Triple Chocolate Biscotti

Triple Chocolate Biscotti

BiscottiBiscotti, also called Cantuccini in Tuscany, are oblong shaped almond Italian cookies that originated in the city of Prato.  It’s name, Biscotti, literally means twice cooked.

These twice baked cookies are dry, crunchy, and made to be dipped in a drink, traditionally Vin Santo, a sweet Italian dessert wine.  Today Biscotti is made in a variety of flavors and can be dipped in white or dark chocolate.  They can be dipped in coffee, milk, or any other drink.  Of course they’re also pretty good dry.

My family loves Biscotti, specially when dipped in cold milk or hot chocolate.  I love to dip it in my morning cup of cappuccino!  I’d always thought they’d be difficult and time consuming to make.  I thought I’d have to roll each cookie into it’s oblong shape.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they are super easy to make and you don’t have to shape each cookie.

I’ve been playing around with different flavors and came up with our favorite, Triple Chocolate Biscotti.  They are super yummy!  Best of all you don’t spend hours kneading cookie dough and shaping them into flat oblong cookies.  You can whip up a batch in about an hour or so and have some ready for dessert.  Did I mention they’re great with ice cream?

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I like to use the best quality ingredients for most of my baking, this is specially true for chocolates.  I usually use Valrhona Cocoa Powder and Guittard White & Semi-Sweet Chips.  They really do taste better!  But if you can’t find these brands in your area you can use Hershey Cocoa Powder and whatever brand chips you can find.

Here’s my recipe for Triple Chocolate Biscotti!

Ingredients:

6 Tbs. Butter, softened

1 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

1/2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Valrhona Cocoa Powder

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

1 Tsp. Salt

1/2 Cup Guittard Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup Guittard White Chocolate Chips

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350º

Cream butter and sugar together

Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg

Add in Vanilla

In a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix very well

Add flour mixture to the butter mixture in thirds.  Make sure the dry ingredients are well incorporated before adding more

Dough will be somewhat stiff and sticky

Stir in chocolate chips

Shape cookie dough into a 12″ x 4″ log and place on a parchment covered baking sheet

Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.

Cut loaf into 3/4″ slices

Place each piece cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes

Turn over cookies and bake the other side for another 5 minutes

Cool on a rack then store in an airtight container

 

 

 

 

Triple Chocolate Biscotti
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Triple Chocolate Biscotti
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350º
  2. Cream butter and sugar together
  3. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg
  4. Add in Vanilla
  5. In a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix very well
  6. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture in thirds. Make sure the dry ingredients are well incorporated before adding more
  7. Dough will be somewhat stiff and sticky
  8. Stir in chocolate chips
  9. Shape cookie dough into a 12" x 4" log and place on a parchment covered baking sheet
  10. Bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
  12. Cut loaf into 3/4" slices
  13. Place each piece cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes
  14. Turn over cookies and bake the other side for another 5 minutes
  15. Cool on a rack then store in an airtight container
Recipe Notes

BiscottiI like to use the best quality ingredients for most of my baking, this is specially true for chocolates.  I usually use Valrhona Cocoa Powder and Guittard White & Semi-Sweet Chips.  They really do taste better!  But if you can't find these brands in your area you can use Hershey Cocoa Powder and whatever brand chips you can find.

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Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars

Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars

chocolate caramel cookie bars

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.  Are you still looking for something to make for your sweetheart?  Well if your sweetie has a sweet tooth than these Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars are just the thing!

Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars are delicious!  They’re chewy, gooey, and oh so chocolatey!  They can be served cold or hot.  We like them hot!  And can be eaten alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  My favorite way to have them is with ice cream that’s drizzled with chocolate sauce.  It’s a meal in itself and is to die for!

chocolate caramel cookie barsBest of all they are so easy to make and doesn’t have lots of fussy ingredients.  Make some for a Valentine’s Day treat.  Your sweetie will love it!

By the way it makes a great dessert on any day.  I should know, my family loves them![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cup Butter, softened

1 1/2 Cup White Sugar

2 Eggs

2 Tbs. Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

1 Tsp.  Cream of Tartar

1 Tsp. Salt

4 Cups Flour

2 Cups Chocolate Chips

1 1/2 Cup Homemade Caramel Sauce or 1 Jar Caramel Sauce

1/4 Cup Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour or regular flour

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°

Line 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy

Add eggs one at a time

Add Vanilla

Mix Baking Soda, salt, and Cream of Tartar together and add to butter mixture

Slowly add in 4 cups of flour until well mixed

Stir in Chocolate Chips

Press 2/3 of cookie batter into bottom and about 1/4″ up the sides of baking pan

Stir Mochiko Flour into Caramel Sauce

Spread sauce mixture over cookie dough

Drop remaining cookie dough over the caramel sauce in the pan

Bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean

chocolate caramel cookie barsRemove from oven – you can serve it cold or hot

It’s delicious with ice cream!

