Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
So all these easy biscotti all start with this basic formula:
1 cake mix or brownie mix (approx. 19 oz but it seems most cake mixes have been sized down to 15 or 16 oz. Very Annoying! But these recipes will still work with the smaller mixes)
1 C flour (if you have a smaller mix use a scant C of flour)
1/2 C (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
Mix-ins for individual flavors - usually about a cup of chips/nuts plus any flavorings
(I know, I told you they were easy)
Mix all ingredients together with electric mixer on low until everything is well mixed - I usually get it started with the mixer and finish by hand to really get everything in there. The dough should be stiff. Divide in half. Shape into TWO logs and then flatten to make the biscotti shape - I usually press down a little extra to get that classic curved shape that's taller in the middle. I put one log on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat and then flatten.
350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes (until lightly golden brown and firm but not hard).
Let rest on cookie sheets for 10 minutes (leave oven on).
Move to a cutting board and slice on the diagonal and then place back on cookie sheet. I lay then on their sides as the bottoms are usually brown enough.
Bake 10 minutes (still 350). If the side they are laying on got brown enough you can take them out and flip them over at this point.
Turn oven off and let sit in oven for 30 - 40 minutes. I usually do 30 because that's crispy enough for me but if you like them super crispy, feel free to go for it!
So when I first started making these I told myself 30 - 10 - 10 - 30 to help keep the baking straight. A timer is invaluable when you're making these! So some in and out of the oven but nothing too hard. Alright, ready for the individual mix-in's? Good! Here they are:
1 T instant espresso powder (you could also use instant coffee)
1 C chocolate cover toffee bits
Cinnamon Chocolate Chip
chocolate cake mix
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 C chocolate chips
Cinnamon Glaze - melt 1 C cinnamon chips and 1 Tbsp shortening (crisco) together to make glaze or dip for biscotti. Drizzle over (or dip in) and let cool until hard. You can also sub chocolate chips here and make a chocolate glaze.
vanilla cake mix
1/4 C poppyseeds
1 1/2 Tbsp grated orange zest
Orange Glaze - 2 tsp grated orange zest, 5 - 6 Tbsp fresh orange juice, up to 3 C powdered sugar, mix together until thickness you want, drizzle on biscotti and let harden. This also works with lemon or lime too!
vanilla cake mix
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2/3 C finely chopped crystallized ginger (I like Penzey's)
That's it you guys! You add the mix-in with all the other ingredients and just mix it up. Easy peasy yes? YES! You can do it! And I'd love to hear about it if you make some or come up with new flavors!
Tomorrow I tackle (or start to anyway) Sewing Summit! See you then :-)
Sunday, October 7, 2012
If you're looking for a little weekend baking idea these would be perfect! Enjoy
(adapted from 750 Best Muffin Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury)
Sift dry ingredients together in bowl: (when I say sift I mean put in bowl and stir with whisk)
2 C flour
3 tsp. apple pie spice (I use Penzey's)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
Combine wet ingredients and mix till combined:
1/2 C butter, melted
1 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce (I like Trader Joe's)
Mix wet and dry ingredients together until combined - I would say don't over mix but my baking assistant mixed these rather, ahem, vigorously and they were fine ;-) You could also add up to 1 C chopped, toasted pecans at this point if you'd like to. Harper informer me that she doesn't like pecans (naturally) so we left them out.
Bake in paper lined muffin tins - we got 22 muffins (filled about 2/3 and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar on top before baking) 18 - 20 minutes (toothpick should come out clean) at 350 degrees.
Happy baking, happier eating!
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Hey Sewing Summit Peeps! Have you made your zipper pouch for the swap yet? You have all weekend to get one done :-) Here's the one I'm bringing - I cut into the good stuff your you guys! Rapunzel graces this large-ish hoop pouch along with some (more) Aviary 2 and some Sandi Henderson. I figured with all the EPP and hand sewing projects people will be bringing someone might like a bag big enough for a hoop and project pieces. I used the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Hoop Travel Bag pattern if you're interested :-) And there are goodies inside too but I'm leaving those as a surprise!
We will be meeting the large ballroom (where the large lectures will be held) Friday night at 6pm (after the last lecture of the day). Look for me in a corner (probably a back corner) with a sign that says ZIPPER SWAP HERE (original right? ;-). We are going to draw numbers for the swap so it will be random and fair and fun!
Make sure you put a note or card in your pouch so you get the thanks you deserve for playing along.
I'm so looking forward to next weekend - see you in Salt Lake.
Friday, October 5, 2012
You already know I love bags, so of course I made a couple more to (maybe) take to Sewing Summit. I say maybe because a) they aren't Weekender bags, so are they cool enough? and b) I don't like to mix a bunch of patterns (call me crazy) but I like to wear ONE pattern per outfit. So until I decide what clothes I'm packing I won't know which bags either - I figure those decisions will be made about 1 hour before I leave for the airport ;-)
So this is the Kelly Bag from ithinksew - gray corduroy for the exterior and a fun olive green polka dot for the interior. I also made a batch of button pins and added one to this bag. I use a mix of vintage and new buttons and these are just so fun and easy to make. The colors in this one seemed perfect for this bag.
Bag number two is the Mini Flap Purse pattern from Jen Giddens. I'm guessing I'll end up making every bag pattern Jen has created - they're all striking. The exterior on this bag is the Woodgrain fabric from Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2 line. Love this fabric so ridiculously much.
See, told you, I love that yellow as well. Usually more of a green girl but this is just working for me
Does this one need a button pin?
Love this green and orange combo on a coconut shell button (but does it clash with the yellow?).
This one totally goes but does it get lost?
So what do you think, button or no button?
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Hi guys! I have been super busy over here sewing things for Sewing Summit and this is my favorite thing so far, by a LOT. I'm sure you all know Michelle Webster, the lovely lady behind Michelle Patterns (formerly Keykalou). This is her newest pattern - the Idea Pouch.
It holds the jumbo moleskine sketchbook or your iPad - I'm sure it would fit a kindle or nook as well. Then it has all these awesome spots for pens/pencils/etc and a pleated pouch that has room for a camera or phone or wallet or or or. You get the idea :-)
It was a little tricky to get a good shot of the inside but here goes - you could also customize the pen slots for scissors or paintbrushes or whatever strikes your fancy.
I used gray Essex Linen for the exterior and the yellow lining is something I found at Joann's. And I'll warn you now I love that lining so you'll be seeing more of it in the very near future :-)
OK peeps, anyone need a great holiday gift? Get sewing already! You can find the pattern here (as well as a bunch of other great ones, just go look already). Tomorrow - more bags! Shocking I know. Teehee.