Filed under: food
I guess it’s a result of feeling better (HUZZAH!), but I have, between folding laundry and making hummus, been making up lists of the goodies I’m going to bake and make for Christmas gifts this year. (Bro. Scott, you may avert your eyes)
I love to bake biscotti, those wonderful crunchy twice baked cookies. They are so versatile! You start with a basic cookie base- you know, eggs, butter, flour and some leavening-and add what you will. Chopped nuts, crystallized ginger, dried fruit, sometimes booze of some sort. Triple Sec is perfect because of the orange flavoring it adds. Before we moved here I had a nice convection oven, perfect for the second-baking as it would toast the cookies without burning them on the bottom likea regular oven can. Here I have an oven that’s a holdover from Leave it to Beaver…ok maybe not that old, but it is original with the house, which was built in ’67.
My standard biscotti recipes are Orange-cranberry walnut. Hazelnut with dried cherries, and a savory rosemary walnut- amazing with brie. I went to Epicurious and found 2 more intriguing recipes- Black Pepper Parmesan, and Lemon Walnut.
I like making candies as well. 2 standbys are Toasted Almond Toffee, and these ridiculously simple cream cheese soft mints. I Had a notion today to make the cream cheese things with lemon instead of mint. I’ll have to give it a try. A few years back a friend of mine made candies out of chow mein noodles, peanuts, and chocolate. Very simple and the sweet/salty thing was terrific.
Also a few years back, I made some rich vanilla pound cakes over Thanksgiving weekend, and let them soak in Jack Daniels syrup until Christmas. They were really good! And Not Safe for Children. I’m thinking I’ll make some of those again. I make little loaves, and even as a tiny loaf it will serve 6-8. You have to slice it real thin or it’ll get you kicked off the Deacon’s Board at the Baptist Church.
So, I made the list of goodies, then made another list (I’m efficient that way) of ingredients I need to stock up on, and got online, looking for a good Bulk Foods vendor where I could get a good price for the nuts and fruits and all.
One place (BulkFoods.com) has pretty good prices, but not better than I can get locally. Another one (I forget the name, I’m blocking it, I think) was offering to sell me whole raw almonds for $26 a pound. HA!
I’m thinking maybe a trip to Savannah is in order, to find a food co-op or a whole foods market. My experience is they have the best prices, even if you do have to bring your own bags.
I’ll probably start posting recipes for these goodies at Rootie’s Kitchen. The link is in the list.
Ho Ho Flamin’ Ho!