Lemon Curd Poppy Seed Biscotti

Last week I was eyeing a jar of lemon curd from Trader Joes I was given over the holidays. Imported from England and authentic – how fancy!  I wanted to create a recipe after realizing that the jar’s main ingredients were found your standard basic biscotti recipe already. I made two different versions.

Round 1: Lemon Curd Poppy Seed Biscotti with Walnuts

Ingredients:

1 cup of sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbs. poppy seeds

3 tbs. lemon curd

¾ cup ground walnuts

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ Kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat eggs and sugar. Add vanilla, seeds, curd and ground walnuts. Add flour, baking powder and salt.  Bake for 12-15 minutes. Flip logs and bake for another 12-15 minutes.

Take logs out and push the oven temp down to 325 degrees F. Let the logs cool for 10 minutes and then using a serrated knife cut on a diagonal into ½ inch slices.  Place the slices cut side down back on your baking pans and place back in the oven to cook for a further 10- 20 minutes or until they are lightly browned.

Recipe was adapted from here.

NOTES:

Dough worked but was slightly dry. If it’s too hard for you work with, add another egg or spray your hands with PAM when forming the log. Or maybe all of this would be solved from my results below.

RESULTS:

Flipping the entire log ½ through baking was a decision I made through pure curiosity. It gave all sides an even crunch.  (Like a crunch you would get from a perfectly grilled sandwich.) Between the two versions I made, this recipe was favorite.  My co-worker Sara said she would add a tablespoon of lemon peel. She also said she would have drizzled some type of icing on top. I may try that next time, but one thing is for sure… the double-baked log is here to stay.

Round 2: Lemon Curd Poppy Seed Biscotti

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

4 eggs

1/3 cup lemon curd

2 tsp vanilla

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour

2 tbsp poppy seeds

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat the butter on high for half a minute and add the sugar.  Mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl.  Add the eggs and curd.  Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds. Mix until dough forms.

Make four 7 x 2 inch logs and place on a pans lined with parchment. Bake for 22-25 minutes.

Let the logs cool for 10 minutes and then using a serrated knife cut on a diagonal into ½ inch slices.  Place the slices cut side down back on your baking pans and place back in the oven to cook for a further 10 minutes or until they are lightly browned.

Recipe was adapted from here. This recipe is doubled from the original recipe.

NOTES:

I loved working with this dough. It held up great in all the steps.

RESULTS:

These went over well with the co-workers. My DH also said these were his favorite. Next time I’ll add: 1 more tablespoon of the seeds and grate 1-2 lemons.  The lemon curd smell was really strong when I put it in the dough, but I think the citrus kick was slightly lost when baking.

On to the next kitchen adventure…

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Biscotti

I saw. I baked. Most importantly… I conquered.

I have to give it to the King Arthur Flour Company: Jammy Bits = brilliant.  They have the texture of a gummy bear yet the true taste of your favorite jelly.  In fact, I wish gummy bears would taste this good.

This weekend I combined these tiny bits of glory with a peanut butter base. I made two batches and tweaked two different recipes.  Here was the breakdown:

Round 1

RECIPE: Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jam Biscotti

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

5 to 6 large eggs

¾ cup or 1 cup of Jammy Bits

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, peanut butter and sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Blend in the vanilla.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed between additions.  With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Stir in the Jammy Bits until evenly distributed.

Divide the dough in half.  Shape into logs on the prepared baking sheet, about 11- by 3-inches in size, spacing at least 3 inches apart.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven change the temperature to 325˚ F.  Let the logs cool for 10 minutes.  Slice the logs diagonally into slices about ½- to ¾-inch thick.  Lay the slices, cut side down, on the baking sheet.  Bake, turning once, until the slices are slightly crisp, about 30 minutes or more.   Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.   Let set before serving.

Recipe was adapted from here.

NOTES:

This recipe originally called for just three eggs. But the dough was too crumbly for me to work with. I ended up making 3 logs and adding an egg to each log to help me form it better. It was messy. Next time, I’ll add the extra eggs earlier. Also, I would put in ¾ cups of the Jammy Bits verses 1 cup.  I felt like the jam/dough ratio had slightly hurt the structure of the cookie which made flipping them during the second bake a very delicate process.

RESULTS:

Despite my fight with the dough, I loved these. My husband took them to work and texted me just to say how good they were. They are softer than your average biscotti and overall the flavor felt balanced.

