Saturday, December 3, 2011

Baker's Biscotti

Whether you like it or not, the holidays are here!  For me, that means spending more time with family and friends, filling the house with familiar decorations and smells, and enjoying the warmth of the season.

That is, when I'm not lying in bed sick with a nasty cold.  Unfortunately, along with the holidays comes the winter season which means cold and flu bugs are abundant.

Anyway, before I got this nasty virus, I was able to make one of my favorite Christmas treats, biscotti!  I got this amazing recipe from my Aunt Claudette who has quite the Italian background.  Mr. PT, who is not a moca drinker, loves this recipe because it produces a cookie that is soft and can be eaten on its own...dipping these biscotti into coffee is encouraged, but not necessary.

You will need:
-3 cups flour
-1 1/4 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-3 eggs
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 cup butter
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-1 tsp almond extract
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/4 tsp lemon zest
-1 cup almond slivers or your favorite nut
-1 cup dried fruit, optional (I use dried cranberries or cherries)

Grease your cookie sheet or cover in parchment paper.  Melt butter and let cool.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt.  Set aside.  Whisk eggs, sugar, butter, oil, vanilla, almond extract and lemon zest.  Gradually stir in dry ingredients.  Stir in nuts.

Form one large or four small logs from dough.  I make 3-4 small logs and flatten into a square.  Bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

Let cool, then cut on the diagonal into slices.  Toast each side in the oven for 10 minutes to give it a little crisp.

You can wrap these up and freeze them for the holidays, drizzle them with icing to make them fancy, or snack on them straight from the oven!  They have  a wonderful flavor and are not too sweet.  Enjoy!  And remember, everything in moderation, even Christmas cookies!

Combine with some Pilates!  Find a class at your local gym or get yourself a video to follow at home.  You might re-discover your abdominal muscles!

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