Posts tagged nuts
Flouentines
The Great British Bake Off or GBBO has captivated me and millions like me. In an effort to increase my skills and just really try my hand at the technical challenges I gave Mary Berry's Florentines a go. I think I would have gotten a passing grade.

They are crunchy and the chocolate didn't dribble through to the front of the cookie. As for flavor when I make my next Flouentines, and I will, I'll use s different blend of fruit. The candied citrus peel was a bit overpowering. Otherwise they are a powerfully good cookie to share.

Florentines as found here. Yes, metric. I have a scale now and I use metric when a recipe is written that way, which is so much easier than converting things.

50g butter
50g turbinado sugar
50g corn syrup
50g white flour
25g glace cherries
50g candied peel
25g almonds
25g walnuts
200g good chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 sheets with parchment.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan bring the butter, sugar, and syrup until the butter is melted. Chop the cherries, peel and nuts finely, by hand. I think there's a risk that a processor will over chop the ingredients. Add the flour and chopped items to the sugar mixture.

Make 18 cookies, putting 6 each on a cookie sheet. Leave plenty of room for them to spread. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until they are lightly golden. Allow to cool on the pan.

You will temper the chocolate. Chop the chocolate and put half into a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmer water. Stir the chocolate and heat until it reaches 127F degrees.

Remove the bowl from heat and add the remaining half of the chocolate and stir continuously until it has cooled to 79F degrees.

Spread the chocolate on the bottom of the cookie then run a fork through the chocolate in a zigzag pattern before it sets.

Store in an airtight container.

What TV show has inspired you to get into the kitchen and give it a go? 
Streusel Oat Banana Walnut Muffins
Banana Walnut Muffins
There comes a point in time when you have to commit to using the collection of bananas you've tossed into the freezer as they've gone from yellow to brown to just not okay. You toss them in the freezer, peeled or maybe unpeeled, and forget about them until space is limited. I think of these as guilt reduction bananas because I actually use the bananas (and maybe some nuts) instead of throwing them out. Also, the neighbors get some and that just good community building. This wins times a million.

There isn't anything spectacular about this recipe other than it's a solid, not going to spill over the sides of your muffin pan cups nor be too dry kind of recipe. You don't have to fret. I promise.

The only little bit of a tricky thing about this recipe is that it takes buttermilk powder, which is a fun thing to have in the house. If you use real butter milk, strain your banana goop and use only the banana solids. It will reduce the liquid in the muffin.

Oat Topping

0.25 cup butter
0.50 cup flour
0.25 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
0.50 cup quick oats
pinch of salt

Muffin Batter

1.25 cup sugar
0.5 cup butter
2 eggs
3 bananas, super ripe, drained, reserve and measure the liquid
0.5 cup of banana liquid
1 tsp. vanilla
2.5 cups flour
2 tablespoons buttermilk powder (or 0.5 cup buttermilk)
2 tsp. baking powder
0.5 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
0.25 ginger, allspice and cloves
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Topping-heat the butter to soft in a microwavable bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, toss with fingers until combined. Squeeze it into fragile lumps. Set aside.

In a bowl cream the sugar and butter. Add eggs. Add bananas, liquid and vanilla.
In a separate bowl combine flour buttermilk powder, salt and spice. Combine until just moistened. Add the nuts by hand.

Line 24 muffin cups with paper, scoop batter evenly between the cups, about half full. Top with crumble, making small clumps as you put it on the muffin.

Bake for 17-21 minutes.

Oh, I've been asked why I type my recipes in decimals and not fractions. Mostly it's because I scale recipes for a living and the first step is converting fractions to decimals. It's how my brain works.


Super Nutty Biscotti

Three Nut Biscotti

With it turning to spring (finally) I'm gearing up to clean up the kitchen. I realized I have bit of left over ingredients from my winter baking. There's no way I'd throw away a half cup of hazelnuts so the question was what to do?

Make a nut filled cookie! I had pecans and almonds tucked away in the freezer too. What would be nicer? Also, it's taken until March to recover from all the holiday and competition recipe making. I have enjoyed reading books and watching TV instead of baking though.

Lastly, I have a folder filled with hand written recipes that I want to put into this blog for my own reference and your potential enjoyment.

This biscotti recipe is an updated recipe that was given to me by an Italian grandmother. Filomena isn't my grandmother but she and I had great affection for each other. I met her when she was close to 70. I never caught her with out her hair curled and her nails polished a pearlescent cream. She always looked like a million bucks and invariably had a kind word for me.

The original recipe calls for 6 egg yolks and 1 egg and turbinado sugar. The sugar is not an update, and measured in pounds! Filomena wasn't kidding around! 

Basic Biscotti
Makes about 30 large biscotti

1/2 pound butter
1 pound turbinado sugar
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks, reserve the white
1 1/2 pounds flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon other oil

turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top

For variation add up to a total of 3 cups of nuts, chips, and or dried fruit.

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time. When creamed add flour, baking powder, salt, and flavoring. Mix well. Add additions. The pictured biscotti has 1 cup blanched almonds, 1 cup pecans and 1/2 cup hazelnuts plus 1 teaspoon almond oil.
Just before going into the oven, glaze with egg white and topped with sugar.

Divide the dough in half. Shape into a two loaves. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 30 minutes or until baked well enough that the center springs back when pressed. When cool enough to handle cut diagonally into 1 inch wide pieces. Place on a cookie sheet and bake again for 15 minutes, turning them over half way through. Or bake a little longer if you like them extra toasty.

You can temper chocolate and dip an end or the bottom of the cookie in chocolate for a fancier presentation.

Share with friends, take pictures of them holding a bag of cookies, and enjoy with espresso or cold milk.
Cookies and colleagues are a wonderful combination. 
Do you have a favorite handed down recipe? Or a favorite cookie recipe.