I was actually meant to post this before Christmas. I came up with this recipe for my weekly column as a great edible gift for Christmas. However if you are anything like me and enjoy the full 12 days of Christmas, you will still make these anyway. So why don’t you get some Sunday baking done tomorrow and keep it Festive! After all, today is still only the ninth day of Christmas!
Below is what I wrote for my column:
It’s less than 2 weeks till Christmas now so I thought I’d share with you another recipe of mine great for those edible gifts, an emergency sweet treat when guests suddenly turn up or even just great to eat at your leisure alone.
The great thing about biscotti is how long it lasts for so its perfect to be baking ahead now if you like. You can even freeze them down and cook when needed.
Biscotti are so easy to make yet they look like you’ve spend hours on them.
They look so pretty however you present them just Perfect with a mulled wine or Hot chocolate.
Chestnut, cranberry and white chocolate biscotti:
(Makes 16-18 biscotti)
- 175g plain flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 125g light muscovado sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- 50g cranberries
- 50g chestnuts ( cooked vacuum packed ones ) chopped roughly
- sprinkle of cinnamon ( I use Spice Kitchen )
- sprinkle of nutmeg
- 75g white chocolate melted to drizzle
- Place your greaseproof baking paper onto a baking tray. Put your flour,baking powder, sugar and spice into a bowl and mix well.
- Stir in your egg, mix well. It will start to the form clumps. Bring the dough together with your hands and knead a couple of times to bring mixture together.
- Then add your chestnuts and cranberries and knead together.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and make into a sausage shape. Place onto the baking tray and pop into the oven for 25 minutes.
- At this stage it still will be slightly pale in colour. Take out of the oven, transfer onto a cooling rack until cool enough to handle.
- Using a bread knife cut into slices of about 1cm thick and lay individually back onto the baking tray. ( At this stage they can be cooled and popped into the freezer in bags)
- Turn down oven to 140c and then bake for 15 minutes, turn the biscotti and bake for a further 15 minutes until golden and dry.
* Pop onto a wire cooling rack to cool. Then drizzle with melted white chocolate. ( don’t be perfect with it ). Allow the chocolate to cool and then you are ready to eat.
I always bake a lot more at Christmas time, mainly because I make pretty much the majority of all my Christmas Presents. I love giving edible gifts, always have done and I always will. It’s very personal and I think it shows a characteristic approach to whom gives you the Edible gift.
This recipe I came across developing today was something that I had been fancying all week and it’s strange as Im not one for liking specifically Chocolate with Orange, I feel its too powerful for me but certainly around Christmas time, my house is filled with the smell of oranges and clementines so its seems such a crime to not involve a hint in My food.
If I am totally honest I get slightly bored with Chocolate chip cookies/biscuits so when I eat them I want something thats really going to excite me, and Boy did this today. The recipe worked straight off, which is always a blessing and I have to say, I think this one is going to have to go towards my Christmas edible gift list, which is getting longer and longer by the day!
I love spices and in many different forms of cooking and I have experimented a few times in My baking also, but something that I do every year that I want to share with you is this:
I make a Spiced Sugar so it’s infusing all the time and it can be used in all sorts which you will see later.
All you do is take a jar full of Caster sugar and I infused mine with:
* Vanilla pod
* Ground Nutmeg
* Cloves- Spice Kitchen
* Cinnamon Bark- Spice Kitchen
* Cardamon pods – Spice Kitchen
* Orange Peel
You don’t need a lot as these Spices are very strong.
Once you have this another tip would be to sprinkle over Popcorn. It’s great to eat whilst watching those Christmas films.
Spiced Orange, Oat and Chocolate Chip Cookies:
(Makes approximately 36-40 small sized cookies)
– 150g Vegetable Fat spread ( I used Stork )
– 220g Plain Flour
– 75g Spiced Sugar (As above) Remember to sieve this!
– 75g Light Muscovado Sugar
– 1 Egg
– Zest of 1 Orange plus a little spritz of the Juice to add extra zing
– 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
– 50g Ground almonds
– 100g Milk chocolate chips
– 50g Jumbo Rolled Oats
* Preheat Oven to 160-170c
* Cream together with a Wooden spoon or mixer the Spread, Sugar, egg, Zest and juice.
* Add the Bicarb and flour and mix together well.
* Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. I found better at this stage with a wooden spoon as the cookie dough will be quite tough.
* Roll a Small ball of the mixture 2-3 cm wide and place onto a baking tray with greaseproof paper and make sure to leave a few cm’s space in-between like so above.
* Place in the oven for approximately 13 minutes or until starting to brown at the edges.
* Allow to cool on a rack before serving.
And there you go, A great tasting, frugal recipe for Christmas Presents or just eating.