Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Goody platter delights!

Here's a platter of goodies I took to a ladies' tea a couple of weeks ago... and these also graced teh first work party, too. Candy cane biscotti (left), fruit and nut fudge (center) and elfin shortbread bites (right). A happy trio!

Elfin shortbread bites
1 1/4 cups flour
3 T sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 TB red and green sprinkles

If using a food processor, pulse the flour and sugar until blended. Add in the butter until it all resembles fine crumbs. Add the sprinkles and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. (Don't overdo it, or the dough will turn pink from the sprinkles.)

Remove to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until the dough forms a ball. The original recipe I found online called for patting it out into a square and cutting little squares. I decided I wanted round shapes, so used a melon baller and used that to shape little cookies.

Bake at 325 for 12-14 minutes, and then transfer the cookies on the parchment to a cooling rack. Store in a tightly covered container at room temp for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months. Makes approximately 4 dozen little rounds.

Candy cane biscotti
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
2/3 cup finely crushed peppermint candy canes

1 14 oz. package white chocolate chips
Crushed peppermint candy canes

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter and sugar in large bowl, beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often until creamy. Add eggs, continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and baking powder; continue beating until well mixed. Stir in crushed candy.

Divide dough into fourths on lightly floured surface. Shape each fourth into long round logs with lightly floured hands. Place logs three inches apart onto lightly greased large cookie sheet.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops are cracked and ends just start to turn light brown. Remove from oven; reduce oven termperature to 325 degrees. Cool logs 10 minutes on cookie sheet.
Carefully remove logs to cutting surface. Cut each log into 1/2 inch slices with sharp serrated knife. Arrange pieces on same cookie sheet, cut side down.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, turning once, or until cookies are ligh golden brown and crisp on both sides. Place on cooling rack, cool completely.

Melt white chocolate in microwave--1 minute, then stir, continue 30 seconds at a time, stirring until chocolate is melted. Dip one end of biscotti into chocolate, then into bowl of chopped candy canes, set on wax paper until hard.
Makes about 4 dozen biscotti.

Fruit and Nut Fudge
1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
3 cups chocolate chips (half semi-sweet, half milk chocolate)
1.5 tsp vanilla
Dash salt
1/2 c toasted hazelnuts, chopped in half
1/2 c dried blueberries
1/2 c dried cherries

Foil line an 8x8 pan, and spray lightly with cooking spray. Melt your milk, your chips and vanilla in a pot on stove top. Remove from heat, stir in nuts and fruit, then pour into foil-lined pan. Chill 2 to 3 hours. Put your longest non-serated cuttin' knife in a glass of warm water, wipe dry, then slice. Re-heat your knife via the water whenever the going gets less smooth.

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