Pumpkin Ginger Biscotti

Pumpkin Ginger Biscotti_plated4

Hey Ginger, this one’s for you!

Life is interesting.  Come, sit down.  I’ve made a fresh pot of coffee, I’ll pour you a cup.  Grab a biscotti and we will chat and catch up.  Time to slow down and truly savor every bite.  Just as my blog was named, I strive to live my life savoring every moment, every person, every meal set before me.  Blessings, forgiveness and gratefulness.  I am blessed and grateful to be back home.  Home is where your heart is, wherever it is, you just know it, deep inside.

Enough about me for now, it’s the pumpkin ginger biscotti we’re sharing here.  Fresh from the oven, my kitchen cannot smell any better!  Baking and the Fall season warmly wed together in the most happiest way.  Why do I love biscotti so??  In addition to their being not an overly indulgent, over-filling dessert with just  touch of sweetness and minimal fat, it’s that biscotti requires savoring.  A perfect ending to a meal or afternoon break.  Now I have seen some people grab a biscotti and just crunch and go…oh, for the love of life, no! no! Continue reading “Pumpkin Ginger Biscotti”

Red Velvet Biscotti

Talk about one sexy biscotti!!  With its deep, lusty red and teasing drizzle of white chocolate, these biscotti are just begging to be dipping into champagne or a morning after espresso.  Dare I say anything more??

To my surprise I found this recipe from Paula Deen and adapted it to my way of making biscotti – just a tablespoon of coconut oil, white/wheat flour and less sugar.  I felt that the drizzle of chocolate gave it just enough sweetness, as I always feel I’m sweet enough 🙂 but if you prefer sweeter desserts than adding another half cup should do the trick. Continue reading “Red Velvet Biscotti”

Gingerbread Pizzelles

Warm gingerbread aromas continue to fill my kitchen!  In fact, with all the baking, candles and my little gingerbread hanging ornaments, whenever I enter my home, I’m welcomed with the most comforting feeling!

A very happy ending came about by taking an idea to turn my original pizzelles from pumpkin to gingerbread!  I love to take a twist on classic recipes, adding fun and unexpected flavor to compliment the seasons and themes of my parties!  Add to that unusual cocktails and drinks, and you’ve got yourself a party that everyone will be enjoying and talking about! Continue reading “Gingerbread Pizzelles”

Gingerbread Biscotti

You knew it had to happen….gingerbread biscotti!  In fact, it is probably my favorite for the holiday season.  A crisp bite of warm spice gingerbread with a slight burst of chocolate and confectioners sweetness drizzle and colorful sprinkles.

Of all the flavors of the season, sugar cookies, buttery shortbread, cranberry, peppermint and chocolate, gingerbread stands out for me, just as pumpkin does through October and November. Continue reading “Gingerbread Biscotti”

Pumpkin Pizzelles

Do you ever get something in your head that just consumes your thoughts and you just have to have it?  And attempts to make it are unsuccessful… yet you refuse to accept defeat?

I’m referring to a cookie recipe here, but as I write this, I realize it’s actually how I react to almost every area of my life!  I so don’t like hearing something won’t work, or can’t be done.  I’ll keep trying until I’ve exhausted all my options feeling satisfied that all ideas, attempts and effort has been done.   A  close, long time friend caught on early to my personality saying that if he wanted to get me to do something, he’d tell me to do the opposite!!  Darn… Continue reading “Pumpkin Pizzelles”

Coconut Macadamia Biscotti and a Product Giveaway!

All those that know me, my biscotti jar is never empty.  Even during the ups and downs of my move, I had biscotti.  They may not have been homemade, nor were they stored in my biscotti jar that was safely packed away in storage, but I did have biscotti on hand!

So as you can imagine I was eager to get back to baking biscotti.  As I started to think of what flavor my inaugural biscotti would be, I spotted the jar of coconut oil that I received from Tropical Traditions just prior to my move.  I was offered their product to try.  How perfect – Coconut Biscotti! Continue reading “Coconut Macadamia Biscotti and a Product Giveaway!”

