November 28, 2009

Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Biscotti

This was my first attempt at biscotti, and it turned out really well. I'm hooked on biscotti and want to try different recipes.

Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Biscotti
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup flour
1/2 dried cranberries and/or dried wild plums
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mix together flour, sugar, cranberries, chocolate chips, baking powder and salt together in large bowl. In separate bowl, combine oil, extracts and eggs. Add to flour mixture and stir until well blended (although it will still be crumbly). Turn onto lightly floured surface, knead lightly 7 or 8 times. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into an 8-inch long roll. Place rolls 6 inches apart on large baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and pat to 1-inch thickness.

Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from baking sheet, and cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Cut each roll diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices (approximately 15 per roll). Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes at
325ºF. Turn biscotti over, and bake an additional 10 minutes. Biscotti will be slightly soft in the center but will harden as they cool. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Three-Seed Epi

This bread got rave reviews from my family. It looks really pretty with the seeds and shaping, but my family loved the crisp crust the best. It was our second Thanksgiving bread.

Three-Seed Epi
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cornmeal
1 tsp. water
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds

Dissolve yeast in water in large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Add 2 3/4 cups flour, oil and salt and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn onto floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes) adding flour 1 Tbsp. at a time as needed to keep dough from sticking to hands.

Place dough in large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat. Cover and let rest in warm place 45 minutes or until doubled. Punch down dough. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Shape dough into 21-inch rope, placing on baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. (I would recommend lining sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.) Starting on one end, make hard diagonal cuts on one side of the loaf every two inches, cutting three-fourths of the way through dough to the other side. Carefully flip every other section to the opposite side of the loaf to form a leaflike shape. (Loaf should resemble a branch with leaves.)

Combine 1 tsp. water and egg white with a whisk. Combine all seeds in small dish. Brush dough evenly with egg white mixture and then sprinkle with seeds. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 400
ºF. Bake 20 minutes or until browned on bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan and cook on wire rack. Serves 14.

Pumkin-Parmesan Scones

These scones were one of two breads I made for my family's Thanksgiving dinner. They are quite tasty, although the pumpkin flavor does not dominate.

Pumpkin-Parmesan Scones
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
2 large egg whites, divided
2 Tbsp. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. pepitas

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine pumpkin, yogurt and 1 egg white, stirring with whisk in separate bowl. Add to flour mixture, and stir just until moist.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Kneed lightly 4 times with floured hands. Pat dough into 8-inch circle on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut dough into 12 wedges, cutting into but not through the dough. Brush with remaining egg white, and sprinkle with cheese and pepitas. Press them lightly into dough.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Slice scones along score lines with serrated knife. Serve warm.

November 21, 2009

Nacho Party Slices

This was my first attempt at a savory cheesecake, and it turned out fairly well. Not quite what you expect from a cheesecake necessarily.Nacho Party Slices
1 3/4 cup crushed nacho tortilla chips
1/3 cup melted butter
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 Tbsp. flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken breast
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Combine crushed chips and butter. Press into bottom of greased 9-inch springform pan.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese, mayo, taco seasoning and flour until smooth. Add eggs, and beat on low only long enough to combine. Stir in chicken, cheese and onion. Pour over crust. Place pan on baking sheet.

Bake 60-70 minutes until center is almost set. Gently spread sour cream on top, and bake 10 more minutes until set.

Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen from pan. Cool one hour. Refrigerate 8 hours.

Prior to serving, remove edges of pan. Garnish with corn, avocado, tomato and olives if desired. Serve with salsa and crackers.

Morning Glory Muffin Squares

This recipe is a good breakfast and was a great way to use some of the carrots from our garden. It's a nice combination of flavors and tastes best warm. Of course, my opinion is all muffins and similar items should be eaten warm.

Morning Glory Muffin Squares

1/2 cup bisquick
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cold butter
2 cups bisquick
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
2 Tbsp. sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp. oil (I used walnut oil to enhance those flavors.)
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In small bowl, combine first three ingredients with fork until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine bisquick, pie spice, walnuts, carrots and sugar until blended. Stir in milk, oil and egg until blended. Poor into ungreased 8 by 8 pan. Sprinkle with streusel topping.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let set at least 5 minutes prior to serving. Serves 9.