This last weekend Sean and I headed over to Victoria to his mom’s house to celebrate an early Christmas with his family. With all of us going in different directions around Christmas we decided to celebrate early so that everyone could make it. We were all very happy to have Sean’s youngest brother fly over from Nelson to join us.
Other than my mother in laws famous rum ball we weren’t going to be exchanging gifts so I thought I would bake up some holiday treats to bring over with me. But in the interest of keeping them fresh I decided to get up early Saturday morning before we left and bake.
With only 3 1/2 hours available for baking, I could only get up so early, I got started on my mom’s brownies. These brownies are really amazing. They are quick and easy and the perfect base for just about any add ons. For today’s brownies I decided to add mint chocolates since my mother in law like mint chocolate as does my husband.
Once the brownies were in the oven I started working on the pumpkin biscotti, a recipe that I got from older sister. Having only made biscotti once before I wouldn’t say that I was confident about this. I mixed everything together and formed my dough and popped it in the oven.
The recipe said to cook it until it is firm in the middle, which I thought I knew what firm was until I started cutting up my biscotti. I didn’t want to over cook the biscotti so I pulled it out when apparently it wasn’t quite firm in the middle. I had a dilemma on my hands do I put the pieces back together and put it in the oven to cook a little more or do I move on to the next step and just hope that it finishes cooking.
In the interest of time I decided to move onto the next step and keep my fingers crossed that it would not be gooey. My finished biscotti were cooked but really lacked that crunch you would normally see in a biscotti. The taste was good and when dunked in some coffee or tea you wouldn’t know the difference.
Now on to the final recipe, peanut blossoms. These cookies are something that I have been making for as long as I can remember. They are one of my dad’s favourite cookies so I remember making them for him on various occasions over the years.
As was a theme in that morning I hit a snag when I realized I didn’t have any baking soda. Thanks to google I did a bit of research and found that if I added extra baking powder it should still work…
Unfortunately I was led astray by my information and ended up with some very flat cookies. But I have to say I wasn’t too upset because they tasted soooo good. That warm peanut butter cookie with a hershey kiss on top can’t be beat, they really are great cookies even if they were flat.
So after my marathon baking we hit the road with the cookies still on the cookie sheets hoping they would cool while on the ferry so I could package them up. Fast forward 2 hours and you find me in the back seat of my car, down the street from my mother in laws house, packaging everyones fresh baked goods.
No one would be the wiserYou may notice there is a lack of pictures, I was so busy baking I didn’t have time to stop and take any more pictures than the first one.
Mint Chocolate BrowniesAdapted from my Mom’s recipe
3/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chopped up mint chocolates
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix butter, sugar and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients. Put in an 8×8 pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.
Pumpkin BiscottiAdapted from Simply Recipes
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ginger and cloves
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350
Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices into a large bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Give it a rough stir to generally incorporate the ingredients, the dough will be crumbly.
Flour your hands and a clean kitchen surface and lightly knead the dough. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Form the dough into a large log, roughly about 15-20 inches by 6-7 inches. The loaves should be relatively flat, only about ½ inch high. Bake for 22-30 minutes at 350ºF, until the center is firm to the touch. (Feel free to also form two smaller logs for cute two-bite biscotti; just cut the baking time to 18-24 minutes.)
Let biscotti cool for 15 minutes and then using a serrated knife cut into 1 inch wide pieces. Turn the oven to 300ºF and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup shortning
1/2 cup peanut butter
Preheat oven to 375.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl except the kisses and mix with electric mixer. Make balls of dough and bake 10-12 minutes.. Remove and place 1 hershey kiss in the center. Press down until edges crack. Let cool.