Bake-o-rama - FamilyEducation

Bake-o-rama

October 05,2009
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

When the weather turns cool, I turn to baking. Perhaps it is an attempt to stave off the cold weather by keeping my kitchen warm, or maybe it’s just an excuse to whip up some sweet things. Either way, it is fun to do with the boys and the resulting treats sure do yum up the day. You might not think of biscotti as a kid friendly treat, but I have yet to meet a kid that doesn’t like homemade biscotti. You can reduce the time for the second baking (biscotti derives its name from the Latin word for “twice baked”) in order to ensure your biscotti aren’t as rock-hard as the store bought variety. Or you can take a cue from R, who knows that if the biscotti is too hard, then hot chocolate *must* be in order for dipping the biscotti. Another bonus for baking biscotti: all the oils in biscotti are heart-healthy oils. You can add dried fruit and nuts too, to really create a healthy cookie. Spiced Orange Biscotti 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 tablespoon brown sugar 1/4 cup white sugar 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 egg 1 cup flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, minced 2 tablespoons dried dates, minced zest of one orange Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Mixing by hand, mix the oils and sugars, then add vanilla and egg until well blended. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg and add to the egg mixture. Last, add the ginger, dates and orange zest. On a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or is well-greased, form the dough into a rectangle, about 10 inches long by 4 inches wide, and about ¾ inch high. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees. Cut the biscotti log into ¾ inch wide bars and lay on their side on the cookie sheet. Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes or until they are slightly brown. Makes approximately 12 biscotti. SPC