Nona’s Biscotti

IMG_6378

Nona Zanocco’s Biscotti has become a staple around our house each Christmas.  This buttery crisp cookie is perfect for a morning coffee with friends around the holidays, and also a wonderful additional to the cookie platter at a holiday party.  The word biscotti means “twice baked,” so although they do take a bit of time to make, these treats are worth the wait it takes to prepare them.

Nona’s Biscotti

Using a stand mixer, place 3 sticks of room temperature butter in the mixing bowl.  Mix until the butter is creamy and smooth.

Add 2 cups of sugar and cream the butter and sugar.

While the mixer is running, add 6 eggs (one at a time).  Then add 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon almond extract.

In a separate bowl, mix together 6 cups flour and 2 tablespoon baking powder.

Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture.  Run the mixer until completely combined.

Form logs of dough (roughly 2 inches wide by 12 inches long by 1 inch tall) and place on a greased cookie sheet.

IMG_6352

Bake the logs in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Remove the logs from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.  Then, slice the logs into one inch slices.  Spread the slices out and re-bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the slices are just starting to turn golden.

You can serve the cookies as is, or you can drizzle them with a glaze.  (I like to mix a bit of powdered sugar with a touch of almond extract and some milk to make a glaze that I then drizzle over top.  I then top with naturally-colored sprinkles, or lemon or orange zest.)

Enjoy!

IMG_6377

*A note about all my recipes:  I use all organic ingredients, local when available.  I use non-homogenized milk, and all of the dairy we use is from animals raised on pasture. I also use oils that are non-GMO verified.  All our meat is raised locally on organic feed, and our beef is grass-fed, grass-finished.  All our spices and cane sugar are fair-trade certified and purchased through a cooperative.

Basil Lime Gimlet

IMG_4980

Date nights do not often happen these days.  Crazy schedules, shifting demands of the workplace and caring for two young children make it difficult for this mom and dad to have a few spare moments alone.  That is why this past weekend was quite a celebration.  We enjoyed a date night.  With just the two of us.  Alone.

We spent our time at an early evening movie, followed by wonderful Vietnemese food, and all wrapped up with homemade garden-inspired cocktails.  It was a perfectly wonderful evening.

We wanted to incorporate our garden bounty in our cocktails in some way, so here is our best attempt to embody late summer garden freshness in a glass.  We hope you enjoy this little treat as much as we did!

Basil Lime Gimlet

1 cup lime juice

1/2 cup water

7 fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup sugar

Place the above ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir the mixture constantly until the sugar is dissolved and begins to bubble.  Turn off the heat, and allow the mixture to steep with the lid on for at least an hour.  Remove the wilted basil leaves and pour into a glass container and place in the refrigerator until chilled.

When you are ready to enjoy your cocktail, fill a pint-sized Mason jar with ice.  Add 1 oz. vodka, 2/3 cup of the basil lime simple syrup above, and 2 fresh basil leaves.  Now, for that rustic chic charm, attach a lid and rim to your Mason jar and shake away.  I’m telling you, it’s the coolest martini shaker on the market these days 🙂  Once your cocktail is properly shaken, remove the rim and lid, serve and enjoy!

IMG_4981

*A note about all my recipes:  I use all organic ingredients, local when available.  I use non-homogenized milk, and all of the dairy we use is from animals raised on pasture. I also use oils that are non-GMO verified.  All our meat is raised locally on organic feed, and our beef is grass-fed, grass-finished.  All our spices and cane sugar are fair-trade certified and purchased through a cooperative.