Sunday, May 15, 2016

Almond Biscotti

My parents have been to Italy 3 times. My mom is just in love with the place. She even took an Italian cooking class last fall through the community center. Which is why I decided on biscotti for her Mother's Day gift. Since I've only made biscotti once (Nonni or someone got a jar of dry ingredients for biscotti back when I was in junior high so she, Auntie Vicki, and Auntie Chauch showed me how) I decided on a simple recipe. I ended up also choosing a recipe from one of the magazines I've been typing up.

For those who don't know: biscotti are twice-baked cookies. You make the dough, form it into two logs, and bake the first time. They come out like a soft cookie. Then, you cut the logs into strips and lay the strips on a cookie sheet cut side up and bake them again. The end result is a crunchy cookie. Also, if your dough looks crumbly like this:

don't worry. I think that's how it's supposed to look since I put a handful of dough in my fist and got this:

It's almost like Play-doh. Kneading it in step 3 will help bring it together too.

Simple Neapolitan Cupcakes

Over the last few months I've been working on a bit of a project while waiting on the status of a job. You see, I've become a bit of a ... collector ... of those recipe magazines you can get from the magazine rack at stores. So I decided to create a searchable database of the recipes in these magazines that I would bake since there's not always an index and I have way more magazines than I do cookbooks.

I've also been watching a lot of Food Network lately (don't ask why the sudden change - it's a bit complicated, among other reasons). Especially after I noticed that the weekday morning Cupcake Wars episodes were ones I'd never seen before. Which just made me want to make cupcakes. And since I'm not sure how to store them just for me, I decided to make them for whatever Mom wanted to do for Mother's Day. Since I've been pinning a lot of neapolitan desserts lately, I specifically wanted to make neapolitan cupcakes. I ended up finding a recipe in my new database.

I did make one change: I replaced the strawberry with raspberry for the frosting since my dad doesn't like strawberries. I know it was for Mother's Day, but that wouldn't have stopped him from complaining that he couldn't have the dessert.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Triple Chocolate Scones

As usual, I gave up chocolate for Lent this year. It's actually kind of easy to give up but at the same time, hard. Over 40 days without my favorite flavor? Very possible (I do have alternatives) even though I still count down the days until Easter. So when I started looking for Sunday morning breakfast recipes (on Pinterest, as I've begun to completely forget my other resources), I focused on chocolate chip scones. Scones because I'd only ever made them twice (and once was with a mix) and chocolate chip because I still have leftover chocolate chips from holiday baking. I eventually found these Triple Chocolate Scones I had pinned. I think I screwed up while making them though.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Raspberry-Almond Shortbread Cookies

Back when I was in college and home on break, my mom and I went to Nonni's house to make raspberry jam. So far it's the only time I've made it but I really enjoyed it. My mom got the raspberries fresh from a friend of my parents who has raspberry trees on his property. Although that day had been my first time making jam, we had always had a jar in our fridge for years. I honestly can't remember when we started using homemade jam along with store bought jelly. I'm pretty sure Nonni has always had at least one jar of the stuff in her fridge. So I kept that in mind while I searched for a cookie that would allow me to also use up the bag of slivered almonds that sat in my pantry (when planning Christmas presents, Mom told me that almond is a flavor Nonni likes). While looking through my collection of magazines, I came across a recipe in one of the Better Homes & Gardens magazines for Raspberry-Almond Shortbread Cookies that I could easily alter to include the slivered almonds (which is as creative as I'm gonna get when baking).

Butter Rolls

I decided this year that I wasn't going to make New Year's resolutions. Over the last few years, any that I've made ended up being broken within a month. However, in the last couple weeks I kinda made one: make use of the recipes I've saved both online and in hard copy. I'd somewhat started back in November with breakfast (something that I hope to do again) with ... interesting results, but this time I was leaning more towards the rolls I sometimes have with dinner and the dessert I always have with dinner. For the rolls, I looked through the dozens of recipes I've saved to my Bread/Rolls board on Pinterest. I finally decided on some butter rolls that looked similar to the store bought cloverleaf ones some people get for a holiday dinner.


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