Round 2

RECIPE: Peanut Butter and Blueberry Jam Biscotti

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup Jammy Bits

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, sugars, egg, egg whites and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture and Jammy Bits to the peanut butter mixture and stir until combined.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface, divide in half, and shape each piece into an 8-inch long log. Place the logs 2 to 3 inches apart on cookie sheet and flatten each into a rectangle that is about 3 inches wide. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm and starting to crack on top. Place on wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 275.
Place logs on cutting board. Cut each into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick slices with a sharp serrated knife. Place biscotti cut side down on the cookie sheet. Return them to the oven for 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 15 minutes.

Recipe was adapted from here.

NOTES:

This really was the perfect mix to work with. Clean up was way easier.

RESULTS:

This more traditional butter-less recipe is crispy and chewy. Just perfect for dunking. I forgot to turn down the oven in the second bake, but it didn’t hurt the taste.

So now the question is… how can you get your hands on Jammy Bits? Here!

The Sweet Spots

On to the next kitchen adventure… Nom, nom, nom.

BTW- Did you notice my photography just became much more interesting? We had a camera upgrade (thankfully).  I’ll try to stop from using my iPhone moving forward. 🙂

Cherry + Ginger = Tonight’s Dessert!

Our good friends came over last weekend (and spoiled us greatly with some of the best restaurants around town! ).
They both have unique health diets. One is lactose intolerant. Other is allergic to shellfish, bananas, and some types of mushroom.
And me in trying out my vegetarian ways… it’s somewhat challenging in the kitchen to cook for all of us.

I feel bad. I meant to cook or bake for them while they were here but I wasn’t finding the creative energy. I found it today though. Here is something I tried out.

I wanted to marry two of my favorite sweet flavors. Ginger and Maraschino Cherries.
I love how ginger refreshes everything it touches.  I love the color and texture and taste of a maraschino cherry.  True story… I once ate an entire bowl of Maraschino cherries when I was young. I just love them.

Ingredients I used:

½ cup of water
Handful of dried cherries
2 tablespoons: Crystallized Ginger
6 oz of Maraschino Cherries (drained and diced)
2 teaspoons: cinnamon
Pillsbury® Refrigerated Pie Crust
Blackberry Jam
Handful of pistachio nuts- (chopped in little bits)
Optional:
Whipping cream (1 cup)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 teaspoons of sugar

This is how I put it together:
Take one piecrust out. Add a little flour to your cutting board. Cut out two decent sized squares, or triangles.

Spray a muffin top pan and preheat the oven to 375.  Lay the shapes over the muffin top indentations. With left over dough, reroll into one piece and continue to cut pieces. I think 4 shapes = 1 piecrust.

Take Blackberry Jelly and put at least a tablespoon in the middle.
Take minced nuts at sprinkle on top of jelly.

In small saucepan add ½ cup of water and handful of dried cherries. Add crystallized ginger and bring to boil. Add cinnamon. Stir and watch. After a couple of minutes once it looks like cherries are soaking up juices- turn off.

On a cutting board take drained maraschino cherries and dice up. Drain ginger- cherry mix and chop and mix with the maraschino cherries. Put a whole scoopful on over the nuts and jam.

Bring corners of dough together and pinch closed (might need a little water to keep closed.

Put into oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Optional: While baking- take heavy cream and whip it up in the kitchen aid. Add a dash of vanilla and a couple teaspoons of sugar. With take a few minutes to turn into whipped cream. (Helpful if bowl is cold like cream).

little and cute and full of flavor! :D

little and cute and full of flavor! 😀

To Serve:
If you made the whipping cream- put a big spoonful in the middle of the plate. Place mini-pie on top.  Sprinkle with cherries and nuts.

Lot’s of fun! The ginger popped out just the way I wanted it to! The nuts prevented it from seeming too sweet. Probably could be turned into a big pie… but the small pies are fun for presentation.

Ginger + Cherry = Happy Me

Ginger + Cherry = Happy Me

The Reaction?
I thought this was lot’s of fun! The ginger popped out just the way I wanted it to! The nuts prevented it from seeming too sweet. Probably could be turned into a big pie… but the small pies are fun for presentation.

When the hubby ate it (w/o the whipped cream)- he said it was a unique hybrid of a cherry pie and an Arabic dessert that his grandmother used to make (sounds like coal lay cha). Pretty good for not having any recipes or cook books in front of me. ☺