Today I have gathered some of my favorite bloggers to help me celebrate a very special friend of mine. Tara! Tara is the host of Tara’s Multicultural Table.
When Tara was pregnant with her son Evan I threw her a surprise baby shower. So keeping with tradition I thought it’d be fun to throw her another surprise shower. Now that we live in separate states this shower would be virtual. If I thought keeping a secret the first go around was difficult it was nothing compared to this time! Both being food bloggers we’re constantly in communication about what we’re cooking up in the kitchen.
I wanted to have a theme for this online party. I thought about tapas – tying in to Tara’s blog’s theme. But then into my email should come another biscotti recipe from Tara. Tara loves baking – cookies, scones, breads. While I’d never made biscotti before I thought it’d be a perfect theme! Because biscotti are twice baked cookies and this is Tara’s second baby!
I baked two different recipes for this event. I really wanted to make Tiramisu Biscotti.
The first time Tara and I ever worked together in the kitchen, before we had blogs, we tried our hands at a tiramisu cheesecake. Tara wanted to do everything from scratch – including the lady fingers. Well, we pretty much failed at that endeavour. The lady fingers simply didn’t have the texture required for breaking down into cookie crumbs to form the crust. But we powered through. The cheesecake filling part was quite delicious.
Much like our first tiramisu adventure, mine too wasn’t a complete success. The biscotti, while perfeclty delicious were burnt along the edges and simply didn’t provide very appetizing photographs – and I took 31 photos! The white chocolate chips in the cookie turned a little yellow too and didn’t give quite the effect I was thinking they would. I would have loved to simply remake them and pull them out of the oven sooner – but I didn’t have the ingredients on hand and guess, what, it was snowing. I will remake these some day and they’ll be honored with their own blog post – and better photos. We really did enjoy these biscotti!
It was back to the drawing board and now with a slightly limited baking pantry. And then I found gold. Cinnamon biscotti. I have a very large obsession with cinnamon and could not pass this recipe up! These cookies didn’t turn out perfectly either – we cut them a little too thick and baked them a little too long. (I should have just followed the instructions – these cookies continue to harden once they’re out of the oven.) I know biscotti are supposed to be a hard cookie – perfect for dunking in coffee or tea – but these were too hard. They could not be enjoyed solo. As I don’t drink coffee, I ate mine with a cup a milk. And when the cookie was gone I was left with cinnamon milk to drink!
I would like to give a big congratulations to Tara. If you don’t follow her on Instagram you really should! (@taramctable) Her account is full of beautiful food photography and the occasional photograph of her adorable children and puppies. If you do follow Tara, you’ll have noticed that her precious child entered this world early a week and a half ago. (which means that I am now behind on her baby quilt! And I thought I was doing so well. The fabric is all cut and the sewing is underway)
So today’s suprise baby shower is more of a welcome baby party!
I would also like to thank my food friends in helping to celebrate Tara today! Please check out the beautiful cookie spread we have assembled for this event. You’ll find the list after my recipe.
- 6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 C sugar, divided use
- 2 eggs, divided use
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 C flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tsp cinnamon, divided use
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together butter with 1 C sugar until fluffy. Add 1 egg and the egg yolk, mix until combined. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 2 tsp cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer in 3 batches, mixing until combined before incorporating more.
- Shape the dough into a log about 10 inches long and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Beat the last egg and brush the cookie dough.
- Make cinnamon sugar: wisk together the remaining 1/4 C sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle some of the sugar over the cookie dough, reserve the rest.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Slice dough into 3/4″ slices on the diagonal. Place cookies cut side down onto the baking sheet. Top with the reserved cinnamon sugar. Bake 15 minutes more. Allow to cool.
- Enjoy with coffee, tea, or milk.
*This recipe is adapted from Joan at http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/2012/12/cinnamon-sugar-biscotti/*
And don’t forget to take a peek at what my other guests have baked up: