EASY CHOCOLATE ALMOND BISCOTTIS

EASY CHOCOLATE ALMOND BISCOTTIS

Biscottis

are one of my favorite Italian cookies. Who doesn’t love those crispy crunchy cookie bars made just fo dipping.
Speaking of dipping you can dip biscottis in your favorite hot or cold beverage. They’re great with coffee of course; but also delicious with tea, cocoa, milk, and wine! Yes you can most definitely dip your biscotti of choice in a glass of dessert wine. Think Vin Santo, or my personal favorite Greek Samos!

But before you start dipping you need some biscottis. Sure you can buy all sorts of biscottis from most supermarkets, coffee houses, and big box stores, but nothing compares to the homemade biscottis Nonna in Italy bakes. Or in my case Nana in Hawaii.

I’m sure most Italian grandmas have their favorite biscotti recipe, well so does this grandma; I just “cheat” a little bit and use a cake mix to make my biscotti.

These chocolate almond biscottis are made with just 5 ingredients and take just over an hour to make. The result is a delicious biscotti with just the right crunch!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

1 package chocolate cake mix, Devil’s Food Cake if available
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 stick butter, melted
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (if using a hand held mixer be sure beaters are in tight)
  • Place all ingredients in mixing bowl
  • Mix on low until all ingredients are well combined
  • Dough will be a bit stiff and tacky
  • Turn dough on to baking sheet covered with parchment paper or silicone mat

With your hands flatten dough into a rectangle about 1/2” thick, make sure there’s a small mound running down the center of the rectangle and either side tapers down from the center mound.

  • Bake for 30 minutes
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes
  • Using a serrated bread knife slice the rectangle diagonally into 1/2” slices
  • Lay slices cut side down on baking sheet
  • Bake another 10 minutes
  • Turn oven off and leave cookies in the oven for 30 minutes
  • Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Your biscottis are now ready for dunking! Or if you want you can dip them or drizzle them in melted chocolate.

Store in air tight containers, ziplocks work fine. Your can store them at room temperature for weeks or freeze them for longer storage. But whatever you do don’t refrigerate them.

If you freeze them, thaw them out before serving. If they’ve lost their crispness pop them in a 250 degree oven for a few minutes to crisp them up.

Hope you love these biscottis as much as we do!

Click here for more biscotti recipes!

EASY CHOCOLATE ALMOND BISCOTTIS
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Pumpkin Torte

Pumpkin Torte

This beautiful layered cake has a creamy filling with a mild pumpkin flavor and a little spice. It’s quick and always turns out so well. The nuts and caramel topping add a nice finishing touch.

This is a great recipe. Very light and not too sweet with a great pumpkin flavor.

I did use more pumpkin spice than what the instructions states, a little less confectioners sugar, and used no nuts. I had lots of coworkers asking where the recipe came from.

 

Ingredients:

1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin, divided

4 large eggs

1/2 cup 2% milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

Pecan halves, toasted

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
  • Combine cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, eggs, milk, oil and 1 teaspoon pie spice; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium 2 minutes. Transfer to prepared pans.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks; cool completely.
  • Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and the remaining pumpkin and pie spice until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
  • Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with a fourth of the filling. Repeat three times. Drizzle with caramel topping; sprinkle with pecans. Store in refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 476 calories, 24g fat (12g saturated fat), 82mg cholesterol, 367mg sodium, 58g carbohydrate (41g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

 

 

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  At my house this means baking, lots of baking.  I have to make the family’s favorite pies like sweet potato, pecan, and of course pumpkin.  But in a family that has a child who’s allergic to eggs, nuts, and dairy none of these pies will do.  So for my grandson Jett we make a special Vegan Pumpkin Pie.  He loves it!

This Vegan Pumpkin Pie is super easy to make, it contains no dairy or eggs.  We have been making it for Jett every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s something he totally looks forward too.  By the way it’s tasty enough to serve to the whole family so if you don’t want to make 2 types of Pumpkin Pie go ahead and just make this Vegan Pumpkin Pie.  If you don’t tell anyone it’s vegan they might not even notice.  Yes it’s that good!

