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Just a simple gal living on the outskirts of Portland making ends meet. I have lived in Portland for over 20 years and I am happy to call it home. On this blog you will find everything from cooking to my crazy life. I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's Official

Halloween was Friday night marking the official start of the Holiday season. From here on out there will be dinner parties and cocktail parties to attend and all things wintery will be done. I know the store got a jump on things by quickly marking down and taking down Halloween decorations (on Halloween) and putting up Christmas display. In my own simple way I have gotten a jump on some things, other things can just wait. The pumpkin wasn't carved until Halloween for example but...two weeks ago I made a batch of biscotti to see if I liked it enough to make it and give it this Christmas. I love using the people at work and at the BF's work for the purpose of trying out my new recipes, and honestly they don't seem to mind all that much either.
Chocolate Anise Biscotti
In a large bowl cream together 1 stick of unsalted (you could use salted) butter and 3/4 cu. of white sugar.
Add 1 tsp. of ground anise to the butter and sugar.
Add two large eggs one at a time combining after each egg is added.
Then in a separate bowl combine 2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder and 1/4 tsp. of salt (some people like more).
Combine flour with the butter mixture in batches.
Then mix in by hand somewhere between a 1/2 cup and 1 cup of mini semi sweet chocolate chips. I think I added about 2/3 cup.
Flour your counter and make a slightly flattened log 16 in. long and 3 in. wide. Transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet. This is not easy but it can be done. Keep the faith.
Bake log in a 350 degree (preheated) oven for somewhere between 20-30 min. I baked mine for exactly 26 min. and I wish I would have cooked it a little bit less. Cool log for 30 minutes before cutting.
Cut the biscotti diagonally with a sharp serrated knife somewhere between a 1/2 in. and 3/4 in. thick. Place cut side down on a baking sheet.
Back in the oven they go until lightly toasted. Should take about 15 min. but it really depends on your oven and how toasted you want your biscotti. I also turned mine over about halfway through the baking time.
Gently place cookies on wire rack and let cool completely. Everyone really liked these, but next time I need to adjust the time for what I am looking for, and I think I will swap out the Anise for lemon zest and the chocolate chips for dried blueberries.
I would like to thank everyone who helped with donations to Katsu's gofundme page. Katsu is home and doing great. The procedure he had turned up an issue that can not be fixed surgically, so we are left with trying to keep him healthy, happy and infection free. It is going to be a project, but he is worth it right down to the last tiger stripped hair on his bushy tail. He loved being a part of Halloween this year buy gently barking at the few trick or treaters we had.
Had K.B. and Mr. B over for dinner last night good food, good fun, and loads of conversation...perfect evening. I made my Brisket, buttermilk mashed potatoes, my biscuits and spicy, garlicy sauteed green beans. Yup it was delicious. For dessert I made Cannoli Cheesecake the day before. If you try this recipe keep an eye on your baking time. I actually had to bake this 15 min. longer that the recipe calls for...and I may move that up to add ten more min. the next time. Super yummy cheesecake.
Have a great rest of the weekend. I am off for a second cup of coffee and to work on my Thanksgiving greeting cards.

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