sure to keep at least 2 inches of space between each mound.  With a damp finger, lightly pat the tops of the cakes to flatten and even them out.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cakes are set and firm to the touch.  Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

Make Filling:

In a large bowl, whip butter over medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Add powdered sugar and salt and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Mix in vanilla and heavy cream on low speed until just incorporated, then increase speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes, making sure to stop a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Transfer filling to a piping bag.

To assemble the cookies, match them up in pairs by size.  Pipe filling onto the flat side of one cookie, and then place the second cookie on top to create a sandwich.

Leftovers may be refrigerated.