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

1 15 or 16 oz. can or box Organic pumpkin pumpkin puree

1/2 tsp salt

1 Cup Organic Coconut Milk  –  don’t shake the can before opening, scoop up and use the fat creamy white portion on the top

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 cup Organic Maple Syrup

1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar (you can use cane sugar if you can’t find coconut sugar)

1/4 Cup Cornstarch

1 Unbaked Pie Shell  – homemade or frozen (be sure it’s allergen free)

Directions:

Mix Dry Ingredients except corn starch together and set aside

Mix Pumpkin Puree, coconut milk, and maple syrup together until well blended

Add mixed dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix very well

Sprinkle cornstarch in 2-3 increments over the pumpkin mixture making sure to stir cornstarch into the mixture very well – you don’t want lumps

Pour pumpkin mixture into unbaked pie shell

Bake in a pre-heated 350° oven for about 1 hour or until tester comes out clean

Do not over bake, once tester comes out clean remove from oven and set on the counter, center may still be soft and wobbly when shake, it will set firm as it cools.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.  I serve it with spray canned coconut whipped cream I buy at Safeway next to the Rediwhip.

 


Vegan Pumpkin Pie
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Vegan Pumpkin Pie
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Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Mix Dry Ingredients except corn starch together and set aside
  2. Mix Pumpkin Puree, coconut milk, and maple syrup together until well blended
  3. Add mixed dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix very well
  4. Sprinkle cornstarch in 2-3 increments over the pumpkin mixture making sure to stir cornstarch into the mixture very well - you don't want lumps
  5. Pour pumpkin mixture into unbaked pie shell
  6. Bake in a pre-heated 350° oven for about 1 hour or until tester comes out clean
  7. Do not over bake, once tester comes out clean remove from oven and set on the counter, center may still be soft and wobbly when shake, it will set firm as it cools.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. I serve it with spray canned coconut whipped cream I buy at Safeway next to the Rediwhip.
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Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake

Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake

Sure, classic cheesecake is delicious. But PUMPKIN cheesecake? Now that’s a dessert worthy of your Thanksgiving table. The gingersnap and graham cracker crust are actually genius, and that shimmering layer of caramel is the literal icing on the [cheese]cake. It’s one of our all time favorite pumpkin desserts—and that’s saying something, considering we have over 80 recipes.

 

INGREDIENTS

3/4 c. graham crackers, crushed

3/4 c. gingersnaps, crushed

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2 tbsp. granulated sugar kosher salt

3 (8-oz.) bars cream cheese, softened

1 c. packed light brown sugar

1 c. pumpkin puree

1/4 c. sour cream, at room temperature

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice, plus more for garnish

Warm caramel, for garnish

whipped cream, for garnish

Chopped, toasted pecans, for garnish

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 325° with a rack in the middle position. Grease an 8” springform pan with cooking spray.
2. Make crust: In a large bowl, add cookie and graham cracker crumbs. Stir in butter, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt and mix until well combined. Press crust into bottom of pan.

3. Meanwhile, make cheesecake batter: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined, then beat in flour, pumpkin spice, and ¼ tsp. salt. Pour cheesecake mixture over crust.

4. Double-wrap outside of pan in aluminum foil, making sure to cover the bottom. Place pan in a large baking dish, place the baking dish in the oven, and pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the pan. Bake until only slightly jiggly in center, 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes.

5. With oven door propped open, turn oven off and let cool 1 hour in the oven. Remove from water bath and discard foil, then refrigerate cheesecake until cooled completely, at least 3 hours or overnight.

6. Garnish with a layer of caramel and a few dollops of whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake. Sprinkle all over with pecans and more pumpkin pie spice.

Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake
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Sweet Potato Pie – Old Fashioned Comfort Food

Every year at Thanksgsweet potato pieiving I like to try something new to add to our Thanksgiving dinner menu.  If we like it then it becomes a permanent addition to our traditional meal.

This year my grandson Dion and I decided to try our had at a Southern Thanksgiving meal staple, Sweet Potato Pie.  I’ve never actually had Sweet Potato Pie, but Dion loves it.  He says it’s his favorite pie, specially the way his grandmother from Atlanta makes it.

Sweet Potato Pie is a Southern specialty that can be served instead of or beside the traditional Pumpkin Pie which graces just about everyone’s Thanksgiving dessert table.

So we searched online for a Sweet Potato Pie recipe; we found hundreds!  Each one touting that it was the best of course.  Well we experimented with a couple of different recipes and relied on Dion’s recollections of watching his Southern grandma make her pies.  In the end by tweaking and patching several recipes together we ended up with our own version which turned out quite nicely if I do say so myself.

