Category Archives: Holidays

biscotti recipe

Chocolate Dipped Walnut Biscotti Recipe

biscotti recipe

A great, foolproof Biscotti recipe is something that every baker (even the weekend-warrior type) should have in his or her arsenal. Like a little black dress, crunchy biscotti is an ideal treat that carries from day to night, as perfect with your latte during your morning commute as with your after-dinner herbal tea.

Biscotti are a quintessential Italian cookie that’s also known as cantuccini - coffee bread – aptly called since it’s usually presented alongside a steaming cup of coffee. The traditional shape is a thin and long, with rounded ends. The actually meaning of the word biscotti comes from the Latin word biscoctus, which means, “twice baked”, and which pretty much describes how this treat is made. The double baking renders the biscuit dry and crumbly, giving it a longer shelf life than other baked goods, and making it ideal to carry on long trips, for mailing as holiday gifts, or for storing.

biscotti recipe

The basic recipe for Italian biscotti is simple and straightforward – flour, eggs, salt and sugar – but the American version also adds butter and baking powder, for a moister and more airy texture. It’s the perfect canvas for culinary creativity – you can use your imagination (and your favorite ingredients) and make savory biscotti with cheese and herbs, or sweet with chocolate or sour with cranberries or cherries…there are no limitations…but there are some rules.

The trick to a great biscotti is making sure that you get the texture just right, crunchy but not tooth-breaking hard, and crumbly enough to be enjoyable without disintegrating in your hands. And that means paying attention during the baking process to make sure you don’t overcook the dough – which will turn the biscotti rock-hard. The biscotti dough itself is pretty wet – thanks to the butter and eggs – and that great moisture will turn your biscuits light, so you don’t want to dry them out completely.

biscotti recipe

We like our biscotti like we like our latte – grande! Our walnut biscotti recipe is simple and easy, and turns out some deliciously crunchy biscotti with just enough sweetness. To amp up the wow factor, we dipped them in tempered chocolate for a “corner bakery look” and incredible flavor. Plain biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks (note that they will turn harder as days pass). If you choose to dip them in chocolate like we did, they will last a 3-4 days.

Need some ingredients? Go shopping! Check out our great selection of biscotti ingredients in our Baking and Pastry section.

Chocolate Dipped Walnut Biscotti

Rating: 51

Yield: About 2 dozen

Chocolate Dipped Walnut Biscotti

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a different bowl, cream the butter with the sugar using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer. Add the eggs one by one, beating to incorporate one before you add the next. Add the vanilla extract and slowly incorporate the sifted flour mix until the dough is stiff. Stir in the walnuts.
  4. With floured hands, divide the dough into two equal pieces, and shape each into loaves of about 10 x 4 inches, and about ¾-1 inch tall.
  5. Transfer both dough pieces onto a baking sheet lines with parchment paper, spaced apart (as they will grow).
  6. Bake until just golden, no more than 30 minutes and remove from the oven. Cool until just warm. Using a serrated knife, cut crosswise with into ½-inch strips.
  7. Transfer to a freshly lined baking sheet, and continue to bake for another 12 minutes until crisp, turning the biscotti over halfway through.
  8. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Dip the cool biscotti into the melted tempered chocolate, about halfway through, letting excess drip off. Let cool on a rack.

how to make the perfect pie crust

How To Make The Perfect Pie Crust From Scratch

how to make the perfect pie crust

Knowing how to make sweet and savory pies and tarts is not only a must-have skill for any cook, it  can also save the day (or night). Yes, you could buy a tart shell pre-made, but why would you, when making pie crust is easy and takes only a few simple ingredients? Tarts are the perfect vehicle for seasonal ingredients, be them savory or sweet. We especially love pies during the summer months when fresh, ripe berries are in season, which inspires us to make all manner of sweet tarts.

Today, we’re giving you our secret, no-fail recipe and method for the perfect pie crust. All you need is flour, butter, salt and water, and a few tricks up your apron sleeves! Once you’ve nailed this recipe, pie-making will truly be “easy as pie”, and your dough will always come out flaky and buttery.

So, read on, take some notes, and make your most perfect pie crust ever at home tonight!

The Perfect Pie Crust Primer

How To Make the Perfect Pie Crust: Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup butter
½ tsp. salt
4 or 5 tbsps. iced water

How To Make The Perfect Pie Crust: Making The Dough

First, cut the butter into small cubes and put it in the freezer to chill - this is an important step!

Place the flour in a mound on the counter.  Make a large indentation in the center – this should look like a crater of sorts. Grab the butter from the freezer and place the cubes in the center of your “crater”.  Sprinkle ½ tsp. salt.

perfect pie crust

 

You could use a food processor or a pastry cutter for making pie crust, but we like to do it old school, with our fingers. This has the advantage of letting you get a feel for the ingredients, and adjusting as you go. With the tips of your fingers, start breaking apart the butter and mixing it with the flour, working it until you get a coarse, meal-like texture.

Form a small mound, indent the center again, and add 3 tablespoons of iced water. Form the dough ball.

perfect pie crust

 

Start forming the dough with your hands, folding from the outside in. Keep adding the rest of the chilled water (1 or 2 more tbsps.), until the dough ball comes together. Don’t knead. You want the dough to be on the softer side.

Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic film. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

How To Roll Out The Pie Crust

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. When rolling out, keep rotating (for uniformity) and sprinkling more flour to the dough (so it won’t stick). Depending on the tart pan you’re using, make sure you roll at least 2 inches more than the diameter of your pan.

The formula for perfect pie crust success: roll, rotate, sprinkle, repeat!

how to make the perfect pie crust

 

How To UNROLL The Pie Dough Into The Pan

Wrap the dough around your rolling pin, and unroll into your tart pan, previously brushed with melted butter so it won’t stick.

piecrust_3

 

Finally, press gently with your thumbs on the bottom and edges of the mold, making sure the crust makes contact with the pan.

Let at least 1 inch of dough overlap over the edge of the tart shell. Then, crimp it with your fingers, or press your rolling pin over the edge, to flatten.  Cut any excess with a knife or kitchen shears.

How To Make The Perfect Pie Crust: Final Touches

You’ll want to use your perfect pie crust right away, but resist! Chill in in the fridge for 15 minutes before using (use that time to get the oven pre-heated).

If you want to reserve the pie crust for later,  just wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze.

Perfectly finished tart! Ph: Hiroyuki Takeda

A beautiful, perfectly finished tart! Ph: Hiroyuki Takeda

Do you have a trick for making tarts and pies? Share it with us in the comments!

fourth of july menu

Fourth of July Recipe Roundup: 8 Delicious Dishes Featuring Seasonal Fruit

fourth of july menu

 

 

Fresh berries, sweet strawberries, juicy peaches…summer is finally here!

Make the most of this short and incredibly sweet season by incorporating fresh fruit to your Fourth of July dishes! From savory to sweet, we give you 8 amazing recipes by incredible bloggers and foodies, all featuring the best of the season – festive, party-ready dishes, from appetizers and mains, to drinks and desserts. So, read on, get to  themarket and start prepping for the Fourth! Freedom never tasted this sweet!

 

Baby Back Ribs with Balsamic Peach BBQ Sauce by Damn Delicious

Baby Back Ribs Recipe

These ribs are just peachy! Recipe & Photo credit: Damn Delicious

 

Grilled Blackberry, Strawberry, Basil and Brie Pizza Crisps by Half Baked Harvest

Berry Pizza Crisps

Berry delicious
Recipe & Photo Credit: Half Baked Harvest

 

Blueberry & Basil Quinoa Stuffed Endive by Greens & Chocolate

Healthy and sophisticated
Recipe & Photo Credit: Greens & Chocolate

 

Blueberry Vanilla Ice Cream by Heather’s Dish

Blueberry Vanilla Ice Cream

Scoop it out!
Recipe & Photo credit: Heather’s Dish

 

Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart by Baker’s Royale

Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart Fourth of July Recipe

Cherries, tomatoes? Fruit, vegetable? Who cares when it’s so delicious!
Recipe & Photo Credit: Baker’s Royale

 

Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka by Foodie With Family

Strawberry Basil Infused Vodka

Vodka + Strawberries + Basil = A good start to any party!
Recipe & Photo Credit: Foodie With Family

 

Watermelon Ice by Taste & Tell

Fourth of July Recipe Drink

Chill out your melon
Recipe & Photo Credit: Taste and Tell

 

Red, White and Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles by The View From Great Island

fourth of july recipe dessert

Patriotic popsicles!
Recipe & Photo Credit: The View From Great Island

 

Herbed Crusted Roast

Herb Crusted Top Sirloin Roast With Ratatouille

Herbed Top Sirloin Father's Day Recipe

 

Want to whip up something delicious for Dad this Father’s Day? This crusty roast with colorful (and healthy!) veggie Ratatouille is guaranteed to make you Dad’s favorite. 

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 lbs. Top sirloin or Strip
    • 5 slices of regular white bread
    • ½ stick butter (room temperature)
    • ¼ tsp. Allspice
    • ¼ tsp. cumin
    • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano
    • ½ tsp. dry basil
    • ¼ tsp. porcini powder
    • 2 tsp. fresh parsley
    • Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
    • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
    • ½ lb. pearl onions
    • 3 zucchinis (seedless, cubed)
    • 2 eggplants (seedless, cubed)

DIRECTIONS

Trim the meat of any excess fat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine the bread with butter, herbs and spices, salt and pepper.

Cover the meat with the bread mix and put in the fridge, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.

On a roasting pan, bake the meat for about 10 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking for about 15 to 20 minutes (depending on how well-cooked you want the meat).

While meat is cooking, start the ratatouille.

Heat a medium saucepan with 1 tbsp. olive oil, and sauté the cherry tomatoes, whole, until they’re slightly charred. Remove and reserve. Don’t rinse the pan.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to the same pan and sauté the onions until golden, adding 3 to 4 tbsp. of water while cooking, about 4 minutes. Remove and reserve.

To the same pan, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and stir-fry the zucchinis and eggplants until they just change color – about 2 minutes.

Add in the previously sautéed tomatoes and onions, and cook together – about 3 minutes.

Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.

When the meat is done, remove from the oven and let rest in a warm place before cutting, so the juices get a chance to settle.

Slice the meat against the grain (cross-wise) into 1 to 1.5 inch slices, and serve with a side of the ratatouille.

 

 

Recipe: Marcela Sorondo for Gourmet Food World
Photo: Monica Sempertegui for Gourmet Food World