Chocolate Dipped, Orange and Raisin Biscottis

I love a crunchy biscuit, so biscotti is perfect, especially dunked in a cup of hot tea (or coffee for me…). Biscotti is an Italian biscuit that is twice baked to give it that crunchy texture. It is so easy to make, although requires more time in the oven than most biscuits.
Chocolate, orange, raisin 1.1
You can really play with flavours with biscotti but there are some that are just made for each other – chocolate and orange being one of them.The addition of raisins add another dimension of texture, which works well with the crunchiness.
Chocolate, orange, raisin 3
The recipe and baking time all contribute to the final texture – which is oh so important (my colleagues have experienced some teeth shattering biscotti…) I have used the traditional recipe with eggs and no oil/butter. The eggs provide structure and ensure the biscuits are not too dry. I used to keep these in the oven to dry out but this makes them too hard, so stick to the 20 minutes at the end of the recipe.
Chocolate, orange, raisin 4
Chocolate Dipped, Orange and Raisin Biscotti
Recipe adapted from All Recipes
Ingredients
  • 130g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 90g (~1/2 cup) white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 50g plain chocolate
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 175C (350F).
  2. Rub the orange zest and sugar together (this brings out more of the orange flavour!) Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat in the egg and egg white, then mix in the raisins.
  3. Roll the dough into a log and place on a baking sheet. Press down to about 2cm thickness and adjust the width of the log to how long you want each biscotti.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes in preheated oven until lightly golden and firm to touch. Cool on a rack for 10-15mins. With a serrated knife, cut into ~2cm slices. Place slices, cut side down, back onto the baking sheet.
  5. Return them to the oven for an additional 20 minutes; turning over half way through the baking. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Dip one side of the biscotti into it. Place cookies on wire racks, chocolate side up, until cool and dry.
Advertisements

Cookies vs. Biscuits – Healthy Anzac Cookies

Cookies or biscuits…another British vs. American language confusion! The word “biscuit” has completely different meanings on each side of the pond. A British biscuit is crunchy, dry and something that you might dunk into your tea. An American biscuit resembles what the Brits call a “scone” – soft, thick and dense. The only agreement is the term “cookie” for the large, slightly softer and round biscuit.

I’m sticking with the British meanings since it makes more sense to me (but I’m biased because I’m a Londoner!) I’m calling today’s recipe Anzac “cookies” since they have a delicious golden crisp exterior and slightly moist interior.

Anzac 2

Oats, bananas and coconut – a match made in heaven! And all natural ingredients! You can’t feel guilty munching down on one (or twelve…) of these!

Anzac 1

I have made these cookies healthier by halving the sugar from the traditional Anzac cookie recipe and replacing it with a ripe banana, and they were still sweet! This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Anzac 3

Anzac Cookies (makes 16 cookies)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Method

  1. Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut together.
  2. Melt the butter, mash the bananas and mix together. Mix the soda and the boiling water and add to the melted butter.
  3. Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients.
  4. Place a tablespoon full of the mixture on baking parchment and flatten into a cookie shape. These biscuits don’t spread much, but grow slightly upwards.
  5. Bake at 180C (350F) for 18 to 20 minutes.

Christmas Gingerbread Funfair

Merry Christmas all! I hope you all had a fun, food-filled holiday!

Christmas tradition in our house includes building gingerbread sculptures. Last year was the traditional gingerbread house, and this year we wanted a challenge: a funfair, with a moving ferris wheel! And I’m proud to say…it turns!

IMG-20141226-WA0021 copyIMG-20141226-WA0009 copyIMG-20141226-WA0007 copy

I love the texture of this gingerbread cookie, which was crunchy, not the soft cake-like texture that most recipes create.

Notes: I substituted the butter with spread as this was all that I had. This made the dough very soft so I added about 1 more cup of flour and froze the dough before rolling it out. This worked and resulted in crunchy cookies 🙂 Please note that you cannot always substitute butter with spread, especially when butter is the main ingredients such as in buttercream, or when you want a strong buttery flavour. But spread is healthier…

Gingerbread (enough for the ferris wheel, carousel and entrance)

Ingredients

  • 420g all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 100g honey

Method

Combine flour, soda, salt and spices. Whisk well to combine. In another large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add egg and molasses. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down sides again and then add flour mixture. Mix on low speed just until combined. Separate dough into halves or thirds, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour, or up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Dust work surface and rolling pin with flour, and roll dough to ¼ inch thickness, sprinkling with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut into desired shapes and place on parchment or silicone-lined baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, depending on size of cookies.

Royal Icing sugar

Ingredients

  • 9g egg white powder
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water

Method

Combine ingredients and whisk until stiff. Divide into bowls to mix in food colouring, and place in piping bags to decorate your gingerbread.