We’ll share our version of Sweet Potato Pie below, but before we do here are a few things we learned along the way.  It might help you out and save you from making the same mistakes we made.

  1.  Use fresh yams!  Not canned yams preserved in sweet syrup!  Don’t get me started on this, just ask yourself, would your granny use canned yams?  I doubt it!
  2. Use Large RED Yams.  Not white yams, or purple yams, or Okinawan sweet potato.  Just plain old Red Yams!  And before you ask, yes there are many varieties of yams and sweet potatoes in the markets.  So don’t get fancy, keep it simple, RED Yams.
  3. Bake your yams DO NOT boil them!  This saves you from peeling and chopping raw yams.  BTW have you ever tried peeling and chopping raw yams or sweet potatoes?  No?  Well let me tell you peeling and chopping wood might just be easier!  Most importantly baked yams make a better pie filling, it’s not mushy or watery like boiled yams can be.  And you can bake yams for your Sweet Potato Pie up to a week before you actually make your pie.  Still not convinced or it sounds too tedious?  Remember even though it takes an hour to bake the yams it’s actually a hands off hour so you can do something else like making applesauce, doing laundry, or relaxing in the tub.
  4. Baking yams – Place 3 large yams (you wash them first of course) on a parchment covered baking sheet and pop them in a 375° oven.  Bake for 1 hour then remove from oven.  If you are using it to make Sweet Potato Pie right away peel off the skin and mash the yams to make 2 cups of mashed yams then follow the rest of the recipe to make the pie.  If you baked the yams in advance you can either mash it then store the mashed yams in the fridge in an airtight container or place the whole unpeeled yams in a ziplock and refrigerate until you’re ready to mash them for your Sweet Potato Pie.
  5. Just like Pumpkin and pecan pies, a Sweet Potato Pie is considered a custard pie; hence it must have some form of milk or cream.  There are recipes out there that call for milk, cream, or half-and-half; but since it’s a truly Southern specialty you should use canned evaporated milk.  That’s what they used in the Southern states.  Trust me on this you’ll end up with a creamier and smoother Sweet Potato Pie when you use canned evaporated milk.
  6. When you bake your pie pay close attention to the timer.  Test pie before removing from oven.  First nudge the pie – the center of the pie should be slightly softer than the rest of the pie so that it jiggles a bit when nudged.  Then insert a knife or a toothpick at the center – it should come out clean but moist.
  7. Let baked pie stand for about 30 minutes before cutting it.  This will firm it up so sliced don’t fall apart.  Better yet refrigerate the pie overnight then remove from fridge about 30 minutes before serving so it warms up to room temperature.  I like my custard pies cool I feel it brings out the sweetness.

Having said that here’s our recipe:

Ingredients:

2 Large Red Yams – Baked & Mashed to yield 3 cups (see tips for baking instructions)

1  Cup butter – softened

4  Cups Sugar

1 Can Evaporated Milk 12oz.

1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

6  eggs – beaten

1 1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon

2 Unbaked deep dish pie shells – homemade or frozen

Proceedure:

Mix together first 4 ingredients until well blended.

Stir in Vanilla, Eggs, and Cinnamon.

Pour filling into unbaked pie shells.

Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour or until filling is set and/or tester comes out clean but moist.

Let stand at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Garnish and serve with whipped cream if desired.

 

Sweet Potato Pie
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Sweet Potato Pie
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix together first 4 ingredients until well blended.
  2. Stir in Vanilla, Eggs, and Cinnamon.
  3. Pour filling into unbaked pie shells.
  4. Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour or until filling is set and/or tester comes out clean but moist.
  5. Let stand at least 30 minutes before slicing.
  6. Garnish and serve with whipped cream if desired.
Recipe Notes

Baking yams - Place 3 large yams (you wash them first of course) on a parchment covered baking sheet and pop them in a 375° oven.  Bake for 1 hour then remove from oven.  If you are using it to make Sweet Potato Pie right away peel off the skin and mash the yams to make 2 cups of mashed yams then follow the rest of the recipe to make the pie.  If you baked the yams in advance you can either mash it then store the mashed yams in the fridge in an airtight container or place the whole unpeeled yams in a ziplock and refrigerate until you're ready to mash them for your Sweet Potato Pie.

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