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Cookies - Biscotti

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Of course you don't have to wait for Hanukkah to enjoy these flakey, delicious sweet cheese pastries. These are like mini-Danish but they're easy to make and satisfying with coffee or tea. Want to impress? Bake these! You can also add raspberry preserves if you like to the cheese filling.

You know those milk chocolate cherries you get at this time of year and at Valentine’s Day? Well, they become extraordinary in this recipe because they’re part of the whole deal. Just imagine a buttery cookie with an oozing center of chocolate cherry and fondant goo.Wrap each of these cookies in pretty paper and then pack in a tin. These are extraordinary. I once brought them to a Christmas radio baking show and they disappeared like a summer breeze in December.

These are too good – embarrassingly good and ridiculously easy. It’s hamantashen, it’s pastry, it’s Danish, it’s novel and yet homey and a new tradition you have to adopt. Imagine tender pastry bottoms, a baked cheesecake filling and cherry cheesecake topping in one little package. It's refreshing and different but still manages to say Happy Purim!


Toss in a can of chestnut puree and enjoy the truffle-like texture and taste of these brownies. Topped with a thick coasting of chilled ganache frosting, these are simply divine. They are rich but unexpectantly light and more like a French chocolate pastry/cake. Cut them semi-frozen, using a cookie cutter or sharp knife to make small diamond shapes which you then serve in paper pastry cups as a confection. These freeze very well.

Bulk recipe for 12 dozen (can be doubled), this is a crowd pleasing recipe that you can make ahead and freeze in packets of dough or bake off the whole batch. You can also halve the recipe, for a more modest quantity of fudge, chocolate chip cookies that are crisp edged and chewy centered. No worries, as with Nestle's dough recall Make a big batch of dough yourself and you will have cookies every bit as good as commercial, but with wholesome, homemade taste and the convenience you need. (Afterall, wasn't that why you bought the frozen dough to begin with? Surely, you know your own dough, real butter, and real vanilla is better?)

There is a secret to chewy granola bars. It is simple but effective but makes for that ultimate, satisfying bars that commercial granola bars are known for – but these are chewy and good with wholesome things andand peanut free. The fresh apple chunks in this bar make it a bit gooey and sticky with apple juices. This is the best part of this bar (to me) but if you want chewy but not 'wet', just leave the apples out.

Use big flake oatmeal for best results. These are golden and amazing. Course you know oatmeal is one of 12 best foods for you? Is truffles on the list? Ah gee.

Like the crunch of biscotti but want a savory (salty) munch instead? These are sort of like wine-and-cheese sticks, vino et fromaggio: tender/crisp bites that are nicely eaten, out of hand, with a glass of wine or punch, while you are waiting for dinner to be ready or want a bite with a friend. This is a good gift (with a bottle of Chianti, special olive oil and a hunk of imported Parmesan) or a great cocktail hour nibble. These are humble looking but tasty enough for some gourmet food company to come calling for the recipe.

I love the crumbly texture, deep yellow colour, and intense almond flavor of those almond cookies that Chinese restaurants offer. It was a natural then for me to take those high points and reconfigure it all into a crisp, dense, satisfying biscotti. Use the smaller amount of yellow food colouring to see how deep a yellow you prefer for your cookies.

Just like the restaurant cookies: big, dramatic, with wrinkled sides.

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