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Posts tagged ‘orange’

Chocolate, Orange And Hazelnut Biscotti


I am working on gift boxes, I have sent off several but still have a lot to go, it’s a labor of love and quite a lot of work, the planning, shopping, baking is labor intensive but packaging and sending takes time as well, carefully packaging is so important as you don’t want your baked goods to arrive in pieces. Putting together a box or basket to give as a gift takes planning and careful thought. You want to send things that travel well, items that can withstand a few days in transit without going stale and you must carefully pack so that when the carrier jostles it around it will stay intact. I always send 2-3 day priority mail and tell them it’s “perishable” asking them to stamp that all over the box. So far I have been lucky and everything I have sent arrives in good shape. Knock on wood!!

A work in progress

A work in progress this is going to New Mexico to the winning bidder in a charity auction for a sick pup

Every year I make biscotti, being Italian I grew up on these delightful cookies, they are best when dipped in coffee, milk or Vin Santo or sweet dessert wine. This recipe is from Marisa’s Italian Kitchen, I changed the ingredients just slightly, Marisa’s biscotti have anise seed or extract which I would have loved and thought I had but did not so I left out the anise, and added chopped hazelnuts, other than that I followed the recipe exactly. This recipe caught my months ago and I saved it knowing I would be making biscotti for the holidays, I was looking for a biscotti that is not to hard, light and tender and looking at her recipe I thought that would be what I was looking for, and that is exactly how they turned out. They are delicious, I think adding the almond flour gives them a light as air, crunchy and delicate texture. They are wonderful and thank you Marisa for a great recipe.

Chocolate, Orange And Hazelnut Biscotti

 adapted from Marisa’s Italian Kitchen

1 3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup almond flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup chocolate chips

3/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbs orange zest

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup melted butter

1 egg white beaten with fork (to brush on the logs)

Heat oven to 350 degree’s and line a baking sheet with parchment

slightly uneven logs ready for the oven

slightly uneven logs ready for the oven

In large bowl add flours, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine, add the chocolate chips and hazelnuts and stir so that the chocolate and nuts are covered with flour. In a small bowl beat the egg, sugar, orange zest, vanilla and butter. Add to the dry ingredients and using a wooden spoon stir until it’s a cohesive dough (the dough will be a little sticky, don’t add more flour thats the way it should be) Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough onto it. Divide into 4 equal portions and form each into a log that is between 8-10 inches long. Transfer the logs to the baking sheet, brush with egg white and bake for 20 minutes turning pan halfway through. After 20 minutes remove from the oven and sit the baking sheet on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Place a log on a cutting board and slice diagonally into about 3/4 inch slices with a sharp serrated knife and place back on baking sheet standing upright for more even baking.

standing upright for even baking

standing upright for even baking

Place back in the oven for 15 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes on the pan and then remove to cooling rack. NOTE: Timing is important. I baked them for exactly the time outlined in the recipe and I think to achieve these results you have to. I am not one to stick to an exact baking time, I tend to wing it, but with a few recipes I make I have to and this is one of them. 




Cranberry Orange Scones


For years I was challenged when it came to making biscuits or scones then I found this recipe on Food52. These scones are absolutely delicious, no one and I mean no one makes scones like my friend Liz Larkin, the Scone Lady of Pound Ridge. I adapted her brilliant recipe for Royal Wedding Scones, using cranberry and orange rather than blueberries. These scone are light, fluffy, moist and delicious and were perfect with some homemade devon cream (because I can’t find it anywhere I made it) and some of the mixed citrus curd.   Some of these scones  are for my British (Welsh) friend David Prosser/Barsetshire Diaries, who never fails to entertain and amuse with his lovely blog posts every week. I hope you like scones David because I made some for you.

As long as I was making scones, for the Tea Room and for David, I thought it would be nice to bring some to Fiesta Friday as well. Angie is hosting party number 102 and her co hosts this week are Elaine @ foodbod and Julie @ Hostess at Heart, this will be a great party, join in, bring a dish and have fun!!

Cranberry Orange Scones

Adapted from a recipe by Liz Larkin, aka Mrs Larkin, aka the Scone Lady

1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbs cold unsalted butter cut into tbs size pieces

1 large egg

1 cup cold heavy cream

zest of one small orange or tangerine

1 tsp vanilla extract

Add the cranberries and brown sugar to the food processer and pulse until some of the berries are broken up and mixed with the sugar. Remove and set aside, clean and dry the bowl of the processor.

Add the flour, salt and baking powder and pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles crumbs. Pour into a mixing bowl. In measuring cup add the cream, beat in the egg, vanilla and orange zest. Pour into the mixing bowl and stir to combine with a fork, the dough will be shaggy, don’t over mix it, it’s ok if it’s not cohesive. Add the cranberry sugar mixture and gently stir with a fork just to combine.

