Apple Crisp Biscotti

Apple Crisp Biscotti 6

The fall is by far our favorite time of year. Jeans and sweatshirts, football, and of course apples.

This year we AGAIN missed the honeycrisp apples at the farm. But we did get there in time to pick over 20 pounds of gala apples, which are super sweet and apparently the second most popular apple in the US behind red delicious.

So what’s a family to do with all those apples? Apple crisp is always a favorite in our house, since I don’t do pies. Our all-time favorite crisp is actually the Apple Pear Crisp in the Scotto Sunday Suppers and Other Fabulous Feasts: Creative Entertaining for Every Occasion.

Apple butter is also always on the top of our list. We fill the crock pit to the stop with peeled and roughly chopped apples and then coat them with a mixture of brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, and ground cloves. We let it cook on low for about 8 hours before we take the emulsion blender to it. At that point we leave the lid off and turn it to high for about 2 hours, stirring it occasionally. When it reaches a thick consistency and sticks to the back of a spoon, we turn the crock pot off and let it cool completely before storing it. We use apple butter on pancakes and spoon a dollop into yogurt with some granola.

Every year I tell myself I need to figure out what to do with all the apple peels and every year I simply toss them. (I can hear your collective gasp!) So this year I was determined not to waste them. I shredded some in the food processor and stored them in the freezer to use in muffins. I decided to make apple chips with the rest.

And with so many apple chips, it seemed only logical that we should try some in biscotti! These Apple Crisp Biscotti have everything we love in our fruit crisps, minus the stick of butter.

Apple Chips

apple peels from about 25 apples

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

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1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line a pan with parchment paper.

2. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Add the apple peels and toss well.

3. Spread a single layer onto the parchment lined pan and bake for 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.

4. Let cool completely before storing.

Apple Crisp Biscotti

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon

1 egg and 3 egg whites (keep the yolks to brush on the logs)

1 tablespoon almond extract

½ cup apple chips, crushed

1/4 cup brown sugar

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1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

2.  In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

3.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, and almond extract.

4.  With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together.  Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.

5.  Add the crushed apple chips. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.

6.  Separate the dough in half.  Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.

7. Whisk the remaining three egg yolks and liberally brush the top of each log. Press brown sugar onto the top of the logs.

8.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split.  Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

9.  Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board.  Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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What to do with the ends #85: Use the ends to scrap the thick, gooey, sticky, almost crusty, apple butter from the sides of the crock pot when you make your next batch of apple butter.

 

Rosemary Raisin Biscotti

rosemary raisin 4

We own very few pieces of furniture that can’t be turned into a fort in a matter of minutes with the help of a few sheets, blankets, and pillows.

Bedroom furniture finds its way into the sunroom to create a secret reading nook where no one will surely look. Dining room chairs are in the living room, where if you prop the extra pillows up just right, you can create the perfect fort for a game of UNO. The ottoman becomes a boat when you add a sail wrapped around two chairs and connect it with the bench from the foyer, which becomes the gangplank for pirates who willingly plunge themselves into the dark sea below. Two kitchen chairs and a fitted sheet are just what you need to set up an animal hospital for the doctors that perform tail straightening procedures on monkeys, save the limbs of dogs with broken bones, and conduct the risky removal of animal appendixes.

While forts are cool, they require plenty of additional supplies to make them functional. I’ve been told flashlights, books, stuffed animals, rulers, hair brushes, toilet paper, band aids (which don’t always come off stuffed animal fur!), and snacks are required to really trick out a fort.

Our ability to create specialized and massive forts may only be surpassed by our ability to find a way to sneak raisins into anything we can. We use raisins in muesli, zucchini bread, granola, muffins, salads, tagine, couscous, and plenty of other dishes. My father-in-law even puts raisins in his stuffed spinach pizza, something his mother used to do for him when he was a kid.

We’ve recently noticed quite a few products that combine rosemary and raisin and thought we would give Rosemary Raisin Biscotti a try. Trader Joe’s sells Rosemary and Raisin Crisps, which are perfect for dipping in chicken salad or topping with goat cheese. Leslie Stowe also sells a rosemary and raisin crisp that incorporates pecans. I’ve also come across recipes for Rosemary Raisin Almond Bread and Pan di Ramerino that I am looking forward to making.