chocolate caramel cookie bars

 

 

 

Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars
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Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
  2. Line 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper
  3. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy
  4. Add eggs one at a time
  5. Add Vanilla
  6. Mix Baking Soda, salt, and Cream of Tartar together and add to butter mixture
  7. Slowly add in 4 cups of flour until well mixed
  8. Stir in Chocolate Chips
  9. Press 2/3 of cookie batter into bottom and about 1/4" up the sides of baking pan
  10. Stir Mochiko Flour into Caramel Sauce
  11. Spread sauce mixture over cookie dough
  12. Drop remaining cookie dough over the caramel sauce in the pan
  13. Bake for 30 - 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean
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The BEST Pecan Pie You’ll Ever Make!

The BEST Pecan Pie You’ll Ever Make!

 Pecan PieOne of the best things about our Thanksgiving Meal is dessert, namely my Pecan Pie.

Many folks I know have told me they don’t care for Pecan Pies.  They tell me it’s too sweet and too gooey. This might be true until they try my version of Pecan Pie.  Over the years I’ve converted many of my friends and family into Pecan Pie lovers!

My son-in-law, Shedrick, born and raised in the South,  home of Pecan Pie, has never liked the pie until he tried our recipe.  Now it’s a staple at their Thanksgiving Table too.  Pretty much the same story goes for my other son-in-law, Joel, (he loves it so much he always persuades my daughter make extra pies to share with the single soldiers in his unit every Thanksgiving!), and my daughter-in-law, Sheena (whose father is a pastry chef at one of the big name resorts,  says my pies are better than her dad’s!).

I read somewhere long ago that Pecan Pies were a type of custard pie, yet the popular traditional pie recipes omit one big ingredient for custard pies, cream!  That’s why the pies are gooey and runny, too much syrup in my opinion.  Years ago I went in quest for a “good”  Pecan Pie recipe, perhaps I should say “different” recipe.  One that would not be gooey and syrupy, and be more like the custard I read about.

Believe it or not I came across a recipe in a box I had purchased from the flea market.  I tried it and my husband loved it!  It was our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, so they were no kids yet, but I’ve been making this pie since. Actually over the years during one of our many moves I had somehow lost the recipe.  I was devastated!  But I rallied and came up with my own version which turned out the same if not better than the original recipe.

My pies are not gooey, syrupy, or too sweet.  They are somewhat creamy and just sweet enough. This weekend I baked 6 pies for Thanksgiving, I only have 3 left!  My family wiped one out after our Sunday night barbecue, my son took one home, and my husband too another one to work to share with his employees.  My brother-in-law in California is requesting a pie, but I’m not sure how that would work, I told him I’d just share the recipe!

Anyway here’s my holiday gift to you, my Pecan Pie recipe!  Enjoy and have a great Thanksgiving!

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup Karo Dark Corn Syrup
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tbls. melted butter
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups pecans
2 unbaked 9″ deep dish pie crust (frozen or your favorite crust recipe)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare pie crusts and set aside.

Mix Karo syrum, eggs, sugar, and cream together until all sugar dissolves.

Stir in melted butter, vanilla, and pecans.

Divide  between 2  pie shells.

Bake for 60-70 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Cool completely before serving.  If you cut into the pie before it cools it will fall apart.
I like to refrigerate before serving, for easier cutting.  My husband and son prefer it warm so they zap their slices in the microwave for 15 seconds.

The World's Best Pecan Pie
Print Recipe
This is the only Pecan Pie recipe you will ever need!
Servings Prep Time
2 9" Pies 15 Minutes
Cook Time
70 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 9" Pies 15 Minutes
Cook Time
70 Minutes
The World's Best Pecan Pie
Print Recipe
This is the only Pecan Pie recipe you will ever need!
Servings Prep Time
2 9" Pies 15 Minutes
Cook Time
70 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 9" Pies 15 Minutes
Cook Time
70 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: 9" Pies
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare pie crusts and set aside.
  3. Mix Karo syrup, eggs, sugar, and cream together until all sugar dissolves.
  4. Stir in melted butter, vanilla, and pecans.
  5. Divide between 2 pie shells.
  6. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely before serving.
Recipe Notes

If you cut into the pie before it cools it will fall apart.  I like to refrigerate before serving, for easier cutting.