Prepare your work surface by scattering some flour and dump the dough onto it. Bring it together gently with your hands lightly patting it into a circle. Cut into 6-8 slices depending on how large you like your scones. Line a sheet pan with parchment and put the scones on about an inch apart. Place in the freezer and keep them there at least an hour you want the scones to be completely frozen. When they are frozen,  you can either bake all or some. Store in ziplock bags separated by parchment until ready to bake.


To Bake: 

Pre heat oven to 425 Degree’s. Remove the scones from the freezer and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with cream and sprinkle sugar on them. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy with butter, cream, jam or curd and a nice cup of tea.

To make the Devon Cream I simply combined, cream cheese, sour cream or creme fraiche and heavy cream until it’s soft and spreadable.

So good!!

So good!!




My Very First Post- A Mixed Citrus Curd


This week I am taking you all on a little trip down memory lane, I am re visiting a few of my first posts. I actually posted twice on that first day. The first a mere paragraph saying I had no idea what I was doing and would try to get this blog up and running. It is embarrassing a little to read it but also saddens me because my pugs were alive when I started this blog. When I figured it out I posted this recipe which I had already posted on Food52 for mixed citrus curd.   I have not made this recipe since I first posted it in January 2012 and I am using tangerines, cara cara oranges and lemon. This would be good with any citrus you like, the flavor of the mixture of different types is delicious.

I was so nervous starting this blog, what if no one likes me or my recipes or ever even stops by was probably my biggest fear. I posted for the first time on Jan, 14 but the truth is I had the posts sitting in draft for about a week before I got up the courage to hit the publish button.

This is a very nice curd but I prefer the recipe from Tartine, the method is different you process or blend in the cold butter and get a thick, buttery, creamy curd that you can use immediately. Even sitting overnight this curd is not thick enough in my opinion to use as a filling for cake or a tart. When using this curd I would whip some cream cheese into it to stiffen it a bit and add some additional zest from an orange.

Mixed Citrus Curd

Mixed Citrus Curd photo from 2012

Mixed Citrus Curd

Makes 3 cups of curd

1 heaping tbs mixed zest from the fruits

1/2 cup  mixed citrus juice (juice from each fruit mixed to yield the needed amount) I used the juice of 1 lemon, 2 small tangerine and 1 cara cara orange.

6  large or extra large egg yolks

4 oz cold unsalted butter cut into pieces (1 stick)

1 1/2 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1-2 tsp orange zest (added after its cooked)


Zest the fruit and set aside a heaping tbs of mixed zest, juice the fruit mix together and set aside 1/2 cup. In mixing bowl add the egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt. Beat with hand held mixer until creamy and light. Whisk in the juice and zest and pour into sauce pan. Cook at medium low heat stirring constantly until the sugar has melted and it’s hot to the touch. Now add the butter one piece at a time stirring constantly until the butter is melted. Place thermometer in and continue cooking until it reaches a temperature of 175 degrees. Remove from heat.

Pour through a sieve into a bowl or large measuring cup, add the orange zest stir to combine and cover with plastic that sits directly on top of the curd, allow to come to room temperature then refrigerate overnight.




Rugelach- Fig/Cognac Jam, Pistachio,Orange For Fiesta Friday #48



I am making another batch of my rugelach, the very one I put in my gift boxes, I always make a double batch of the dough because invariably I need to make more to give away after Christmas. This new batch is the same but I decided to add some chopped pistachio and a hint of candied orange peel (chopped really fine). Since I am baking for friends and you all are my friends right,  I made enough to bring with me to the party hosted by the lonesome and totally awesome Angie@The Novice Gardener, I only say lonesome because this week she gave everyone the week off, no co hosts. Don’t worry Angie you won’t  be lonesome for long, soon your house will be filled with eager party goers.

orange and pistachios added

orange and pistachios added

Makes 4 dozen

The Dough and filling:

8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar + more for sprinkling on cookies

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup pistachio’s- chopped

2 tbs finely chopped candied orange peel

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp powdered ginger

1/2 cup fig jam

egg wash

sugar for sprinkling

1/4 cup light brown sugar packed

looks like dukkah

looks like dukkah

In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream the cream cheese and butter until light. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla. With mixer on low add the flour and mix just to combine. Dump dough onto work surface form into a ball cut into four quarters and wrap each in plastic wrap, refrigerate for one hour
Place pistachio (if they are not toasted already) on parchment lined sheet pan and toast in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes (just until you can smell the nuts). Once the nuts have cooled enough to handle, and add the brown sugar cardamom and ginger, orange and chopped pistachio. Set aside.

