Thursday, December 28, 2006

Snowy Days of Biscotti and Hot White Chocolate

Christmas has come and gone, and it has been cold and snowy outside. The above is a picture taken this morning of one of my many rose bushes buried in the snow, with a few rose hips clinging on still. At this moment, the children are tucked into their cozy, warm beds fast asleep, and I am enjoying a little quiet moment of 'me' time as I return the sliced biscotti back into the oven and wait it to finish cooking on their sides while I sip my cup of hot white chocolate with mini marshmallows and yes, a dollop of whipped cream. No, not the kind I would love to whip up myself, but the kind that you get from the freezer of the grocery store called cool whip. It's just easier at this hour... Guess it's time to contemplate on that New Year's resolution once again. Better wait till after a bite of the white chocolate, cranberry and pistaschio biscotti... I tinkered with a basic biscotti recipe in High Attitude Baking and made these instead.
1 c pistaschios, shelled
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 salt
2 1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1cup dried cranberries
lemon zest

white Lindt chocolate, chopped and melted

Heat oven to 350°.
In an electric mixer combine baking powder, flour, sugar, and salt. In a bowl, beat eggs, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients; mix on medium low until sticky dough is formed. Stir in nuts, cranberries, and zest. Turn dough out onto well-floured board; sprinkle with flour, and knead slightly. Shape into logs. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 275°. On cutting board, cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Return pieces cut side down to baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Turn over. Bake until slightly dry, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Just before serving, melt white Lindt chocolate in a fondue pot and let everyone dip their biscotti into the chocolate. Serve with vanilla ice cream and hot coffee.

White Hot Chocolate from Martha Stewart's Living (2 servings)
1/2 ounces milk chocolate, for garnish
3 ounces good-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Peppermint sticks, for garnish
Whipped cream, for garnish

Using a vegetable peeler, shave milk chocolate into curls; set aside.
Place white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl; set aside. Place milk and cream in a medium saucepan set over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around edges of pan, about 4 minutes. Immediately pour mixture over white chocolate. When chocolate begins to melt, stir to combine. Whisk in vanilla. Continue whisking until a light foam forms.
Serve immediately garnished with peppermint sticks, whipped cream, and chocolate curls.

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