Monday, December 21, 2009

M&M Biscotti

Wow these turned out fabulous, and are perfect for dunking in a piping hot mug of hot cocoa. I found this recipe on Lovestoeat's Weblog, and I am so glad I added this to my holiday baking this year. My mom and I made all different kinds of biscotti to enjoy this holiday to enjoy with our coffee, tea, and cocoa. This was by far the yummiest....well lets say the sweetest!! You can also swipe out the m&m's for candy cane pieces, for a peppermint twist.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
8 T. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2/3 cup finely crushed m&m's
14 oz. fine quality white chocolate, melted
extra crushed m&m's, to sprinkle on top

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Stir in crushed candy.
  4. Evenly divide dough into 4 even portions on a lightly floured surface. Shape each into a 9" X 1 1/2" round log. Place logs on a parchment lined baking sheet, 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake until tops are cracked and the ends are lightly browned, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temp. to 325. Cool logs 10 minutes on cookie sheets.
  6. Cut each log diagonally into 1/2 " slices with a serrated knife. Arrange pieces standing up, back on baking sheet. Bake until cookies are light golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 12-15 minutes. The centers may be a little soft, but will crisp up while cooling. Place on wire rack, and cool completely.
  7. Dip half of each biscotti in melted chocolate, shake off excess. Immediately sprinkle with additional crushed m&m's and set on parchment or wax paper until chocolate has set.
Makes about 4 dozen.

No Bake Cherry Surprise

This recipe is super easy and quick to make to take to a holiday party!!! Plus they taste great and look like you spent hours on them:) They only are good for a few days so don't make these far in advance. I found this recipe on the Better Home and Gardens website, and took them to my cookie exchange last week.

16 Maraschino cherries
1/3 cup Marshmallow Cream
1 T. chopped Maraschino cherries
32 Vanilla wafer cookies
4 oz. Vanilla-flavored candy coating

  1. Place maraschino cherries with stems on paper towels; drain well. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together marshmallow creme and chopped maraschino cherries. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the maraschino cherry mixture on the bottom of one cookie. Top with another cookie, bottom side down. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookies and maraschino cherry mixture.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat and stir candy coating over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Cool slightly.
  3. Dip cookies halfway into the melted candy coating. Return to baking sheet. Holding a cherry by the stem, dip bottom of cherry into the melted candy coating. Place cherry on top of candy-coated side of one cookie. Hold for several seconds or just until set. Repeat with remaining cherries and cookies. Let cookies stand until candy coating sets. Makes 16 sandwich cookies.

TO STORE: Place sandwich cookies in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

WOW!!! These are a must bake this holiday season. I saw this recipe in an ad for Craisins. I love white chocolate chips with Craisins, so I knew this was the perfect recipe. They are really buttery, which makes them super tasty, but not so healthy. So I just made smaller cookies, for portion control. These didn't last long, so make them for your next holiday party, and they will be a hit! The recipe can be found at Craisins website here.

Sausage, Mozzarella, and Spinach with Shells

My mom and I whipped up this comfort food the other night, which was perfect on a cold Michigan evening. I found this recipe in Everyday Food, by Martha Stewart, but we changed it up a bit. Her recipe called for broccoli rabe, but we substituted spinach. Make this when you want to curl up on the couch, watch a movie, and have a filling pasta dish!

2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 sprigs thyme (I used dry)
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 links spicy Italian sausage(use turkey sausage for a healthier dish), casing removed
1 T all purpose flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (28 oz)
8 oz. whole wheat medium shells
1 lb. baby spinach
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup grated parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 400. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high. Add onion and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, 15 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and sausage. Cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, breaking them up with spoon. Cook sauce until slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. ( If using fresh thyme, discard now)
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta 4 minutes less than package instructions. Add spinach to pot and cook 15 seconds. Drain pasta and spinach, and return to pot. Stir in sausage mixture. Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish or divide among four 16 oz. gratin dishes. Top with mozzarella and parmesan. Bake until cheese has melted and liquid is bubbling, about 15 minutes.