Remove one of the dough quarters from the refrigerator, roll into a circle on floured work surface. Note: The dough should be cold when rolling, do not let the dough sit out and come to room temperature, it will get too sticky and you want to avoid using a lot of flour if at all possible.  I use the lid of my dutch oven to cut an even circle. Spread jam on the dough round, sprinkle nut/sugar mixture on top of the jam and press down gently with your hand. Cut into quarters and cut each quarter into 3 pieces. Roll from widest end to smallest.

ready to roll

ready to roll

Place each rugelach on parchment lined baking sheet, brush with egg wash and sprinkle some sugar on each. Put in freezer for 15 minutes before baking. While they are in freezer pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to cooling rack.

fresh from the oven

fresh from the oven

flaky and delicious

flaky and delicious



Cardamom, Orange And Chocolate Ribbon Cookies – Cookies For Christmas

Ribbon Cookies

Ribbon Cookies

This is the last cookie I will be making to include in my gift boxes.  It’s such a beautiful cookie, festive and delicious. The recipe came from my Mom, it’s probably from the 60’s, the original recipe did not contain cardamom or orange, that was my idea. Both are very subtle and go well together, the sum of all the parts makes a wonderful cookie. You can add whatever flavoring you like, you are not bound by cardamom and orange.  I think orange, hazelnut and chocolate would be great. Almond extract to the vanilla portion would be lovely also. The great thing about these cookies is that you can change the flavor profile to suit your taste. I hope you enjoy!


Makes Approximately 36 cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup good quality shortening at room temperature (I like Spectrum)
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg at room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk or half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
Zest of one orange
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate melted (Use the microwave method — it’s great.)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup toasted walnuts chopped finely
In mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment for approximately 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda, and salt and beat until combined. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla. Add flour and mix to combine with spoon. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 30-second intervals stirring in between. It took me 60 seconds.
Divide dough in half. Knead the melted chocolate and walnuts into half of the dough and then the cardamom and orange zest into the other half. Line a 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Divide chocolate dough in half and press into the bottom of the loaf pan, now divide the vanilla dough in half and press on top of chocolate layer, now another chocolate layer, and finish with the vanilla layer. Cover with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, I freeze or refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 375° F.

Three equal pieces

Three equal pieces

Going into the oven

Going into the oven find the cookie that isn’t facing the right way!! LOL

Remove from refrigerator, invert onto cutting board, and remove plastic wrap. Divide into 3 equal pieces (each is 3 inches) and cut each third into 12 equal pieces that are about 1/4 inch thick. Place on baking sheet with either parchment or silpat and bake for 10 to 12 minutes turning baking sheet around halfway through baking (5 minutes). BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERBAKE! Remove from oven when edges start to turn a light brown. If you leave them in longer than the prescribed baking time they become overdone and are really crunchy. I took out my batch of cookies at 11 minutes. They were just right.

Ready for the gift box

Ready for the gift box


Bake Together:Date And Orange Cornmeal Buttermilk Muffins With Cardamom Streusel Topping

Bake together with Abby Dodge  this month is Cornmeal buttermilk muffins. I just want to say that I love participating in this, it is a wonderful way to be creative and as always I have a lot of fun. I used Abby’s basic recipe for Cornmeal Buttermilk muffins (original recipe found by clicking on Abby Dodge above) and added my own touch. My latest obsession is with Medjool dates, the are so soft and creamy and sweet I find myself snacking on them several times a day. Dates and orange and cardamom  go together really well so I thought I would incorporate all those wonderful ingredients into these muffins. The muffins contain orange zest and dates and I made a streusel topping flavored with cardamom. NOTE: I also decreased the sugar to 1/4 cup because the dates are so sweet and I made a dozen mini muffins rather than 6 large ones.
For the muffins:
3/4 cup (3 3/8 ounces) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) finely ground yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped medjool dates pitted
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
Streusel Topping
3 tbs flour
2 tbs light brown sugar packed
2 tbs granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 tbs soft butter
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 6 regular-sized muffin cups with paper or foil liners or to make mini muffins 12 liners in 12 cup muffin tin.
Mix the soft butter, flour, sugars and cardamom and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk until well blended. Measure the buttermilk using a 2 cup glass measure, pour buttermilk into blender and add the chopped dates , pulse a few times so that the dates are broken up but still are in small pieces, add back to 2 cup measuring cup. Add the egg, oil, and orange zest  and mix with a table fork until well blended. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold (no stirring) until just blended.
Portion the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups (1/4 cup of batter per cup will be about three-quarters of the way full a little less for mini muffins). Crumble the streusel topping on each muffin. Bake until the tops are pale golden brown and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes for larger muffins because mine were smaller it took 15 minutes to bake. Move to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins from the pan and set them on a wire rack. Serve immediately or cool completely and stow in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. I like them best when they are served warm so please reheat before serving.

