Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Biscotti and Christmas memories!

How does your Christmas look like this year? Have you put up a tree and decorations? We did put up a tree late November. Even though its been days we have had the decorated tree in the living room, I still like to go sit by its side and admire each bell, balls etc. hanging on it.... with the Xmas songs in the background. Ahhh.... I have always loved this season.



As kids, my brother and me used to put up a Xmas crib and a tree. The planning and preparations start by beginning of December - growing wheat in small boxes, making of small huts, bullock carts, rocks for the waterfalls, collecting the dry hay from fruit vendors to make the manger, hunting for sand to make the roads in the crib, etc... These then formed the little details that go in to making a Xmas crib. In the middle of all these we would have to bare a test series in school ( I always though it to be killing the Xmas spirit for us kids :( ). But we would be done with it by the 22nd. Then we would have Xmas carols that go all through midnight....go help to put up the decorations at church... the midnight mass...It all gets nostalgic and these memories do come back to me every Xmas.




I have never felt the same feel of Xmas after I left the small township in M.P. that I grew up in. These days everything is more about ready made stuff that hardly anyone spends time in making it all by themselves. When I asked my school going cousins if they have put up a crib or a tree, my uncle sadly said that these days the kids are so much into internet and they find more fun in liking the pics of crib that others have put up on FB rather than make it. Also people fear to go for midnight mass for the fear of thieves breaking in during that time. So its all about having food with family and watching the Xmas special movies that run in TV. 




Oops...did I just kept rambling about these stuff and put you to sleep... Sorry, I got carried away a bit. Let us talk about Biscotti. Its a perfect snack to munch on. I have always made it during long road trips because of the ease in making it when you have many more things to work on for the trip. Try it and serve it to your family and friends visiting you this season and tell me if you liked it.



Ingredients
  1. 2/3 cups of granulated white sugar
  2. 2 large eggs
  3. 1 tsp pf pure vanilla extract
  4. 1 tsp pf baking powder
  5. 1/4 tsp pf salt
  6. 1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
  7. 3/4 cup of raisins
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F or 177 C.
  • In a bowl, beat the sugar and eggs on high speed until it gets fluffy. Now beat in the vanilla extract.
  • In another bowl, add the sifted all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk it well to distribute them evenly. Now add it to the egg mixture and beat it until they combine.
  • Using a spatula, fold in the raisins. 
  • Flour your kitchen counter top and transfer the dough on to it. Roll it into a log shape about 12 inches long, 3 inches wide and 1 inch in thickness. 
  • Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake it for about 25 minutes, until it is firm to touch but still not cooked completely.
  • Remove it from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes to cool down a little. 
  • Turn down the oven temperature to 325 F.
  • Now place the dough log on to a cutting board to slice it into biscotti of about 1/2 inch thickness.
  • Line them on the baking sheet and bake it for 8-10 minutes. Turn the slices over and then bake it again for another 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove it from the oven and let it cool before you store it in air tight containers.
Tips
  1. Do not over bake the biscotti. It should just get cooked. If you over bake them, it might get hard to take a bite.
  2. The original recipe calls in for pistachios and cranberries. I used raisins in this batch of Biscotti. You could try out any other dry fruit of your choice.



Recipe courtesy : Adapted from Joy of Baking

19 comments:

  1. the biscotti looks so crispy and good... lovely snaps... actually speaking, celebrations when young were always better, today's generation are deprived of all those good old things...

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    Replies
    1. Thank u dear....exactly, this generation seems to be missing so many things.

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  2. Biscottis look lovely... I dont know why, when I see the pics in ur Blog, I always get the smell. Strange huh ;-) Lights from the christmas tree, stars and crib gives a very special feeling. Wish you n family a Merry Christmas Anupa :-)

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    Replies
    1. He he....athentha smile'inde rahasyam ? Wishing u too a happy christmas

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    2. Hehe Not smile dear... "Smell"

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    3. Now I am sure, I need to get my eyes checked :P

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  3. Lovely biscotti and nice photography . I like that knitted cloth . Merry Christmas to you and family ...

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  4. Merry christmas dear :-) We to had our tree up by end November... Biscotti looks delish!

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    Replies
    1. Thank u Rekha....Actually after u had put up the pics of ur Xmas decorations, I was inspired to pull out our Xmas tree and got it done :)

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  5. Perfectly baked Anupa ! Merry Christmas to u and ur family !

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  6. I so love biscotti yet always lazy to bake them at home. yours look fabulous. hope you had a great Christmas.

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  7. hey dear..it was nice to read about your childhood Christmas...we so well can assocaite much to it...walking to the nearby field to cut grass straightwith its roots in patches to make up for the base of the crib....cutting branches of trees, painting the whole of it in white paint and sticking cotton all round to get the snow effect....me too can go on n on..saying abt Xmas..:) The biscottis are soo perfect ! lovely

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  8. This has been on my list to bake for months, thanks for reminding me… looks so crunchy

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  9. Lovely ..Nice .happy new year 2014:)

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  10. Ur christmas memories is bringing some Christmas memories to me too.. Since i lived in Kochi for many years I have seen the vibrant christmas celbartions. we used to get invited to friends house for christmas feast and some of my friends in Fort Kochi has this tadition of making Manger..it was sooo beautiful !! At my house we used to put a christmas star every year :) BTW Biscotti looks nice, this year I got biscotti as an edible gift from Suchi( blogger ) and I was enjoying it with my cup of tea, sadly its all gone now.

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  11. hello Anupa! your blog has been nominated for libster award! Pls do collect it :) Do comment back so that I know u got the whole thing right!
    Follow the link below
    http://sweets-n-spices.blogspot.in/2014/01/my-3rd-award-and-nominees.html

    ReplyDelete

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