Christmas Baking: Pistachio Biscotti!

My holidays specialty and my mom’s favorite choice in baked good from me is this little one, biscotti.  My friend calls it burnt cookie and I guess it makes sense since you do have to bake it two times so its time consuming and the reason why I don’t do it as much as I should.

I did it about two years ago right HERE but with dried cherry.

So I decided to do Pistachio Biscotti, as you probably figured out.

Pistachio Biscotti

Pistachio Biscotti

I got this recipe from my Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook

PISTACHIO BISCOTTI

Makes about 3 dozen biscottis

Ingredients

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tsps vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Pistachio Biscotti

Pistachio Biscottis out of the oven

1. Heat oven to 350F. In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, oil, vanilla extract and the eggs with a spoon.  Stir in remaining biscotti ingredients.

2. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface.  Knead until smooth.  On ungreased cookie sheet, shape half of dough at a time into 10×3 inch rectangle.

3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool on cookie sheet 15 minutes.  Cut crosswire into 1/2 inch slices.  Place slices, cut sides down, on cookie sheet.

4. Bake about 15 minutes, turning once until crisp and light brown.  Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 45 minutes.

Pistachio Biscotti

This was supposed to have glaze but I excluded it completely.  This recipe is very crunchy and delicious.  Perfect balance in sugar and it tastes totally awesome.  All the hard work makes so much sense after making these because they are always a hit.  Plus, nothing was changed or modified for this recipe so makes it even easier.

Do you like biscotti? Any flavor in particular?

I’m gone for the rest of the day.  I’ll have a Christmas thing go up tomorrow if all goes as planned.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE! MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAVE LOTS OF FUN AND REMEMBER TO STAY EXTREMELY AWESOME! 🙂

Banana Cupcakes!!

I told you that I had a lot of bananas! Last Monday, I had a day off for Labour Day (sorry for being so late) and decided to kick it into gear and bake some more.  After thinking a long time, I decided on making Banana Cupcakes.  I’m really not good with cupcakes and this time, I think I was just really tired and half asleep doing this because I mixed up the recipe and misunderstood it all over the place.

I can tell you which recipe inspired me but in reality, it turned more into my little experiment than actually following the actual recipe.  Part of me still believes that the recipe wasn’t clear anyways, but did teach me to read through ALL the recipe before actually starting it.

So, I found these recipes here:

http://www.marthastewart.com/314362/banana-cupcakes-with-caramel-buttercream

http://www.marthastewart.com/328102/yellow-butter-cupcakes

My confusion was based on using two recipes to make it.  So This was modified in the way that I was making the cupcake for the 2nd recipe and realized when I reached the point of adding the wet ingredients that I was sure something was definitely wrong with the recipe and I had already made some modifications that ended up being similar to the actual recipe that was to be done.  I just didn’t understand why it wasn’t just written out instead of referring to another recipe.  Anyways, I’m not here to tell you how unhappy I am with the confusing setup of the site.

So here’s what I did instead:

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups flour (I don’t own cake flour, if you do, then use 3 cups of cake flour and 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour)

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

9 ounces margarine or unsalted butter, softened

2 1/4 cup sugar + another 1/4 cup sugar

3 large eggs

4 very large ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)

3/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin tin with paper liners.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and 2 1/4 cup sugar together in a large bowl.

3. Cream butter and 1/4 cup sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one.

4. Using another bowl, mix bananas, water and vanilla extract together.

5. Add dry mixture to butter mixture, in 3 batches alternating with wet mixture.

6. Scrap the sides of the bowl.  Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each to full.

7. Bake cupcakes for about 20 minutes.  After, let cool on wire rack.

Here you go! This was the morphed version a la Tranquil Dreams.  I also didn’t decorate it with anything as you can see.  Decorations will be coming shortly for future recipes though because I finally bought a pastry bag set.  Despite all the changes and confusions, it turned out pretty decent.  My boyfriend actually made a weird comment which he said was a compliment about how it didn’t taste too much like bananas and had a good texture type of thing.  I found that it had a bit of a flour-y taste and I think its because of the omitting of cake flour  (but its probably also because of the misinterpretation on my part).  I found instructions to make homemade cake flour in a way.  So I’ll probably experiment with that next time in hopes of improving the taste.

You’ll be seeing more cupcakes probably as it seems like I’m having a little cupcakes and pastries type of phase.  We’ll see how things go.  Not a bad recipe though but my suggestion is maybe not to use mine but use the ingredient portions of the first but follow the instructions of the second.  Dry ingredients mixture DOES NOT include sugar..that was a mistake I made also.  Although I don’t think it made a whole lot of difference except making it a bit sweeter maybe.  I have no comparison so who knows.  Over sweetness was not an issue with how I made it.

Trial and error, right? I’m learning day by day.  Hits and misses help me improve and I definitely have, I can tell you that!