Friday, December 21, 2007

More Cookies: Espresso Biscotti & Cranberry Shortbread

We haven’t had enough of cookies around here; we’re still rolling, slicing and pressing them out by the dozens. Nearly all the goods from the cookie swap are gone and we found it necessary to replenish the stores. By we, I mean Noah and I, as he has been my sous chef for all of this. His little red apron is caked with flour, his hair has dried bits of dough in it, and goodness knows how much dough he has consumed, but by golly, this two-year-old knows the difference between whole cloves and whole allspice, can count out ten eggs lickety split, and sift flour with a flick of his wrist. What a pro! He can say ‘ginger’ and ‘bread’ and ‘men’ all on their own but when challenged to say ‘gingerbread men’ all together, he adds about four extra syllables and it comes out a bit garbled.

Two recipes that we love are cranberry shortbread and espresso biscotti. Both are variations on classic cookies and wonderful in their own way: one very delicate, perfect with a cup of tea, and the other much more sturdy and needing of a steaming latte for dunking.
On another note, Under the High Chair is the proud recipient of an award! The enthusiastic and talented David, over at Book the Cook in the UK has awarded my Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Rummy Raisins a “Cerys the Well Done Angel Award”, as it more than met with the approval of his adorable daughter, Cery. Thank you, David and Cery!
Also, speaking of awards, congratulations to all the winners of the 2007 Food Blog Awards!

Cranberry Shortbread

1/4 Cup Corn Starch
1/4 Cup Confectionery Sugar
1 Cup Unbleached, All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
2 Tablespoons Sanding Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Sift flour, corn starch and confectionery sugar into a large bowl.
Measure and chop the cranberries with one tablespoon of the sanding sugar. (This helps keep them from sticking to everything and to candy them while they bake.)
Add the butter and cranberries.
Stir the mixture, using a wooden spoon, just until everything begins to come together in a soft dough.
Roll the dough with your hands into small balls.
Flatten the cookies with your palm or the bottom of a lightly flour-dusted glass.
Top with a sprinkling of the remaining sanding sugar.
Bake for approximately 10 - 12 minutes, watching carefully towards the end. The cookies should be removed just as the edges begin to turn a light golden.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Espresso Biscotti

3 tablespoons coffee beans
2 tablespoons strong coffee
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
dash of salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325F. Grind coffee beans finely.
Place in a small bowl and mix with coffee. Set aside. Cream together butter and sugar.
Beat in eggs and coffee mixture. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips if desired.
Pat dough into two equal logs on a floured baking sheet.
Should be about 14 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide.
Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly brown.
Transfer from sheet to rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
Cut diagonally at a 45 degree angle into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Place slices upright on sheet and return to oven for 10 minutes longer or until the desired crispness is reached. Let cool on baking rack and store in airtight container.

For variations substitute toasted almonds for chocolate chips or dip in chocolate.


Mandy said...

Can I come over for some biscotti and a cup of coffee??? :) Looks amazing, as always. Mmm.

Peter M said...

I'll have 2 of each and just 5 hrs. down the ya soon!

Anne said...

That is a wonderful story about your little sous chef and the cookies look insanely delicious. Great team work!

winedeb said...

All look so yummy Aimee! Cookies and Christmas just go together!
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
My best,

Kajal@aapplemint said...

the cranberry shortbread looks divine Aimee.

Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year .

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

May just have to make some of that espresso biscotti, though not today. Have a wonderful Christmas my fun friend and we'll see you next year.

Nora B. said...

Dear Aimee, all your Christmas baking has been mouth watering. I wish I could be a fly on your kitchen wall. Your house must smell so wonderful with all those goodies.

Merry Christmas. I hope that you and your family will have a wonderful day and also best wishes for 2008.

xx Nora

Aimée said...

Hi Mandy- Wouldn't that be cool?! We would have a lot to catch up on.

Hi Peter- I keep expecting you to ring my doorbell...

Hi Anita- Thanks! It's so much fun cooking together.

Hi Deb- Yes, we kind of take the whole Christmas cookie thing and run with it...!

Hi Kate- Thank you for the warm well wishes! Same to you.

Hi Amanda- Not sure how your kids would like the biscotti though... it's wasn't a hit with Noah.

Hi Nora- Thank so much! Best wishes to you and yours.

Unknown said...

I'm just wondering if the dried cranberries you used in the shortbread cookies are sweetened or not. The ones I have are and I wanted to make sure I don't end up with cookies that are too sweet! Thanks!


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