SRC: Cantucci (Almond Biscotti)

Sweet, nutty, crisp almond biscotti is a wonderful fall treat. Biscotti always looks so fancy, but only requires a handful of ingredients and comes together in a snap! A great fall treat.

Cantucci - sweet and nutty almond biscotti on thepajamachef.com #src #recipe #secretrecipeclub

This month for Secret Recipe Club I was assigned to a lovely, exotic blog filled with recipes from across the globe! Choosing a recipe from Manu’s Menu was a tough assignment! Manu, an Italian-native lives in Australia with her Indian husband and their adorable children. Did you catch all those countries and all that cuisine? Italy, Australia, India… Manu’s recipes comes from literally ALL over the world–from her homeland(s) and her travels. So fun. Her photography is gorgeous and every recipe seems authentic, delicious, and do-able for any home cook. I’m not sure how she manages this but I’m so impressed. I thought about making tons of recipes, like her Artichoke Frittata, these cute Kitten Chocolate Cookies, Tahini Honey Roasted Cashews, or this refreshing Moroccan Mint Tea. Ultimately [as I usually do when stressed out about making a SRC recipe choice], I consulted Ben and he thought biscotti sounded like a good choice. So biscotti it is… 🙂

Cantucci - sweet and nutty almond biscotti on thepajamachef.com #src #recipe #secretrecipeclub

I think biscotti was a great choice from Manu’s blog. What’s more Italian than crunchy cookies to dip in coffee? But while reading Manu’s blog post with her recipe for biscotti, I learned some interesting facts that I just had to share with you! First of all, what we think of as biscotti is actually called cantucci to signify that they are twice baked. All cookies in Italy are called biscotti [plural, singular is biscotto]. Confusing, right? And traditionally, cantucci are dipped not in coffee but in sweet wine! Huh. I mentioned this to Ben and he was like, hmmm, a new sort of communion? Haha! I hope that’s not too sacrilegious to say online but it was just too funny not to share. 🙂 I can’t attest to how these taste dipped in wine, but in coffee… let me just say they are FABULOUS!

Cantucci - sweet and nutty almond biscotti on thepajamachef.com #src #recipe #secretrecipeclub

These almond biscotti, err--cantucci–are sweet, crunchy, and a lovely treat to make even a weekday morning more special. I love it whenever we have biscotti on hand, since they last for a couple weeks on the counter and also freeze well. #treatsfordays Thanks, Manu, for a great recipe! Enjoy!

Cantucci - sweet and nutty almond biscotti on thepajamachef.com #src #recipe #secretrecipeclub

one year ago: Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls
two years ago: Autumnal Muffins
three years ago: Iced Tea with Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup
four years ago: Honey Fig Scones
five years ago: Citrus Tilapia

Cantucci (Almond Biscotti)

  • Servings: 48
  • Time: 90 minutes
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from Manu’s Menu

Ingredients:

  • 10.5 ounces whole almonds – or a generous 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 10.5 ounces sugar
  • 5.25 ounces butter, melted
  • 2 cups/500 grams flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract [or vanilla]
  • egg and milk, for brushing – optional

Directions:

Toast almonds in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 3-4 minutes, or on the stovetop. Or you can take the easy way out and buy toasted and sliced almonds like me. 🙂 Set aside, and leave oven on. Line a large baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Then, place eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat with whisk attachment until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in melted butter, then slowly beat in flour and baking powder with paddle attachment on low speed. Fold in almond extract and toasted almonds.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and gently knead dough to form a ball. Dough will be sticky, so flour your hands too. Divide dough into two equal parts, then roll each ball into a long log and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush with an egg/milk mixture, if desired. I forgot to do this!

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the top is just getting golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for about 20 minutes, then slice into thin strips and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Reduce oven temperature to 340 degrees F, then bake for 20 minutes or until crisp on each side, flipping halfway through.

Cool completely, then eat by dipping in beverage of choice–coffee, milk, tea, or cocoa. Mmm!

For more great Secret Recipe Club recipes, check out the link below!

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Chewy Ginger Cookies

These chewy ginger cookies are filled with molasses, warm spices, and lots of love! Don’t let the Christmas plate fool you… your family will love these cookies year round! 

