Caramel Syrup

After making my Watermelon Sorbet, I had some leftover simple syrup. I had remembered reading about flavored syrups in Annie’s Eats (one of the many baking blogs I follow), and decided that was the perfect way to use up my leftovers. Randomly, I happened to have some caramel sauce in my refrigerator, so clearly this was just meant to be. It’s a great addition to your morning coffee, even if you usually take it black (like I do).

I followed Annie’s directions exactly, but adjusted the amounts of ingredients just a little. Here’s what I did:

Caramel Syrup
Ingredients:
1-1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 cup water
3/4 cups caramel sauce

Directions:
Combine the sugar, water and caramel sauce in a small saucepan.  Heat the mixture over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth.  Remove from the heat and let cool.  Store in the refrigerator.

Note: Shown above with Nonni’s new Salted Caramel Biscotti – YUM!

Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti

Biscotti is one of those things I always thought was too difficult to make. My husband’s stepfather is Italian and told me it’s actually quite easy. So,  I attempted it a couple of years ago, and confirmed that he was correct – it really isn’t that difficult at all. The first biscotti I ever made was a simple almond biscotti. I’m glad I started with that one as it gave me the confidence to continue trying to make other varieties. Next was a peppermint biscotti, dipped in chocolate and rolled in crushed candy canes (what an awesome Christmas treat!).

I was talking to some coworkers about how easy biscotti is to make and sure enough, I got home the other night and decided I needed to make some. I settled on cinnamon sugar – one of my favorite flavor combinations.

I consulted my usual recipe sources and decided to adapt this one from the trusty Allrecipes. With a few small changes, I think this recipe turned out perfectly! The biscotti were crisp on the outside and just a bit softer on the inside. Excellent!

What’s your favorite kind of biscotti?

Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper
  3. Sift together the flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, baking powder and salt – set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, cream together the 2/3 cup sugar and butter. Beat in 1 egg, egg yolk and vanilla.
  5. Gradually add in the dry ingredients.
  6. Divide the dough into two equal parts and roll each piece into a log about 9 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide.
  7. Place logs on the prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly. Brush with egg white.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden and firm to the touch. Cool for 15 minutes.
  9. On a cutting board, slice each log crosswise at a diagonal into 1/2 inch slices, using a serrated knife.
  10. Place back on the baking sheet, cut side down, and sprinkle with a mixture of the remaining cinnamon and sugar. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
  11. Flip your biscotti and sprinkle the other side with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes.
  12. Cool on wire racks, and store in an airtight container.

Peppermint Biscotti

If you’re anything like me, each holiday has its own flavor. Peppermint is the flavor I associate with Christmas, so I usually try to mix it in to whatever I’m baking. This was the case with my red velvet whoopie pies from yesterday.

A few years ago, I discovered this peppermint biscotti recipe. Since my grandma doesn’t like us to get her anything, I usually end up baking her something. She’s a fan of her daily coffee, so what’s better than a sweet treat to accompany that coffee? Exactly, nothing.

Alas, peppermint biscotti was born. I was always intimidated by biscotti, but it’s really quite simple to make. The tricked out version of this biscotti includes a chocolate dip and peppermint pieces on top of that. The simple version is just the biscotti with peppermint pieces mixed in. All versions are delicious – it just depends on how sweet of a treat you’re looking for – whether you want breakfast or dessert.

This has become one of my holiday baking staples. Give it a try! If you’re a peppermint fan, you’ll love it!

Peppermint Biscotti

Yield: 42 biscotti

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup crushed peppermint candy

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extract.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir in peppermint candy.
  3. Gradually add to creamed mixture, beating until blended (dough will be stiff).
  4. Divide dough in half.
  5. On an ungreased baking sheet, roll each portion into a 12-in. x 2-1/2-in. rectangle.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove to wire racks; cool for 15 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a cutting board; cut diagonally with a sharp knife into 1/2-in. slices.
  8. Place cut side down on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.** Biscotti can be finished at this point, or they can be dipped in chocolate and rolled in peppermint pieces. See the following step for the latter. **
  9. In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth.
  10. Dip one end of each cookie in chocolate; roll in candy. Place on waxed paper until set.