My husband believes these Rosemary Raisin Biscotti may be the best bisoctti we’ve ever made…and he’s tried his fair share. We use less egg and more egg whites in this recipe which makes a crunchy, yet cookie-like texture, perfect to eat by themselves or with a mug of your favorite tea.

Rosemary Raisin Biscotti

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for topping

2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons dried rosemary (cut and sifted)

1 egg and 3 egg whites (save the yolks for the egg wash)

1 cup raisins

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1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

2.  In a large flat bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and rosemary.

3.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg whites.

4.  With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together.  Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.

5.  Add the raisins. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.

6.  Separate the dough in half.  Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.

7. Whisks together the three remaining egg yolks and brush the tops of each log. Sprinkle liberally with sugar.

8.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split.  Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

9.  Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board.  Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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What to do with the ends #84: Hang the ends by strings from the ceiling of your next fort and practice eating them without your hands.

 

Nutty Bitters Biscotti

Bitters 3

Cravings: eager desire or yearning.

We all have them, food addictions or cravings.

Some cravings are constant. For example, I can’t see tiramisu without my mouth-watering and I can think of nothing else until I have some. So why torment myself? And I crave my coffee in the morning. Without it, I’m useless.

Some cravings come and go. Like a favorite dish at a restaurant or ice cream during the warm summer months. Maybe it’s some weird food during a pregnancy or perhaps it’s the undeniable urge for salty snacks.

Maybe it’s not what you eat but when you eat. Maybe late-night food cravings drive you to pillage through the cupboards while everyone else is asleep.

Right now we are addicted to Spiced Bitter Bar Nuts, from Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-all.

These nuts are amazing, best served warm, and the entire four cups never last more than two days in our house. I fear we may all actually turn into nuts at the rate we are shoveling these into our mouths, just like Burger Boy who will only eat burgers, eventually turns into a burger, and is chased all over town by people who want to eat him. I wonder who would want to eat us if we turned into nuts? We have plenty of squirrels in the backyard…I think that is a children’s book just waiting to be written.

While these nuts taste good on their own, we thought they might taste just as good in biscotti spiced with some additional Bitters and rosemary. We were right!

Spiced Bitter Bar Nuts

4 cups unsalted and raw nuts, pistachios, pecans, almonds, and walnuts

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary (We used dried rosemary, cut and sifted.)

1 teaspoons cayenne pepper (We used only half this amount to keep it tolerable for the kids.)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Angostura bitters

1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

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1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes (shake the nuts around on the pan halfway through.)

3. Combine the brown sugar, butter, rosemary, cayenne, cinnamon, honey and bitters in a large bowl.

4. Add the nuts to the bowl and mix thoroughly so they’re nicely coated.

5. Add the salt and mix again.

Bitters collage 2

Nutty Bitters Biscotti

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal

1 cup granulated sugar

1  ½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ tablespoons dried rosemary, cut and sifted

2 eggs and 2 egg whites

1 tablespoon Bitters

1 teaspoon Spiced Bitter Bar Nuts

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1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

2.  In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and rosemary.

3.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, and Bitters.

4.  With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together.  Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.

5.  Add the Spiced Bitter Bar Nuts. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.

6.  Separate the dough in half.  Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.

7.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split.  Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

8.  Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board.  Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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What to do with the ends # 83: Keep them in a bag, close at hand, and hide them to satisfy your next craving!

Fuhgeddaboudit Biscotti

Fuhgeddaboudit 1

“Fuhgeddaboudit!” A phrase that is most commonly associated with a dialect spoken by Italians in New Jersey and New York.  According to the Urban Dictionary online, fuhgeddaboudit obviously means to “forget about it – the issue is not worth the time, energy, mental effort, or emotional resources” or “the subject is unequivocally excellent; further thought and analysis are unnecessary.”

The characters in The Sopranos are known for a “fuhgeddaboudit” or two. You can go online to order t-shirts and hats. And there is even a New Jersey Style Deli called Fuhgeddaboudit.

As Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I think if she had inserted a “fuhgeddaboudit” or two in that quote it may have had wider appeal. These Fuhgeddaboudit Biscotti make us feel free to experiment and throw caution to the wind.

