It’s pretty darn cold this morning! The weather blog says 2 but it looks like 3 or 4 on my thermometer. With most of the carpet gone Gwen and Winnie have begun getting into bed with us at night. Gabby just isn’t that sort of cat and she’d rather sleep on the computer chair no matter what. Of course, Gabby has just a wee bit more fur than the other two and the luxury of a double coat as well.
I worked on Christmas gifts yesterday and made another batch of divinity as well as these biscotti. I started making these three or four years ago and it’s become a tradition in our house to make them at Christmas. They don’t get super hard and crunchy like store bought, maybe I should cook them a bit longer on the second bake.
Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup boiling water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sanding sugar
Preheat oven to 375 F. Place cranberries in a small bowl and add 1/2 cup boiling water, or enough to cover. Let stand until cranberries are plump, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, beating on low, until fully combined. Stir in the drained cranberries and pistachios.
Remove dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide in two. Roll each piece into a 2 x 18 inch long log and place on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between logs. Flatten logs slightly with palm of hand. In a small bowl, lightly beat remaining egg. Brush logs with beaten egg and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack until warm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Place logs on a cutting board and cut crosswise on the diagonal into 3/4 inch pieces. Return biscotti to baking sheet, cut side down. Bake until biscotti are beginning to brown around the edges, about 12 minutes more. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
For dinner last night I made chicken chili and it simmered while we put the lights on our Christmas tree. As when cooking with wine, use a beer that you would drink as you can definitely taste the beer in the finished chili. Jason wished for sour cream as a topping but we didn’t have any.
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 pound ground white meat chicken
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup barley
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bottle of beer
2 cups veggie stock
1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 can small redi beans, drained
1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese, 8 ounces
1 avocado, diced and sprinkled with lime juice
Heat the olive oil over high heat in a Dutch oven. Add the chicken followed
closely by the onions and garlic. When the onions are soft add the remaining
ingredients except for the cheese and avocados and simmer, with occasional stirring,
uncovered for about 30 minutes or until the barley is cooked. Serve topped with
cheese and avocado.