Coconut Biscotti

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼  teaspoon salt

¼  teaspoon baking soda

1/8  teaspoon grated

¾  cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coconut extract

2 large eggs

1 cup flaked sweetened coconut

Parchment paper

 

Preheat oven to 300°

Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour baking powder, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg.  Set aside.
  2. In a mixer, beat together the  sugar, vanilla, coconut extract, and eggs.  Beat with at medium speed for 2 minutes, or until thick.
  3. Add the flour mixture and coconut; stir to combine (dough will be very sticky).
  4. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface; knead lightly 7 or 8 times.
  5. With dampened hands, shape the dough into 2  12 x 3-inch logs on the parchment-covered sheet pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the logs are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack.
  6. Cut the logs diagonally into approximately 25-30  ½ -inch-thick slices Place them cut-side down on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from baking sheet, and  cool completely on wire rack

Yield: approximately 40 biscotti

NOTE:  If splitting this recipe into 4 equal-sized logs, and not two (log size:  approx 10”x1.5”), the yield is approx. 50-60 biscotti.  If you make the smaller ones, bake for 22 minutes, and again for 8 minutes.

 

 

Hazelnut Biscotti

This is a crisp, but not dense, biscotti. Following the recipe are notes on how to peel hazelnuts. This method is easier than the common ne of toasting and peeling the nuts.

1 ½  cups toasted hazelnuts (7 ounces)

¼ cup baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

¾ stick (3 oz) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

2 cups flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon hazelnut extract

 

Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper

See notes below to remove the skin from hazelnuts

  1. To toast hazelnuts, place them on a sheet pan, and place in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden in color. Check the nuts every 5 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Cool nuts completely, then very coarsely chop.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
  3. Pulse together sugar and 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and add the butter. Beat for two minutes, or until a bit fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla, and hazelnut extract, and beat until combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Add the chopped hazelnuts.
  6. Halve dough and, with dampened hands, form each half into a roughly 10- by 2- by 1-inch log on lined baking sheet, arranging logs 3 inches apart.
  7. Bake until golden and set but still soft to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. (Leave oven on.) Cool logs on baking sheet on a rack 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer logs to a cutting board, discarding parchment, and cut logs with a serrated knife on a slight diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  9. Arrange slices, cut sides down, in 1 layer on unlined baking sheet. Bake slices until golden, approximately 10 minutes more. Cool biscotti completely on cooling rack, about 10 minutes.

Yield: Approximately  32 cookies

NOTE:  If splitting this recipe into 4 equal-sized logs, and not two (log size:  approx 10”x1.5”), the yield is approx. 50-60 biscotti.  If you make the smaller ones, bake for 22 minutes, and again for 8 minutes.

To peel hazelnuts:

2 cups of water

3 tablespoons of baking soda

1 cup of hazelnuts

 

  1. In a medium saucepan with high sides, bring the water to a boil. Add the baking soda to the water. Note that the water will foam up.
  2. Add the nuts to the boiling water and boil for about 3 minutes. The water will turn black. This is fine. While the hazelnuts are boiling, Set aside a medium bowl of ice water.
  3. After the three minutes, remove one nut, and place it into the ice water. Use your fingers to remove the skin. If it doesn’t come off easily, boil the nuts for 1 minute longer, and try another test nut.
  4. When a test skin rubs right off, add the rest of the nuts to the ice water and peel them once they’re cool enough to handle.
  5. Place the peeled nuts in a cloth or paper towel and thoroughly dry them.

 

The hazelnuts are now ready to be toasted.

 

 

Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

This is a recipe I borrowed from my sister, Bea Grossman. It is awesome in every way.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened, Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

zest of one orange (optional)
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350°F, and butter (or spray) a large baking sheet

  1. In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and optional orange zest.
  2. In another bowl with an electric mixer, beat together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combined well. Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.
  3. On prepared baking sheet with floured hands form dough into two slightly flattened logs, each 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Bake logs 30-35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool biscotti on baking sheet 5 minutes.
  4. On a cutting board cut biscotti diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool biscotti on a rack. Biscotti keep in airtight containers 1 week and frozen, 1 month.

NOTE:  If splitting this recipe into 4 equal-sized logs, and not two (log size:  approx 10”x1.5”), the yield is approx. 50-60 biscotti.  If you make the smaller ones, bake for 22 minutes, and again for 8 minutes.

Lighter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My recipe for these beauties appeared in Disney’s Family Fun magazine in March 2012.  They’re easy to make, and kids of all ages love ’em!

1/2 cup raisins, soaked in enough water to cover them

1/2 cup sifted flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup melted butter

3 cups quick cooking oats (old fashioned oats is fine too)

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray or grease two cookie sheet pans.

  1. Soak the raisins for at least 15 minutes.  If you forget about them for a few hours, they’ll still work well in this recipe
  2. Sift together the flour sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir until they are evenly mixed together.
  3. Strain the raisins, and set aside 3 tablespoons of the water
  4. Combine the beaten egg, vanilla and melted butter, and mix into to dry mixture.
  5. Add oatmeal and raisins combine .  This will be a VERY dense dough. Add the 3 tablespoons of reserved raisin soaking water to the dough and mix thoroughly
  6. Using either a rounded tablespoon, or a #40 cookie scoop, place the dough on the prepared cookie sheets
  7. Bake for 12-16 mins, or until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom

Yield: approximately 24 cookies

 

 

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies

Adapted from François Payard /SELF Magazine December 2008 via Bea Grossman

Parchment paper
2 1/2 cups walnut halves
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350°, and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper

  1. Finely chop the walnuts on a cutting board, or carefully pulse-chop them in a food processor. The nuts should be chopped small, but not reduced to dust.  Transfer to a separate large baking sheet and toast until fragrant and a bit darker in color, about 7-9 minutes. Check the nuts every two minutes, and shake the pan, to make sure they don’t burn.  Let them cool to room temperature.
  2. Sift the sugar, cocoa and salt into a bowl to remove any lumps and clumping. Whisk together to combine, and set aside until the walnuts have cooled.
  3. Stir in the walnuts.   Add the egg whites and vanilla; combine  with a wooden spoon until the batter is just moistened. Do not overbeat the batter, or it will stiffen.
  4. Drop batter by the teaspoonful, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Bake cookies until tops are lightly cracked and glossy, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove cookies from baking sheet immediately, and place on cooling racks.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Makes approximately 40-50 cookies

NOTES: Unless you have a convection oven, you’ll have to bake these cookies one tray at a time.  Also, make sure you use the parchment paper, as the cookies will stick to the pan if you

Bananas Foster

4 firm bananas, sliced in half length-wise, or cut on the bias, 1/2” thick

1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/3 cup rum

vanilla ice cream

  1. In a large skillet over a medium heat, melt the butter, then stir in the sugar.  Continue to stir, until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the bananas, and continue to spoon the syrup over the bananas, until the bananas are heated through.
  3. While the bananas are heating, add the lemon juice.When the bananas are heated through, add the rum* to the pan, and gently simmer for 1 minute.

WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*At this point, you may choose to ignite the rum.  Be very careful if you do.   If you do choose to ignite the rum, make sure you have the lid for the pan immediately at hand, to cover the pan and extinguish the fire, if necessary.  Make sure you take all precautions necessary to ensure everyone’s safety.

Serve immediately with ice cream or whipped cream

Serves 6

Apple and Cranberry Cobbler

8-10 golden delicious apples, peeled and cut into 8 wedges

1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon tapioca

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sifted flour

¼ cup oatmeal, ground in a food processor

Preheat the oven to 350°.

  1. Combine the first seven ingredients, and place into a 9”x13” baking dish.
  2. With your hands, or a pastry cutter, combine the butter, brown sugar, flour, and oatmeal, until the butter is the size of small peas.  Sprinkle this over the apple mixture.
  3. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the apples are cooked through, and the mixture is bubbling.

Serve with vanilla ice cream (a classic!) or a wedge of cheddar cheese (a New England classis!).

 

Makes 8+ servings

 

Apple Cake



Butter (for the pan)

Flour (for the pan)

1 cup canola oil

4 eggs

1/4 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 baking apples (Golden Delicious, Cortland, Baldwin, Mutsu, Northern Spy, Opalescent, Rhode Island Greening, Rome Beauty, Spigold), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon mixed with 5 tablespoons granulated sugar

Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling)

Set the oven at 350º

  1. Butter a 10-inch tube pan, line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit it, and butter the paper. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. In an electric mixer, combine the oil, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  3. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat just until smooth again, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Spoon one-third of the batter into the pan (barely a layer). Smooth the batter with a metal palette knife or spatula. Gently press half the apples into the batter (you’ll probable have to overlap the layers.  This is fine).
  5. Sprinkle with half the cinnamon-sugar mixture, and add one-third more batter, and the remaining apples.
  6. Sprinkle on all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining cinnamon-sugar. Cover with batter, smooth the top (it may not cover the apples; that’s OK), and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar.
  7. Bake the cake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the top is firm and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  8. With a small knife, cut around the inside and outside edges of the cake to release it from the pan. Turn the cake out onto a plate. Set another plate on top and invert again so the cake is right-side up. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. 

Notes:

  • The cake batter is dense, so you have to be careful when you spread it.  This is especially true with the 2nd and 3rd additions of the batter, as you want to avoid moving around the 2 layers of sliced apples.  A metal spreader works better than a rubber spatula, as the batter often sticks to the rubber one.
  • It might look like there’s not much batter for a cake, but it does ride quite a bit while baking.
  • This may look like a lot of steps, but it’s really not.  Once you make it, you’ll see how simple it is.

 

Fresh Peach Sauce

This goes well with, well, everything.

 

2 cups fresh peaches, diced, peeled  and pitted  (approximately 5 peaches)

½ cup sugar (use lesser amount if peaches are very sweet)

1 ¼ teaspoons corn starch

1 dash ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

  1. In a saucepan, add all of the ingredients except the vanilla.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened, and the peaches are cooked through.
  3. Remove from the heat; stir in extract.

Serve warm or cold.

Makes approximately 2 cups

Notes:

  • You can substitute Amaretto (or another favorite liqueur) for the vanilla.  You can add it before or after cooking.
  • There are at least three ways to peel a peach:
  1. With a peeler
  2. With a paring knife
  3. If the peaches are not very ripe, place them in boiling water for 1 minute, and then immediately put them in ice water until they’ve cooled

Lithuanian Lightning Cake

(from Ernest Dzendolet)

1/4 cup butter

2 large eggs

milk

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400˚. Grease (butter or spray) and flour an 8 inch or 9 inch cake pan.

  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  2. Melt the butter. Lightly beat the eggs, and add the butter. Add enough milk to this mixture so it totals one cup in volume.
  3. Add butter mixture to dry ingredients and combine until well mixed. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester (toothpick) comes out dry from the center  of the cake.

Makes one, single layer cake.

Serving suggestions:

  • frost the cake with your favorite chocolate icing
  • sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over the top
  • serve with a sauce, such as peach, raspberry, lemon curd, etc.
  • serve with freshly whipped cream