Pecan Shortbread Biscotti

The word “biscotti” literally means twice baked in Italian.  The fact that we are baking something twice might make this recipe sound complicated, but it’s really not!  This biscotti is sooo- buttery and very light and sweet.  You will enjoy it down to the last crumb.IMG_0269BISCOTTI.

This is special biscotti.

This recipe is more like biscotti meets shortbread cookie meets butter pecan–and then dip it into a steamy hot cup of joe.

It is SO. STINKIN’. GOOD. IMG_0293Making biscotti is really not any more advanced than making cookies.  You really don’t have to do anything fancy other than separating it into two log shapes.IMG_0262And then once that is baked, you slice it as thin or thick as you would like, and put the slices back into the oven.IMG_0273Flip those bad boys over and put the pan into the oven for its final hurrah!IMG_0299.jpgI’m telling ya, invite some friends over, and watch those caffeinated comrades of yours devour every last bite of this delectable biscotti!  Ciao!

Pecan Shortbread Biscotti

  • Servings: 36-40 slices
  • Difficulty: Not difficult, time consuming
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What you need:

  • 3 sticks of softened butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease well.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together at medium speed until creamy (just a minute or so).
  3. Add extracts and beat in eggs one at a time, mixing into butter/sugar.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together flour and baking powder with a fork.
  5. Add flour mixture to creamed butter/sugar/eggs and mix until well combined.
  6. Fold pecans into batter.
  7. Shape into two logs.  (I would divide the dough into two similar-sized sections, then shape them into two log shapes.  They should be 2″ wide and about 10″ long.)
  8. Place the logs side by side on prepared baking sheet and place in oven.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
  10. Remove from oven and slice logs into slices- should make 18-20 slices per log.
  11.  Turn slices flat to one side on the cookie sheet and bake in oven for additional 15 minutes or so.
  12. Remove from oven, flip slices over, and bake for the final 15 minutes until crispy and golden.
  13. ENJOY with a hot cup of coffee!

 

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Nutter Butter Truffles

nutterbutter3When I was in college, my roommate crushed up some cookies, added cream cheese and then covered little scoops in white almond bark.  I have been tainted ever since.  End of story.

Truffles are habit-forming.  Literally.

hab·it–form·ing

adjective \ˈha-bət-ˌfȯr-miŋ\

: causing a strong need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something

:  inducing the formation of an addiction

Mmhm...check, and…check.  Truffles cause a need in my life.  My roommate made her truffles with Oreo cookies back in the day.  I took it a step further and tried it out with Nutter Butter cookies.  My oh my, the results were astounding.  nutterbutter4

Nutter Butter Truffles

  • Servings: Makes 25-35 truffles (varies by size)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 16oz package of Nutter Butter cookies
  • 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 24 oz block of vanilla almond bark/vanilla coating
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • cocoa powder for garnish

What to do:

  1. Empty package of Nutter Butters into a food processor and pulse until cookies are ground up finely. (If you don’t have a food processor, just crush up the cookies inside a gallon-size Ziploc bag)
  2. Add the cream cheese and powdered sugar to processor and continue pulsing until thick dough is formed. (If using the Ziploc bag, just add cream cheese and powdered sugar to bag and knead it with your hands)
  3. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls (I wouldn’t go any larger) and place balls onto wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Freeze until firm (30 minutes-1 hour)
  5. Melt almond bark or candy coating per package instructions in the microwave.
  6. Dip frozen balls with a fork one at a time into almond bark, let excess run off, and place back onto wax paper-lined cookie sheet. (Because the inside is cold, they should harden quickly)
  7.  Transfer extra almond bark/candy coating and peanut butter to small Ziploc bag and knead until combined.
  8. Cut a VERY small opening in one corner of the bag, creating your own icing bag.
  9. Drizzle truffles in a zig-zag motion, or whichever pattern you please!  **Any plain truffles can be sprinkled with cocoa powder as well!**
  10. ENJOY!