Strawberry and White Chocolate Biscotti

Would you rather be a Princess or a Queen?  The young, pretty girl who really doesn’t know what she wants in life but has endless fairytale imagination or the Queen, whose been there, done that and definitely knows what she wants!??  Transitioning from the Princess to the Queen is somewhat of an awakening moment.  It’s a time when you realize the years have brought you to a different stage in your life.  Or it can be when you realize your daughter has assumed your former Princess title and pushed you into Queendom!  Continue reading “Strawberry and White Chocolate Biscotti”

Reflections on Life and Orange Almond Biscotti

Years back when I was raising my kids as a single mom I would often find myself expressing how overwhelmed I was.  Overwhelmed just seemed to be such a negative word which could only make me feel, well, even more overwhelmed!  So I decided instead of saying I was overwhelmed, I’d say that I was overblessed!  It was amazing how a simple change in thought made me feel so much better!

So lately, I’ve been very much overblessed 🙂   The first few months of the year have gone by so quickly; I’ve had one thing after another going on and every weekend has been nonstop busyness.  I know that just like all work and no play can makes Jack a dull boy, all this busyness is making Linda in need of some relaxation! Continue reading “Reflections on Life and Orange Almond Biscotti”

Chocolate love: Surprise Me With A Kiss

There are many kinds of kisses; a mother’s tender kiss to her child, a platonic kiss hello or goodbye, a passionate lovers’ kiss or a chocolate kiss!!

Nestled inside these little butter nut balls is a kiss.  Butter balls are popular cookies, soft and tender with a gentle touch of finely chopped nuts.  The unexpected surprise of biting into a butter ball and finding a chocolate kiss were knows as the Surprise Cookie in my family.

It was my Aunt Mary that made these cookies for us when we were little.  While my aunt made many Italian cookies, she seemed to bake more kid friendly cookies for us.  And as a child, I can honestly say I looked forward to her holiday cookie trays.  I remember my excitement when I first realized a chocolate kiss was in the cookie.  It was like finding the prize in the Cracker Jack Box.  They quickly became my favorite and to this day when I see a butter ball cookie, I wonder if it might have a kiss inside.

Aunt Mary had two daughters, Debbie and Diane.  Our mothers were very close sisters and therefore, I spent a lot of time at her home.  Diane was closer in age to me; we went from playing dolls together to having babies just a few years apart from each other.   Since I’ve moved away, we see very little of each other but it’s funny how food can bring back memories and make you feel like it was just yesterday that I was playing dolls with Diane on my porch!

Through the years, I began making these “kisses” with Baci chocolates.  Baci (Italian for kisses) is a small dark chocolate and hazelnut candy.  Under the chocolate coating are chopped hazelnuts and in the middle is a whole hazelnut.  Talk about surprise, surprise in those cookies!!  What I also love about Baci chocolates is that each chocolate is wrapped with an affectionate love note!

So while I have used Baci chocolate in the past, I made these with a Hershey’s Kiss just as Aunt Mary did.  I’ve tweaked her recipe a bit and just like my mom’s handwritten recipes, I didn’t have much detail on how she actually made the cookies.  I started chilling the dough before and after shaping so that they held their ball shape better when baked.  This recipe makes about 4 dozen depending on how much dough you use to wrap around the kiss.  I prefer just a small amount of dough to make a small cookie ball.

Diane just mentioned to me that her husband loves these frozen, so she keeps them in the freezer.  Mine simply don’t last that long between kids, sharing with friends and my own personal indulgence!

Surprise Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature

½ cup powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups whole wheat/white flour or unbleached all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

1 12 oz bag of Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

In a large stand up mixer, beat the butter sugar and vanilla thoroughly.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt together.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until combined.  Mix in the walnuts.  Chill dough for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Take about a tablespoon of dough and wrap around the Hershey’s Kiss rolling dough into small balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet; the cookies do not spread.  I will place the cookie tray in the refrigerator to firm the dough and chill for another 10-15 minutes.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just beginning to become lightly golden.  Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.  While still warm, roll in sifted powdered sugar.  Cool further and when totally cool, roll again in powdered sugar.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.  Store in covered container in a cool place.

February is #chocolatelove month!
Please join in on the #chocolatelove fun by linking up any chocolate recipe from the month of Februrary 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #chocolatelove event! The twitter hashtag is #chocolatelove :).

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