My husband and son prefer it warm so they zap their slices in the microwave for 15 seconds.

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Leche Flan – The Filipino Version

FlanEver since I can remember “Leche Flan” was always a party staple.
My mother, grandmothers, and aunts make this yummy custard for every family get together, and I’ve always loved it!

Growing up I watched the women in our family make this beloved Filipino dessert a day or two before a party.  They always steamed it in the oven by placing the pans in a water bath.  So when I started making it for my family and events I made it just the way my grandmother did.  Little did I know there was an easier and faster way to make it on the stove top!

I don’t make this flan often, it’s SO good, but SO unhealthy!  Just thinking about the ingredients in this dessert makes my arteries harden!  It’s made from all the good stuff; egg yolks, milk, and sugar, so what’s not to like?  I do make it at least twice a year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, although every so often during the rest of the year I get a yen for it.  I try not to make it so I go to different Filipino restaurants in search for Leche Flan that tastes like homemade.  Alas nothing in my area ever comes close and I walk away disappointed and still craving it.  I usually end up whipping up a batch once or twice during the year, but that’s it!

Flan has a long history, its origins date back to Ancient Rome nearly 2000 years ago.  Flan means “flat cake” in Latin.  Back in the day this egg based custard was basically a savory dish, a particular delicacy was eel flan!  (There is an ancient record of a sweet honey flan.)  When Rome conquered the known world they took their flan recipes with them, hence it spread throughout Europe.  The Roman Empire may have fallen, but their flan survives, having been adapted to the sweeter versions we know today.

The Spaniards where the first to top flan with caramel sauce.  Their recipes went with them when they colonized South America, Mexico, and beyond.  Today we think of Flan as a Latin Dessert with many different flavors including coffee, cinnamon, strawberry, and more.  The Philippines was under Spanish rule for 500 hundred years, plenty of time for Flan to become a Filipino favorite!

Our version of flan is sinfully delightful!  It’s creamy and smooth, and very yummy.  It is however chock full of cholesterol.  The recipe calls for egg yolks!  My mother and other relatives have tried to make our family recipe more health friendly, but it’s not the same.  I’ve only ever used my grandmother’s recipe.  I will not settle for anything less!  I figure we don’t indulge often, and if you go thru the trouble of making it you might as well do it right.

I did however recently try the stove top method  and love it!  So the only change I’m making from now on is in the cooking method. Here’s my grandma’s recipe!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. finely grated lime rind

Topping:

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Directions:

1.  Prepare your steamer.  I didn’t have a large enough steamer so I used a very large pot with a lid.
I placed an inverted 9″ cake pan on the bottom and filled it with water even with the cake pan.  I then placed the 9″ cake pan I was using for the flan on top of the inverted one.

Flan

2.  Make your caramelized sugar topping in a non-stick sauce pan.

Put 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup water in pan.  Set it over medium to medium/high heat, you will have to adjust the heat as it boils.

Flan

Let it boil.  This happens fairly quickly and once it starts boiling you have to keep swishing it around so it doesn’t burn.  If it’s boiling too much lower the heat.  (see video below)

Flan

The sugar mixture will thicken into a syrup as it boils,  It’s important to keep the liquid moving in the pan by constantly rotating the pan as it boils.  Hold it close to the stove so it keeps boiling.

Once the syrup starts to turn golden brown on the edges you must keep swirling it or it will burn.
This happens very fast so keep a close eye on it.  As you swirl the syrup the brown color will spread.  When the entire mixture is a thick golden brown remove from heat immediately and pour into the prepared cake pan.

Once you’ve poured it into the pan immediately swirl it around to coat as much of the pan bottom as possible before it hardens.  Set aside.

Flan

3.  Mix egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk, and evaporated milk in a bowl.  Stir until it’s smooth and sugar has dissolved.

4.  Stir in vanilla and lime rind.  Stir very well.

5.  Strain egg mixture into prepared pan.  Make sure you strain out all the rind.

6.  Place lid on large pot.  Steam on the stovetop at medium/low to medium heat.  Steam for about 30-40 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

7.  Remove from steamer and cool at least 2-3 hours.

8.  Run a knife around the edge to loosen the sides.  Invert into serving dish when ready to serve.  Make sure it’s completely cooled before inverting or it will fall apart.

