A nip in the night air…

Not so much in the daytime, but the nights are getting cooler and you know what that means?  Hot chocolate!  And great with that hot chocolate is biscotti.  I’ve been wanting to make biscotti for years, but always thought it was too difficult.  I needed a few birthday gifts and didn’t want to do a cake, so after reading the linked recipe I decided to go out on a limb and give it a try.  All the flavor combinations, and hey, anything that is MEANT to be dunked?  That’s a winner right there and worth a little gamble.

So to make this biscotti, I used this link:

Orange Cranberry Biscotti

The recipe says to whisk…well, I used the regular paddle attachment on the mixer and beat on a lower speed, just until incorporated.  Do yourself a favor and line your bowl with wax paper before dumping in the dough to cool.

biscotti-pre-bakebiscotti-first-bake-complete

When you are forming your ‘logs’ for the first bake, don’t crowd the pan!  (See that up there?  Three logs?  Yeah, don’t do that.  Just make one batch at a time.  Sip on that hot chocolate while you wait.  Heck if you are the imbibing type, you could probably put a little bourbon in that hot chocolate, but I digress.  As I was sayin’, I was trying to make 3 batches in 2 cookings.  Not a good idea.  Only one batch at a time will make your first bake much easier to slice, and your finished cookies more crisp and dry (yes, this is one cookie you want to be dry!) instead of gooey.  Use a serrated long knife to slice, just using a saw like motion to get a grip on the top, then just press straight down.  You’ll run into a cranberry here and there, so the slices won’t be picture perfect.  Meh.  It won’t matter in the end.

These cool really quickly in the refrigerator, and package up nicely for gifts or to travel.  You will need to keep them cool.

For the hot chocolate, I used this link:

Crockpot Hot Chocolate

Once it was heated and well incorporated, I turned it off, allowed it to cool just a bit, then poured into 3 quart sized mason jars for gifting.  I’m planning a batch for work tomorrow night.  This stuff is very, very rich, so while you may think you don’t have enough, you probably do.  I used whole milk, and of course the heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk added to the velvety feel.  I used milk chocolate morsels in mine – it would also be great with semi-sweet.

Don’t be afraid of biscotti – while it was time consuming when you consider there are 3-5 bakes per batch (don’t crown the pans!), it was well worth the effort.  The house smelled like St Nick would come down the chimney any minute, which would be a neat trick and a fine treat for The Pack.  Everyone needs a new toy now and then!

2 thoughts on “A nip in the night air…

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