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Cookies - Biscotti

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Take a perfect oatmeal cookie – there are many and I like to think I’ve created a few of them – each different and special. So, here’s one more perfect oatmeal cookie – balanced in crunch and chewiness, flavor and sweetness. And then one more thing – the genius addition of Werther Caramels. I brought these to tango class and just one bite is all it took for us to skip a beat. Just whiz the caramels in a food processor a few seconds to coarsely chop. (Use the classic, hard candy Werthers)


This is yet another tender, crisp, rich, pastry-like rugulah. The whipping cream is the secret trick. It’s presented here with a caramel pecan filling but cinnamon raisin or anything else you like is also perfect. If you haven't had rugulah, you should know up ahead they are addictive, little buttery pastry crescents. They are easy to make, freeze (unbaked) or after baking, last for a few days- tasting as fresh and special as the day of baking. They are great as dessert with coffee fare or as a gift.


What is more inviting that almonds and white chocolate in this sumptuous, crunch biscotti? Nothing beats almond biscotti that features three levels of almond dimension - almond paste, almonds, and pure almond extract.
Dunking delights which preen under a generous slick of white chocolate.

This is not a recipe; this is the blueprint for a new business.  On a recent wander up and down

Montreal's famed St. Denis Street I stumbled into Babette’s Feast, a little tea and pastry room that is like a time warp to 1950's rural France. It is like an old-time French general store, replete with tins of tea, fine chocolates, Brittany cookies and a nod-to-French-Canada in these amazing truffles. These are not them exactly but as the original were thin white chocolate truffle coating, hiding a center of molten maple cream, and the whole thing was coated in crushed maple sugar. What a sensation. This is what they mean when they say: ambrosial. My version is easier but totally wonderful. I features a maple cream center, white chocolate exterior and if you want, a coating of crushed pecan/brown sugar and maple heaven.

Chocolated-out yet? Never! This are lightly sweet, buttery and crunchy, crisp. Great way to start the week.

Light, buttery and modestly rich; the perfect roll-out cookie dough with tons of flavor. You can add ground toasted nuts or change the extracts or make half-moon cookies, using apricot jam as the filling (fold a 3 inch cookie in half over the jam) - transforming a cookie into a pastry.
I also like these with melted chocolate drizzled on them. Despite their name, Winter Solstice Cookies, you can make these wonderful cookies any other of the 364 days a year.

These make the fanciest, most delightful pastry-like cookies in the shortest time ever.  Coarse sugar, a key ingredient for this recipe, is available at bulk food stores, cake decorating stores, mail order or from your neighborhood baker. When coarse sugar is used, the result is slightly flakey pastry-like cookies with caramelized bottoms. But these cookies would also work with regular sugar but use a little less.

 An amazing biscotti I created in the late 80's when biscotti were beginning their climb to the top of the baking trend (where they have stayed). I wrote many features on biscotti, one for Coffee Journal a great but now defunct magazine, but also did biscotti for just about every newspaper on the continent. This Yin Yan, black and white chocolate biscotti was on the website and then it went into the manuscript for a cookbook that didn't get published, The Coffee Bistro Baking Book. Most of the recipes for that great book got dispersed into other cookbooks of mine but for some reason, this biscotti sat alone, in the cookbook manuscript (now on a back up CD of mine) until a reader who remembered it begged for the recipe. Here it is! I make biscotti far bigger these days but this decadent one only uses 2 1/2 cups of flour but makes one of the finest biscotti I know. Enjoy - it's back!

These are ‘spa’ cookies because they are healthy, lower-fat, appetite zapping, good carbs. They are even on my diet because one of these cookies negates 500 extra nibble calories I would have had without one of these gems. I call them O List because it is the sort of cookie I would love to see in Oprah magazine but so far, no bites. Make these with an Omega rich egg for added heart healthy nutrition.


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