Leche Flan
Print Recipe
This is the Filipino version of this custard dessert.
Servings Prep Time
8 Slices 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 Minutes 2-3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
8 Slices 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 Minutes 2-3 Hours
Leche Flan
Print Recipe
This is the Filipino version of this custard dessert.
Servings Prep Time
8 Slices 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 Minutes 2-3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
8 Slices 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 Minutes 2-3 Hours
Ingredients
Caramelized Topping
Flan
Servings: Slices
Instructions
Caramelized Topping
  1. Put 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup water in pan. Set it over medium to medium/high heat, you will have to adjust the heat as it boils.
  2. Let it boil. This happens fairly quickly and once it starts boiling you have to keep swishing it around so it doesn't burn. If it's boiling too much lower the heat.
  3. The sugar mixture will thicken into a syrup as it boils, It's important to keep the liquid moving in the pan by constantly rotating the pan as it boils. Hold it close to the stove so it keeps boiling.
  4. Once the syrup starts to turn golden brown on the edges you must keep swirling it or it will burn. This happens very fast so keep a close eye on it. As you swirl the syrup the brown color will spread. When the entire mixture is a thick golden brown remove from heat immediately and pour into the prepared cake pan.
  5. Once you've poured it into the pan immediately swirl it around to coat as much of the pan bottom as possible before it hardens. Set aside.
Flan
  1. Mix egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk, and evaporated milk in a bowl. Stir until it's smooth and sugar has dissolved.
  2. Stir in vanilla and lime rind. Stir very well.
  3. Strain egg mixture into prepared pan. Make sure you strain out all the rind.
  4. Place lid on large pot. Steam on the stovetop at medium/low to medium heat. Steam for about 30-40 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  5. Remove from steamer and cool at least 2-3 hours.
  6. Run a knife around the edge to loosen the sides. Invert into serving dish when ready to serve. Make sure it's completely cooled before inverting or it will fall apart.
Recipe Notes

Prepare your steamer.  I didn't have a large enough steamer so I used a very large pot with a lid.
I placed an inverted 9" cake pan on the bottom and filled it with water even with the cake pan.  I then placed the 9" cake pan I was using for the flan on top of the inverted one.

This recipe uses only egg yolks, don't discard the egg whites, you can make meringues or freeze them to use later.  I use them to make egg white omelets.

 

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The Best Chocolate Chip Blondies

The Best Chocolate Chip Blondies

Chocolate Chip Blondies

Recently I had a sweet craving, I wanted something like a brownie without out too much chocolate.
I decided I’d try my hand at baking blondies.  I’d never done this before and I didn’t have a recipe, but I figured it can’t be too difficult to come up with my own recipe, after all a blondie is just like a brownie without the cocoa powder, right?

I tweaked my favorite brownie recipe and ended up with these delicious Chocolate Chip Blondies.
They are so good I had to hide them from my cousin and the grandsons so that there’d be some for my son and his wife to try.  I even found my husband, a self proclaimed chocolate hater (weird I know, who doesn’t like chocolate? unheard of in my world!), standing at the kitchen counter munching on these yummy squares.  He managed to eat half the plate, so much for hating chocolate!

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup Ghirardelli or Guittard Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
cooking spray

Directions:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.

2.  Place butter and white chocolate chips in a microwave bowl and melt in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Remove and stir to melt the chips.  If chips aren’t fully melted return to the microwave for 30 seconds and stir again.  Continue to microwave in 30 seconds intervals until fully melted.  Check and stir the mixture every 30 seconds to keep the chips from burning and the butter from separating.
If the chips start turning brown and have a “funny” smell they are starting to burn, this is a waste because there’s nothing you can do to fix it; so be careful to not let it get to this stage!

3.  Set butter mixture aside to cool.

4.  Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

5.  In another bowl beat eggs and sugar until creamy.

6.  Stir in vanilla extract and butter mixture.

7.  Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.

8.  Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until center is set and tester comes out clean.

9.  Remove from oven and cool before cutting into squares.

The Best Chocolate Chip Blondies
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 9 x 13 pan 20 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 9 x 13 pan 20 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
The Best Chocolate Chip Blondies
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 9 x 13 pan 20 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 9 x 13 pan 20 Minutes
Cook Time
30 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: 9 x 13 pan
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place butter and white chocolate chips in a microwave bowl and melt in the microwave for 2 minutes. Remove and stir to melt the chips. If chips aren't fully melted return to the microwave for 30 seconds and stir again. Continue to microwave in 30 seconds intervals until fully melted. Check and stir the mixture every 30 seconds to keep the chips from burning and the butter from separating. If the chips start turning brown and have a "funny" smell they are starting to burn, this is a waste because there's nothing you can do to fix it; so be careful to not let it get to this stage!
  3. Set butter mixture aside to cool.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. In another bowl beat eggs and sugar until creamy.
  6. Stir in vanilla extract and butter mixture.
  7. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.
  8. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until center is set and tester comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven and cool before cutting into squares.
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