It’s that time of year when we spend plenty of time outdoors, jumping in leaves, carving pumpkins, and enjoying the outdoors. But it is also getting darker earlier, which forces us inside long before we’ve had a chance to channel all our energy. So, we’ve been doing some woodsy craft projects in the house as well.
We made a few stuffies.
We constructed a tree house. It was inspired by the Tree Fort Kit at Magic Cabin. But truth be told it looks NOTHING like it. While we can boast a bucket elevator and a few swings, we could certainly use some help. I’ve seen other people on-line who have knocked it out of the park when it comes to replicating it. Our resident carpenter needs to step it up!
We also carved pumpkins. While I am huge fan of using the drill to simply create random holes all over the pumpkin, which looks amazing when all lit up, the kids prefer the traditional “spooky” faces. This year my husband thought the kids were old enough to carve their own pumpkins and handed them the knife. After I mentioned that our daughter was about to slice her hand, I had to leave. He obviously forgot the most important Big Biscotti Bake rule…we don’t let children play with knives. Yet, under his watchful eye (at least I am hoping he watched them since I wasn’t there to see what was going on) they created two jack-o-lanterns that looked fabulous against the dark night.
Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere! We are huge fans of pumpkin rolls, pumpkin and chocolate chip muffins, and pumpkin pecan dump cake. So of course you knew we couldn’t go on without mentioning pumpkin flavored biscotti! This year I stumbled upon some Planters Pumpkin Spiced Almonds, which you must try. (Have I mentioned we also love almonds!) So combining all things pumpkin with some almonds and chocolate seemed like a sure bet.
Pumpkin Spiced Almond Biscotti with Dark Chocolate Drizzle
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole Planters Pumpkin Spiced Almonds
1 cup chopped dark chocolate
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 pumpkin pie spice.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs 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 nuts and 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.
9. Put chocolate in microwave safe bowl and melt for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate and continue melting for an additional 30 seconds until the chocolate easily spoonable. Drizzle over completely cooled biscotti. Put in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to set.
What to do with the ends #87: Use the ends to decorate your next jack-o-lantern. They make excellent eyebrows!