Melting moments

I wish for a white Christmas (especially so since we spend time at home on the day) every December even after knowing that the odds are against me. National weather service forecast office predicts a desperately low probability of 0.8 % for seeing snow in Portland on Christmas day. The last white Christmas here was in 1937, so we just do not have high hopes. Yet, I wish!

In our kitchen it was snowing though, I spend most of my time yesterday (which isn’t much these days), making melting moments. There is something ethereal to the look of these cookies sitting on a baking sheet, clad in a fine dust of confectionary sugar. There is no other cookie which lives up to its name as this one does, practically crumbling and melting away in your mouth. I flavored one giant batch with cardamom and another with coffee, two of my favorite flavors. My personal pick is cardamom, but coffee went neck and neck for the honor. We have packed cookie bags for our friends , fruitcake is ready, crib and tree are set. Come on Christmas !
Thank you all for a fantastic year of companionship, for your hearty comments, lovely mails and of course for visiting a blog that was silent for the most part of the year. We wish you all a jovial season filled with merriment, laughter, good food, and company. May the love and abundance of this season be with you through the coming New Year . Thank you.

Recipe I used is from Joy of Baking website. For a batch of cardamom flavored cookies, I added 12 tsp of freshly ground cardamom seeds to the basic recipe. For making coffee cookies, add 21/2 tsp of instant coffee granules instead.
It is snowing, on a cookie !

Cookies to keep- Cashew nut biscotti

Time flew exceptionally fast this year; Christmas is here before I knew it. Yet there is no going back in drinking to the gaiety of the season, this year’s Christmas is very special in our house. Our daughter Sarah is now 3 months old, happily spending her time to eat, coo, smile and you know what. We cling to her as much as we can, we are warned that they grow up so fast,holiday baking can wait.

But then, this is the year to start a holiday baking tradition, especially since we do not really have any. We make fruitcake year around, as it is the only cake MrT ever longs for. I do bake cookies during the holiday season, but it changes from year to year. So I have picked a couple of my favorite cookies to make it our own, to pass it along my family tree! Cookie no 1 is going to be that fried cookie, which is nothing but a traditional Indian goodie my mother used to make for many other celebrations except Christmas. As for picking number two, currently I have no conflict of choices; it is going to be a biscotto. " Biscotti " if you are planning to eat two or more. Dunking is one of my favorite pass times. I grew up with good old rusk, dunked in black tea, swallowed without a thought crossing the mind. Rusk will eventually be honored in this blog with due respect and affection. But for today I raise my cup of tea to the very dunkable , al Italiano, biscotti. Be merry, it is the season!

The recipe is adapted from an almond biscotti recipe from BHG website.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup coarsely chopped cashew nuts
1/4tsp ground caraway seeds ( purely optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the center of this mixture, add eggs and egg yolks. Stir to combine with the dry ingredients. Add melted butter and ground caraway seeds ( if adding), mix with a wooden spatula or by hand. When the dough comes together, stir in the chopped nuts.

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; divide into three equal portions. Form each portion into a 14-inch-long log. Keep the logs approximately 3 inches apart on the baking sheet; flatten slightly until about 1-1/2 inches wide. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until firm and light brown. Remove from oven and cool for several minutes. Using a serrated knife cut each roll diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Place slices, cut sides down on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over; bake 10 to 15 minutes more or until golden brown. Store in an air tight container for a week or two.

There is only so much you can do to resist the urge to make pickles, when an interesting recipe comes by , you have to surrender. Thank you RP, for your Vaah-inspiring chicken pickle recipe.


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