February 25, 2016

chocolate chip biscotti

i had always imagined that making homemade biscotti would be a long, complicated process.  something about them screamed long and labour intensive to me.

at work a few weeks ago my co-worker was talking about doing some baking, and mentioned biscotti. when i mentioned my concerns about the amount of time needed, she said they were actually really easy.  and promptly sent me a copy of her favourite recipe.

and i have to say, she was right!  these guys are actually quite easy to make.  they bake a long time, but long enough that you can do other things while they are in the oven.  and the best part, you can do just about anything to them.  chocolate, nuts, dried fruit - you name it, it can be done!  

chocolate chip biscotti
makes approximately two dozen

basic biscotti recipe from canadian living

[you will need]

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup  granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 egg white
1 brick semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

[to make ]

preheat oven t 325 degrees.

in a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy.  add in eggs, one at a time, until combined.  beat in vanilla.  in a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

stir into the butter mixture in stages, until just combined.  this forms the basic biscotti dough.

add chocolate chops into the dough, and stir to combine.  divide dough in half.

on a lightly floured surface, roll out each half of the dough into a long log shape, approximately 12 inches in length.  place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, two inches apart.  press to flatten slightly.  combine egg white with 1 tsp water, and brush on top of logs.  this will help the biscotti golden on top.

bake the biscotti logs at 325 for approximately 35 minutes, until firm and until lightly golden.

let the biscotti cool, on the pan, for 10-20 minutes, until they are easy to handle.  once cool, using a sharp knife cut the logs diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces.

place pieces back onto the baking sheet, standing upright and slightly apart (about 1/2 inch).  bake at 300 degrees for another 35 minutes, until almost dry.  transfer pieces to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

once the biscotti are cool, you can make the chocolate dip.  in a saucepan, melt the chocolate pieces, stirring until smooth.  let cool for a few minutes.

dip an end of the biscotti pieces into the chocolate.  let the chocolate drip off, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  refrigerate until the chocolate has set.

there you have it, your very own homemade biscotti!  they taste just as good as the ones you get in a coffee shop.  enjoy!


February 10, 2016

toronto wish list - winter edition

when the temperatures drop it becomes all too easy to stay in side, rock a pair of comfy sweats and never leave the warmth and comfort of our little home.  but there are always so many fun and interesting things happening in the city during the winter months.  this year i want to focus on accomplishing a few of them!

my plan for this winter is to load up on layers, grab a thermos full of hot tea, and do some serious winter exploring.  for this winter season, i want to:

- try cross country skiing.  i have done snow shoeing many times (and love it), but i thought that it would be fun to mix things up a little and try cross country skiing.  have you ever done it?

- go skating.  our city is full of public skating rinks.  they host events (like dj skate night down at harbourfront), have some really neat skating trails and venues, and have smaller rinks in just about every neighbourhood in the city.

- explore wards island.  i know what you are thinking, the island in the winter, are you nuts!  it will definitely be cold, but there are actually a few fun things to do on the island in the winter.  brunch at the cozy rectory cafe, a visit to far enough farm, or skating on the lagoons around the island are just a few of the fun activities the island offers in the winter months.

what things are you looking forward to doing this winter?


February 01, 2016

bathroom tour

if 2015 was the year of the bedroom in this household, than 2016 is the year of the bathroom.  i have so many ideas for the space that i am bursting!  some big plans for this small space.

in the meantime, i thought i would share the bathroom as it currently stands.  partially finished.

so far, we gave the room a quick coat of paint to hide the builders paint, swapped out the vanity knobs for some cute clear knobs from anthropologie (on sale!), picked up a rustic hook from a vintage shop near by, hung some simple ikea shelves to create extra storage, and added the cute WC plaque for a bit of character.

the space is coming along, but it definitely does not feel finished yet.  i cannot wait to get to work on the room in the coming months.

thanks for letting me share!