Chewy Ginger Cookies | thepajamachef.com

My mom started making these cookies when I was in high school, and over the years they have been called many, many names [aside from delicious]. Ginger cookies, big soft ginger cookies, harvest ginger cookies, harvest cookies… so when I decided to make them this Christmas season, I didn’t know what to call them. Ultimately, the descriptive title won out: Chewy Ginger Cookies. These cookies are unmistakably gingery and SUPER chewy. I have to admit that since they’re a fairly basic cookie I didn’t immediately think of making them for Christmas. But recently, a family friend messaged me on Facebook for the recipe and BOOM! They popped into my head and just wouldn’t leave. 🙂

Chewy Ginger Cookies | thepajamachef.com

I altered this recipe a little from the original: namely, I made them about half the size as the recipe calls for. I don’t remember how big my mom used to make them but these were plenty large for us… plus you get double the amount of cookies. Enough for BOTH of our families. 🙂 Score! Since we were seeing our families different weeks, I put half the cookies in the freezer and was pleasantly surprised that they retained their chewiness despite a stint in the freezer. Perfect!

Chewy Ginger Cookies | thepajamachef.com

Though these cookies are pretty simple, they taste pretty amazing. I meant to share this recipe before Christmas but alas. You’ll just have to tolerate a Christmas plate in January, alright? Be sure to enjoy these cookies soon! They’re amazing with a glass of milk or a cup of tea. Mmm! Enjoy!

one year ago: Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac
two years ago: Chicken Tinga Tacos
three years ago: Crockpot Cran-Apple Sauce
four years ago: Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Chewy Ginger Cookies

  • Servings: 48 cookies
  • Time: 75 minutes
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from Better Homes and Gardens

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups butter or shortening, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cups coarse sugar or regular sugar

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar and beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses to combine. Slowly add in flour mixture, as much as possible with the mixer. Finish mixing in the rest with a wooden spoon.

At this point, dough can be shaped and baked or refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. If desired, line baking sheets with parchment or a silpat. Roll dough in 2 tablespoon sized balls [approximately 35 grams/1.25 ounces], then roll in coarse sugar. Place 2 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until puffy and light brown. Do not overbake. If desired, rotate pans halfway through baking [front to back and top to bottom] and allow baking sheets to cool before baking the next batch.

Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

 

Mystery Dish: Spiced Biscotti with Eggnog Glaze

Delicious spiced biscotti with some holiday cheer in the eggnog glaze! Mmmm!

Spiced Biscotti with Eggnog Glaze | thepajamachef.com #mysterydish

Merry Monday after Christmas! No, really. Merry Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful day with family and friends. We were on the sunny beaches of Florida… an absolutely perfect destination Christmas with my parents and sister and brother-in-law. So much FUN!! Except for when my phone took a tumble in the ocean on Christmas day. So, so sad. I got a new phone [woohoo]; fortunately my old phone was about 1 1/2 years old. Now we’re back in Tennessee, back to reality, kinda sorta. Ben and I both have another week off… and I can’t wait! I forsee lots of reading, kitty snuggles, and relaxing in my immediate future. Aside from popping in today to share this biscotti recipe for Mystery Dish, I don’t know if I’ll be blogging much til after the new year. But we will see! 🙂

Spiced Biscotti with Eggnog Glaze | thepajamachef.com #mysterydish

Anyways, I made these biscotti last week before heading to Florida for Mystery Dish. The lovely Colleen from The Smart Cookie Cook was our host. She gave us a GREAT list of ingredients to work with, including:

  1. White Chocolate
  2. Peppermint Bark
  3. Muenster cheese
  4. Eggnog
  5. Canned biscuits
  6. Nutmeg
  7. Browned butter
  8. Cherry tomatoes
  9. Spinach
  10. Roasted Garlic
  11. Vanilla ice cream
  12. Cream cheese

Spiced Biscotti with Eggnog Glaze | thepajamachef.com #mysterydish

These biscotti are made with three of the above ingredients: eggnog, nutmeg, and white chocolate. Let’s start with the biscotti: aside from allll the lovely spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, I also added some sliced almonds and some chopped white chocolate. Tiny sliced almonds + chocolate = lotsa small pieces in each bite. Small pieces also makes slicing the biscotti easier after its initial bake.

