23 September 2011

Kitchen Aid, Biscotti and Ice Cream - my wicked pleasures!

A small diversion from papercrafts today.....baking!

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
   I finally took the plunge as I reported earlier this year when I purchased the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer as my own personal 'birthday present'. Yes, I am that shameless!

But it is on my humble counter and I put it to good use making my lo-fat biscotti recipe!  Recipe to follow!
I LUV it for this fact alone - I have trouble making biscotti because the dough is so thick to keep kneading!! But the KA and the dough hook make it like cutting through soft butter - its marvelous! And so quick!

Honestly - I keep trying new ways to make the biscotti shape - this time, I got super-lazy and just poured the dough on to my large cookie sheet (plus parchment sheet) ...and made one fat loaf!  Afterwards I cut it down the middle, and then sectioned it into the smaller size sections. So it doesn't have rounded corners on both ends - you're gonna eat it - who cares much!  {it saves time!}

Now staring at it day in and day out - I began to turn my thoughts to 'what accessory should we get next?' .....and that is when my guilty logic came into play,
.....the ICE CREAM MAKER!   

And so yes, introducing my newest 'baby' .....ta da!

Don't they look 'sweet' together - ha ha! 

I'd be really happy to hear from anyone who has one! Please let me know how it is working for you - what recipes you have to make ice cream!!!!  I know its gonna be awesome to make some - can you tell 
I'm excited!  

 I have looked up a great video on this accessory from 
a lady who I consider the best presenter - JO RICHARDSON!!
I just adore her videos - I have been watching them to learn about the Kitchen Aid and she is terrific at demonstrating the machine and all its attachements. So check her out!! 
Hi Jo! 

Of course they are only lo-fat if you keep them plain - which I often do not! 
 I will drizzle melted chocolate or add nuts - but you can just add 'flavourings' to keep them at the reduced rate of 2 grams each/for 36 slices. Again - mine are more like 6 grams each because I do not make
the tiny biscotti, but the more Americanized size - longer, thicker. Ummm! 
So make it in your own happy way! They are still better than most choices!  OK, here's the recipe.....!

comes from the Joy of Cooking Recipe Book.

Position rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
Grease/parchment a cookie sheet.
Whisk together thoroughly
3-1/2 cups all purpose flour; 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon salt.  
Beat on medium speed until well blended: 
1/4 cup corn or canola oil; 1-1/4 cups sugar; 2 large eggs; 2 large egg whites; 
1 teaspoon finely-grated lemon zest; 1/2 teaspoon finely-grated orange zest; 
1 teaspoon anise or almond extract; 1 teaspoon vanilla.    

  Gradually stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until well blended and smooth.  
 [*note - the dough should be moist yet holds its 'shape'  -  if you feel its too runny,  add more flour till the dough is stiffer - if you add too much flour, you can add more oil.  On my first try, I did one log first - then the second I adjusted - as you learn by doing!]

  Shape the dough into smooth, evenly shaped 11 x 1-1/2 inch logs:
 either by - a) wrapping each log in plastic and rolling it back and forth until smooth,
or b) by shaping it with lightly floured hands.  

Arrange the logs:
as far apart from one another as possible on the sheet and press to flatten slightly.  

Baking Stage 1
Bake for 25  minutes.  
Remove the sheet to a rack. 

Baking Stage 2
 When the logs are just cool enough to handle,
 carefully transfer to a cutting board :
cut crosswise, on a slight diagonal, into 3/8 inch  thick slices.
Lay the slices flat on the sheet. 
 Return to the oven and bake for  5-10 minutes.  
Turn the slices over and bake until lightly browned 5 minutes more.
  Transfer the biscotti to racks to cool. 

*Note: personally, I have adjusted the slice thickness and baking times to suit our preferences. We often skip the Baking Stage 2 because we like them a bit more 'softer' than is the European norm. Biscotti are meant to be dipped in a liquid such as coffee, hot chocolate or a glass of milk, therefore the dryness/hardness is a desirable quality. This also means they can be stored for a long time in a cookie jar. 

Enjoy baking biscotti - they make great hand-made gifts presented nicely bagged and tagged! 
Put a couple into a mug - wrap with cellophane and a ribbon/tag!
Or try our NEW Cellophane Bags in our MINI HOLIDAY CATALOGUE!!!


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