Christmas is Coming!

There has been a noticeable lack of blogging in my world lately. I can only attribute that to longer work hours, a busy summer, and a more tired me.

Hopefully, now that the season has turned to colder temperatures and “cocooning” weather, I’ll have more time and inclination to sit down and blog.

All this is not to say I haven’t been baking and cooking. Believe me, I have! A lot! Last month, I finally got my dream machine, a Kitchen Aid Pro 550plus mixer and I am in heaven! I love this machine!

Anyway, now that Christmas is close on the horizon, I’ve been busy each weekend sampling new recipes, deciding which will become favourites and which are somewhat “meh”. There are more than a few keepers, I’m happy to say.

In today’s post, I won’t be posting a recipe but I will post a few links to recipes we’ve decided are keepers.

First off, have you ever had Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps? Lesley Stowe is out of Vancouver and her crisps are available in most higher end grocery stores in Canada. I understand they’re also becoming more popular in some American stores (Whole Foods markets, I do believe). They’re a tasty little treat, a crisp bread; in the stores, a 6 oz. package sells for around $7.00. Not cheap! They are, however, incredibly simple to make.

Julie, of Dinner with Julie, has come up with a recipe that almost exactly replicates the Rosemary Raisin Pecan Raincoast crisps. I am sure that once you try them, you’ll agree that they’re awesome. I know they go over really well when I take them to work. (I’ll be baking up some more of these today.) Making them couldn’t be easier and they’re a great make-ahead crisp. They’re best baked in mini loaf pans, then frozen. Once frozen, they’re easy to cut thinly with a sharp serrated knife and baked at a low temperature until they’re crisp. Easy, peasy!

Incidentally, they’re also easy to customize. I’ve made Fig and Kalamata Olive Crisps, Fruit and Nut Crisps (raisins, cranberries, apricots, pecans, sunflower seeds, and more), and Sundried Tomato Pesto crisps. All are tasty.

In the same vein (twice baked products), yesterday was spent making biscotti. I made two varieties, both from recipes found online (have I mentioned how much I love Punchfork?) The first one I tried was Honey Pistachio Biscotti from Joy the Baker. I’m a little disappointed in the recipe and should have read the comments. The recipe was posted in 2008; the comments indicate that there is a problem with the amount of flour (not nearly enough) in the recipe but the recipe has never been corrected. That’s disappointing.

So, why did it make my list of faves? Well, I corrected the amount of flour (the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups; it should be at least 2 1/2 cups) and baked as directed. They’re delicious!

Third up is an Almond Biscotti recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Oh my! The scent of the orange zest and orange liqueur in these is intoxicating! They are scrumptious and crispy without being hard. Again, delicious!

Next time, some cookies we’ve added to our favourites list. I’m surprised I don’t weight 200 lbs.!

The links:

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