Spiced Biscotti with Eggnog Glaze | thepajamachef.com #mysterydish

After the biscotti baked and cooled, I finished it off with a super simple eggnog glaze. It was just eggnog and powdered sugar. Easy as pie! 🙂 We have been enjoying our biscotti over the past week or so with coffee, tea, and even hot cocoa! They’re a fun treat to an already fun season. Hope you enjoy, and be sure to check out other recipes from this month’s edition of Mystery Dish!

one year ago: Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa
two years ago: White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies
three years ago: Classic Sugar Cookies
four years ago: Cranberry Scones

Spiced Biscotti with Eggnog Glaze

  • Servings: 16
  • Time: 60 minutes
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biscotti from Bon Appetit; glaze from Cupcake Project

Ingredients:

for biscotti

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips, chopped [measure then chop]

for glaze

  • 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup eggnog

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.

With an electric mixer, beat egg and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in brandy and vanilla, beating to combine. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Slowly mix in flour mixture into egg mixture. Fold in almonds and white chocolate.

Spoon batter onto baking sheet. With wet hands, shape into a 2 by 10 inch log.

Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown, then remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

Transfer biscotti to a cutting board and slice into 1/3 inch pieces. Return pieces to baking sheet, then bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven. Biscotti will continue to harden as it cools.

When cool, whisk together powdered sugar and eggnog in a small bowl. Brush or drizzle onto biscotti and let glaze set. When set, brush or drizzle on a second layer if desired.

Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Check out what else my Mystery Dish pals made this month! 

Brown Butter Eggnog Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze from Flavor the Moments

Brown Butter Nutmeg Melted Ice Cream Cupcakes from The Sweet {Tooth} Life

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies from I Dig Pinterest

Creamy Chicken Pasta Skillet from Simply Gloria

Peppermint Bark Milkshake from The Smart Cookie Cook

Roasted Garlic, Spinach & Tomato Whole Wheat Pizza from Yummy Healthy Easy

Spiced Biscotti with Eggnog Glaze from The Pajama Chef

Spinach and Tomato Quiche with Whole Wheat Crust from The Well Floured Kitchen

Spinach, Tomato & Roasted Garlic Flatbread from Inspiration Kitchen

White Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Blondies from Culinary Couture

 

 

 

 

SRC Cookie Carnival: Orange Spritz

Cute little crisp, buttery Spritz cookies are the perfect addition to your cookie plate this Christmas season! This version has an orange twist for a bit of freshness! 

Orange Spritz | thepajamachef.com

It’s always more fun to make cookies at Christmastime, don’t you think? This year for the Secret Recipe Club we are celebrating all things COOKIES by having a fun little cookie carnival.

2014 SRC Cookie Carnival | thepajamachef.com

 

For this event I was asked to make one of Marsha’s recipes from her blog, The Harried Cook. Marsha is a mom of two girls who loves Jesus too! She lives in India with her family and from glancing at her Twitter, I learned that she teaches cooking classes. How fun! 🙂

Orange Spritz | thepajamachef.com

Marsha’s girls love these Orange Spritz cookies–both the eating, and the making. I remember eating Spritz cookies every Christmas growing up… and truthfully, they weren’t my favorite cookies. But as an adult I have given them another chance. They’re so delicate and light, the perfect accompaniment to tea or coffee or even a richer cookie treat. I almost made Marsha’s Lime and Pepper Cookies because they sounded so interesting, so you might want to check that recipe out too!

Orange Spritz | thepajamachef.com

But back to these cookies. This was my first time making Spritz cookies on my own and it was kinda fun, once I got the hang of my cookie press. By “me getting the hang of it” I clearly mean me desperately calling for Ben to come help because I could NOT figure out the instructions. It didn’t help that I have an Italian cookie press and the [oddly] translated instructions are spread out over several pages. Cookie press problems aside, the results were awesome. Thanks, Marsha for the great recipe! Merry Christmas!

Orange Spritz | thepajamachef.com

four years ago: Cranberry Sauce Two Ways

Orange Spritz

  • Servings: about 2 dozen medium cookies
  • Time: 35 minutes
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from The Harried Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or a silpat.