Fuhgeddaboudit Biscotti are a tradition in our house. Our son and daughter each pick two ingredients from the Biscotti Bin and then we fuhgeddaboudit! We never really know how they are going to turn out, but that is half the fun. A true experiment in creativity.

For our latest version of our Fuhgeddaboudit Biscotti, our daughter picked peanut butter baking bits and banana chips. Our son choose roasted almonds and sassafras hard candies. Interesting combination right? But that’s the fun of it. No recipe, no set of ingredients, and no inspiration, other than the choices they make themselves. While we enjoy making these, the kids may enjoy practicing “fuhgeddaboudit” in their best Italian accent even more.

While you may not have all the ingredients to make our latest Fuhgeddaboudit Biscotti, create your own! And don’t forget to practice your “fuhgeddaboudit!”

Fuhgeddaboudit 3

Fuhgeddaboudit Biscotti

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup granulated sugar

½ packed brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs and 2 egg whites

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

½ cup banana chips, crushed

½ cup whole roasted almonds

10 hard sassafras candies, crushed

¼ cup peanut butter baking chips

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1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

2.  In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt.

3.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites and vanilla extract.

4.  With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together.  Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.

5.  Add the banana chips, almonds, sassafras candies, and peanut butter baking chips. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.

6.  Separate the dough in half.  Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.

7.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split.  Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

8.  Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board.  Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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What to do with the ends #82: “Fugeddaboudit!”

 

Maple Walnut Biscotti with a Maple Glaze

Maple Walnut 1

The traveling circus just returned from our final road trip of the summer. We did not escape occurring any medical bills on this trip and we also lost a tooth in the parking lot of the spaceship diner in Niagara Falls, but a good time was had by all…and a few lessons learned.

1. Fresh cheese curds from gas stations are not as bad as you think.

2. Always wear shoes. (This is where the medical bills come in.)

3. If you walk in a rainbow all your wishes will come true.

4. You can purchase firewood by the armload.

5. Do not ask children if they need to use the bathroom EVERY time you see a roadside rest stop or exit with a Sheetz. (Some of us already knew this one.)

6. If the border patrol asks if you are traveling with your parents, the answer is “yes.”

And of course there were questions posed to us along the way. One of our favorites was, “Why do you need a receipt when you pay for the food you eat? You can’t take it back.”

Along the way we also attended a shotgun wedding, complete with ceremony, first dance, first kiss, and reception. On August 16th Pink Monkey (a.k.a. Molly) married Alex. Our daughter set the date months ago and was not going to forget it. Yet we did, until my husband and I remembered the night before. So it was a last-minute scramble and we surprised her with a special stop at Sideling Hill on route 68 in western Maryland along the first leg of our road trip. The wedding cake (blueberry muffin) was purchase from the ice rink where our son played hockey that morning. The cake topper and wedding certificate were printed out and assembled the night before. The gown (scarf) and tie (metallic shoe string) were thrown in the car at the last-minute. Vows were exchanged amid the sounds from the freeway below and the two are now officially married and sure to live happily ever after.

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On our trip we stayed with family and friends in Pennsylvania and spent time in Canada, which as many of you probably know is well-known for maple flavored EVERYTHING! As we drove south on the QEW from Toronto to Niagara Falls, we saw signs for a distillery. A vacation can’t be all about the kids, right? So we thought we’d check out the tour, which apparently ended only 30 minutes before we walked in the door. But we did leave with some whiskey and maple liqueur, which is perfect for spicing up your coffee and dunking your biscotti.

Maple Walnut Biscotti with a Maple Glaze

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, plus one for the brushing on the logs

2 teaspoons maple extract

1 ½ cups walnuts, roasted and roughly chopped

Icing

¼ cup powdered sugar

3 tablespoons maple syrup

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1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

2.  In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt.

3.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and maple extract.

4.  With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together.  Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.

5.  Add the walnuts. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.

6.  Separate the dough into thirds.  Form three logs, approximately 2 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.

7.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split.  Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

8.  Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board.  Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

9. To make the icing, combine the powdered sugar and maple syrup. Drizzle over the cooled biscotti with a spoon.

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What to do with the ends #81: Crumble and throw the ends at your next roadside wedding instead of rice.