Monday, January 2, 2017

Fruitcake Biscotti


I think each New Year it’s a good idea to look at how we spend our time and where we place our priorities. I feel like we, as Americans, are always going going going.

For example, this is my average daily routine: wake up hours before the sun rises, check my email, work out, check my email, go to work for 9+ hours, go to class*, check my email (I get around 500 work emails a day), eat a quick dinner before starting on homework, fall asleep on the couch while working on something for my blog.

And I don’t have children, so I can’t even imagine how parents must feel!

The point I’m trying to make is we never seem to take enough time for ourselves. I think some of us even feel guilty when we do.

As we enter the New Year, I think it would do us all good to treat ourselves for at least 10 to 20 minutes every day. Use that time to read a chapter in a book, flip through a magazine, do a crossword puzzle, or even pray.

I think the way we treat ourselves has a direct impact on the way we treat others

Just start by thinking about when would be a good time to fit this in.

Personally, I think the best time for me is before going to work out in the morning. My emails are still going to be there when I return. I can wait to check them.

So I’m going to make it my goal to start the first 20 minutes of each day with a cup of coffee and my Bible.


The biscotti recipe I’m sharing today will hopefully provide some encouragement to treat yourself.

Originating from Italy, biscotti is a crunchy biscuit that can be sweet like a cookie and typically dunked in coffee or tea. For that reason, in my mind it’s a reminder to relax and enjoy the morning.

Biscotti comes in a wide variety of flavors, and there are especially a lot of seasonal flavors. Today I am sharing a recipe for fruitcake biscotti. Yes, you read that correctly. So why the fruitcake flavor?

Fruitcake actually combines a variety of spices like nutmeg and cinnamon and cloves that work really well for the winter months. Additionally, since fruitcake is generally considered to be a “Christmas” dessert, candied and dried fruit typically goes on sale big time after the holidays. In fact, the candied fruit that I bought for this recipe was 50% off!

I got the idea for this biscotti from some family friends who gifted us with it for Christmas. This was actually my first time making biscotti, so I wanted to share some tips that I discovered while making several batches.


1. Definitely separate the dough into two parts before baking. If you try to bake it in one big blog, it won’t bake right.

2. The biscotti dough will be very sticky, so before you work with it, lightly moisten your hands with a splash of water or a little bit of vegetable oil.

3. Form the dough into two long, skinny logs no more than 3 inches wide.  You want the logs to be skinny because they will expand significantly. I can’t stress that enough!

4. After baking the first time, allow the dough to cool for approximately 20 minutes before cutting. If you cut it too soon, the dough will still be soft, and you won’t get clean-cut pieces. If you wait too long to cut it, the dough will harden too much and it will be difficult to cut.

5. Use a serrated knife to cut the biscotti into 1/2-inch slices. Don’t cut them any thicker than that.

I probably should have put these tips at the very beginning of the post since they are the most important part, but hopefully you’ve made it through this novel. As always, thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!



Fruitcake biscotti
Yield: Makes about 24 biscotti biscuits
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Challenge butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons all spice (or substitute 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit or candied fruit
  • Optional: 1/2 cup white chocolate chips for drizzling on top
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheet with silicone liner or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and beat until well combined.
  4. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and spices.
  5. Slowly add to butter mixture, beating at medium-low until just incorporated. Stir in candied fruit.
  6. Separate dough into two long, skinny logs about 3 inches in width.
  7. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes--the top should be lightly browned.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes.
  9. Transfer biscotti to a cutting board, and use a serrated knife to cut pieces about 1/2-inch thick.
  10. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees and return slices to prepared baking sheet, cut side down.
  11. Bake on one side for about 10 minutes, remove from oven and flip each piece to other side to bake for another 10 minutes.
  12. Remove biscotti from oven and transfer to wire rack to let cool.
  13. You can serve biscotti plain or you can spruce it up bit by dusting powdered sugar on top each piece or drizzling white chocolate on top.
  14. Store biscotti in airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. 
Recipe adapted from Taste of the South magazine.


*For those who aren’t aware, I’m taking classes in hopes of getting accepted into a didactic program and ultimately becoming a registered dietitian.






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