With a mixer, cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in salt and the egg yolk until just combined. Add vanilla and orange zest, then beat again. Stir in flour.

Fill your cookie press and press out according to the cookie press’ instructions, placing on baking sheets approximately 1 inch apart.

Bake for about 8-12 minutes, until edges are golden brown. The original recipe said baking time might be about 6 minutes, but mine was definitely about 12.

Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


Check out other cookie recipes here:

Mystery Dish: Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies

Fudgy chocolate cookies made with greek yogurt! They’re strangely amazing! 🙂

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies | thepajamachef.com

Happy Mystery Dish Day! I know it’s Black Friday, but I refuse to brave the crowds and face American consumerism head-on. No material item is worth that craziness. Ugh, I’m not a crowds person at all. Just give me a good book, some tea, and a yummy snack like popcorn or cookies and I’m happy. And these cookies are AWESOME. They’re the perfect book-reading, movie-watching, game-playing companion. Super rich and chocolately with lots of tart cranberries and mini chocolate chips mixed in.

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies | thepajamachef.com

These Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies were a fun way to use up some ingredients that were selected by our hostess, Rebecca from Living Better Together. She asked us to make something amazing with at least three of the following ingredients: Hazelnuts, Pork Belly, Dark Chocolate, Cranberries, Bourbon, Red Potatoes, Pimento Cheese, Ginger, Yogurt, French Bread, Buckwheat, and Rice Krispies. I honestly don’t remember how I came up with the idea of making greek yogurt cookies, but a little googling later I realized they were actually a thing!

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies | thepajamachef.com

One fun element about them besides how awesome they taste is that they’re also made with no butter or oil… perfect for those times when you don’t have any on hand but want a cookie or when you’re trying to eat a lil healthier. Like after Thanksgiving, haha. I hope you had a great day celebrating with family and friends, btw!

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies | thepajamachef.com

I’m not going to lie–these cookies don’t have that soft and chewy texture of most addictive cookies. These cookies are soft and puffy, not quite muffin tops but close. What they lack in chewiness they make up for in flavor. I used both dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate in them [dark chocolate cocoa powder and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips], but you could certainly mix and match based on your tastes. I hope you enjoy them, and be sure to check out what my friends made for you too!

one year ago: Harvest Pear Crisp with Crystallized Ginger
two years ago: Teriyaki Meatball Bowls
three years ago: Thai Peanut Ginger Wings
four years ago: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Sauce 

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies

  • Servings: 36
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print

from Give Recipe

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8-12 ounces plain greek yogurt [I used nonfat but 2% or whole milk yogurt is also great]
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder [like Hershey’s Special Dark]
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.

In a large bowl, whisk egg, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 8 ounces plain greek yogurt together. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture, adding up to another 4 ounces of greek yogurt if necessary if it’s too thick to stir. I used another 2 ounces but 4 seemed like too much. Fold in almost all of the chocolate chips and cranberries, reserving a few tablespoons to press on the top before baking.

Scoop cookie dough out [it will be thick] with a cookie dough scoop or two spoons. Place about 1-2 inches apart on baking sheets. They don’t spread so you can put them fairly close together. Since dough is so thick, it’s easiest to use multiple pans and scoop it all out at once. Afterwards, press down on tops of dough balls gently with a spoon, then dot with a few cranberries or chocolate chips.

Bake for 10 minutes, then cool on baking sheets a few minutes before cooling on a wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt while hot if desired.

 

See what other Mystery Dish gals made this month:

Gluten Free Chocolate Bourbon Hazelnut Cake from Living Better Together

Turtle Krispies Treats from I Dig Pinterest

Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cookies from The Pajama Chef

Chewy Chocolate Hazelnut Granola Bars from I Want Crazy

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut English Toffee from Flavor the Moments

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cranberry Buttercrunch from Inspiration Kitchen

Skinny Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Hazelnut Fudge from Joyful Healthy Eats

Cranberry Hazelnut Crepe Cake from Blahnik Baker

Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Rice Krispie Treats from The Smart Cookie Cook

Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes with Hazelnut Cookie Crust from The Well Floured Kitchen

Salted Hazelnut Scotcheroos from Yummy Healthy Easy