 

**Notes: Truffles should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and are best served chilled.  They tend to crack open if they get too warm. Have fun! nutterbutter1

Cranberry White Chocolate Orange Cookies

IMG_4909Can you believe that it’s almost Christmas already?

Where did the time go?

One of my favorite family traditions is that each year at Christmas, my mom has us help her bake a bunch of cookies and then we put together cookie trays and share them with our neighbors and friends.

This year, I had to make one of my favorites.  It isn’t necessarily a Christmas cookie, but who cares!?  I think any cookie can be a Christmas cookie.  If I make it in December, I am calling it a Christmas cookie.

So Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Orange Cookies.  What a delectable combination, huh?  My grandma says that these could be eaten for breakfast because they are so lightly sweet and have such a fresh taste.  The dried cranberries are so yummy when mixed with white chocolate, and that hint of orange zest…oh yeah…it is the game changer.

IMG_4882This scoop looks just as good as a fully-loaded Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and “this thing which tells time”.  That’s from A Christmas Story…Hello, Ralphie? Did you catch that?

Again, bear with me….it’s almost CHRISTMAS!

IMG_4891The dough looks so stinkin’ inviting and friendly.  Yes, I just called cookie dough friendly.  It’s always so nice to me….ha…okay.  Anyway, these cookies are scrum-diddly-umptious and you will want to make them again and again.  I promise!IMG_4898

Cranberry White Chocolate Orange Cookies

  • Servings: Makes about 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars into a large bowl.
  3. Beat in egg and orange zest.
  4. Stir flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
  5. Add flour mixture to creamed butter and sugars.
  6. Stir in cranberries and white chips with a spoon.
  7. Drop tablespoons or small scoops onto ungreased baking sheets
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies are slightly golden.
  9. ENJOY and share with your neighbors!

**Store cookies in airtight container for best taste

 

No-Chill Cutout Cookies

IMG_4859Thursday night and feeling CRAZY!!!!!

Not really.

But I did just get home from a cookie decorating party! Wahoo!

And my teeth are coated in sugar.  I was struggling.  Sometimes you just have to be in the mood to decorate cookies.

Sometimes you just want to bake cookies.  Then sometimes, you just want to eat the cookies.  Sometimes, you think it would be so fun to decorate cookies and then all of a sudden you realize it is just not that fun tonight, so you start eating the peppermint M&Ms one by one and……the rest is history.  Judging from my candy-coated canines, I’ll bet that I put more sugar in my mouth than on top of cookies tonight. IMG_4852I love a delicious cutout cookie.  Notice how I said a delicious one.

My ideal “delicious” sugar cutout cookie has to be thick.  It has to be soft (but firm) and chewy, just barely on the verge of being golden, and has to have a hint of almond extract.  Deeee-licious!

This is my absolute favorite recipe for cutout cookie perfection. It is my go-to recipe. ZERO chilling of the dough, which is huge for me.  I hope you love it like I do.IMG_4867

No-Chill Cutout Cookies

  • Servings: Makes about 2 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 3/4 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a big bowl, cream softened butter and sugar with a mixer. (Softened butter is VERY important here.  If it is too solid, it won’t cream in with sugar. If it’s too liquid, it will clump sugar together.)
  3. Beat in egg first, then add in both extracts.
  4. Grab a small bowl and combine flour, baking powder, and salt with a fork.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture a little bit at a time until both parts form a thick dough. (It should seem fairly dry.)
  6. Divide dough into two balls and roll each ball onto a floured surface, one at a time.  (Ideal thickness for me was about 1/4 inch, but I’ve left it as thick as a 1/2 inch. The thinner you roll the dough, the quicker they brown.)
  7.  Use cookie cutters or a glass to cut your cookies into desired shapes and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet using a metal spatula.
  8. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies just barely begin to brown.
  9. Let cookies cool completely before frosting or decorating and share with your family and friends! YUM!

**Store in an airtight container to keep cookies from drying out! Cookies also freeze well!

 

 

Adapted from the Wilton.com recipe for Roll-Out Cookies