So . . . I decided that I would share a couple of easy recipes with you that I got from the side of a box and the food section of a newspaper so long ago that I can't remember when. But for years now I've used them and modified them and every year my kids -- and now grandkids -- and I make them whether we're together or apart.
Hope you'll give them a try if they sound appealing to you!
Cranberry & White Chocolate Biscotti
- 1 package cranberry quick bread mix (take your pick of brand) or you can make the dough from your favorite biscotti recipe and just add the other stuff. I go the quick route myself
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs, beaten (but not within an inch of their lives)
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips -- whatever brand you can find. Some are marketed as vanilla chips. Um, no.
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds (I have dyslexia when it comes to almonds. I can't remember which are slivered and which are sliced. But logically you don't want the flat ones which seem sliced to me, you want the other ones. Unless you don't like the same kind I do. Suit yourself)
- extra flour as needed
- powdered sugar
Combine the bread mix, melted butter and eggs, stirring them together (but again, not beating them to a pulp. Go gently here).
Work in enough flour that you can handle the dough without it sticking to your hands. Make a ball of the dough and cut it in half. Shape each half into a sort of flat loaf-like shape about 9" long and 3-4" wide. It should be maybe half an inch thick. Set both loaves on the cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. They spread. Make sure you have enough room.
Bake the loaves at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until light brown. Don't overbake. Removed from the oven and let cool at least 15 minutes. Go walk the dogs or write a page. Then come back and go to the next step.
Turn the oven down to 250. Cut the loaves into slices about 3/4" thick. Separate the slices on the sheet so that they are not touching, but leave them all upright. If you need another cookie sheet in order to give them space, use one.
Then put them back in the oven and go for another walk or go write several pages and come back at least half an hour later. If they are golden brown and looking crisp, they're ready. If not, leave them in longer. Go write some more. Go read a good book. Turn the oven off and let them sit there. Come back sometime and get them out and let them cool. This is an inexact science. If you like them really crispy leave them in the oven longer. If you want them slightly chewy, take them out sooner. When they are cool, dust them with powdered sugar.
If you think you'd like more cranberries than are in the quick bread mix, you can add dried or chopped fresh cranberries. The dried are probably better in terms of keeping the crisp dry texture. It depends on what texture you prefer.
Cranberry Cookies with Orange Frosting
These are seriously ambrosial if you are fond of cranberries and oranges. If not, go find some chocolate.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 tsp grated orange peel
- 2 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 egg
Then stir in:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups chopped cranberries (this is the annoying part. Chopping cranberries is one of my least favorite activities, so you know these have to be worth the effort of chasing cranberries all over the kitchen as they roll off the cutting board. No, I don't have a food processor. If you do, you'll like these even better.)
Bake 12-14 minutes. These get done fast, but you can't take them out too early or they simply crumble (but crumbs of course are calorie free, so there is an upside). Cool them on wire racks at least 30 minutes. Go write some more. Go jog. If you're going to eat very many of these you're going to want to work out in order to feel entitled to them.
When they are cool, frost them with a mixture of:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
- enough orange juice to make a soft spreadable frosting.
It's making me hungry just writing this. But I can't indulge until next week. Not until the revisions are gone.
What are some of your favorite holiday recipes? You don't have to give me all the ingredients -- just name some.
The one that makes my tastebuds leap up and head for the kitchen will win a copy of my January release, Antonides' Forbidden Wife -- in which PJ actually does cook for Ally, but they eat fresh pineapple for dessert. Sadly, not a cranberry in sight.
You can read an excerpt by clicking on the link.