Pandoro Bread Pudding with Chocolate and Orange

Pandoro Bread Pudding

Pandoro is a sweet Italian Yeast Bread it’s traditionally served around the holidays and every year I buy one that I make bread pudding from. It’s similar in texture to a brioche but a little sweeter, so if you cannot find Pandoro using brioche will also work.  This bread pudding is not heavy, its very light and you can almost characterize it as fluffy. I added a little orange and chocolate because they go so well together and the end result is a creamy bread pudding with melted chocolate and just a hint of orange. This is best served warm so the chocolate is soft. Garnish with some whipped cream if you like, but I found this needs nothing its delicious on its own.

Makes 3 ramekins 3×1 1/2″

8 ounces Pandoro cut into large cubes

6 eggs

1/4 cup sugar (If you use brioche increase the sugar to 1/3 cup)

2 cups half and half

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

soft butter for the ramekins

3 tsp orange marmalade

4 oz dark chocolate chopped

Boiling water for the bain marie

Cut bread or Pandoro into cubes, break eggs into large mixing bowl, add the sugar and whisk until combined. Add the half and half, heavy cream and vanilla and whisk well, you don’t want the sugar to pool at the bottom of the bowl. Add the bread cubes and let sit while you prepare the ramekins.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, put your kettle on to boil the water. Butter each ramekin then place a tsp of orange marmalade in each and spread on bottom and half way up the sides. Chop the chocolate and add to the soaking bread and stir. Spoon it into each ramekin. Place ramekins in large roasting pan and pour the boiling water carefully so that it comes a little less than half way up the ramekins. Carefully place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the custard is set. Remove from oven let cool about 15 minutes and enjoy. Alternatively, you can use a medium size rectangular baking pan if you do not want to use ramekins.


Featured Recipe-Asian Inspired Salmon

Every week I am going to feature a great recipe that I have made and I feel you should know about. Inpatskithen recipe for Asian Inspired Salmon is the perfect quick and delicious meal. The glaze is outstanding. Sweet and spicy, with just the right amount of acid to balance it. It compliments the salmon perfectly. I love that the glaze is also the marinade, I used a blood orange marmalade and added a little lemon zest (I love lemon in just about everything).  Pat is an active homecook and you can see her many recipes not only on her blog but on food52. This recipe was also a finalist in Whole Foods salmon contest. You can visit her blog or view her other recipes at

Asian Inspired Salmon by Inpatskitchen

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds skinless salmon fillets cut into 4 equal pieces

1 13 to 14 ounce jar orange marmalade

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 crushed garlic cloves

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

Hot cooked white rice

3/4 cup sliced green onions

  1. Combine the marmalade, vinegar,soy sauce, garlic, red pepper, ginger, salt, sugar and sesame oil in a small sauce pan and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  2. Let the marinade cool and then pour about half of it over the salmon fillets and marinate them for about 1 hour in the fridge.
  3. Broil or grill the marinated fillets for about ten minutes or until flaky.
  4. Reheat the remaining marinade and serve the salmon over the hot cooked rice drizzled with the warm marinade and topped with green onion slices.

Orange Angel Food Cupcakes With Chocolate Orange Buttercream

Chocolate and Orange Delicious

Orange scented angel food cake with a creamy chocolate orange buttercream pairs perfectly. I submitted this to a food52 recipe contest the theme is citrus and these cupcakes deliver citrus in every bite. I adapted Grace Parisi’s angel food cupcake recipe to include the orange zest and I adapted Martha Stewarts Chocolate Buttercream recipe.


1 1/4 cup egg whites at room temperature

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp orange zest

1 cup cake flour

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 tsp salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Set 12 jumbo foil muffin cups on a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the cake flour with the confectioners’ sugar. In a large bowl, combine the egg whites with the salt, orange zest and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the whites are firm and glossy. Sift the flour mixture over the egg whites in 2 additions, folding gently until incorporated.
  2. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups filling to the top. Bake for 15 minutes (checking on them starting at 13 minutes), shifting the pan from front to back, until the cupcakes are springy and golden. Transfer the cupcakes to a rack to cool.

The Buttercream:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70%) broken into small pieces

1 tsp orange zest

4 egg whites from large eggs

1/2 cup +2 tbs granulated sugar

8 ounces unsalted butter cut into pieces at room temperature

Place chocolate and orange zest in microwave safe bowl, microwave for 30 seconds, stir and microwave another 30 seconds, it may need another 30 seconds to melt. Stir until all the chocolate is melted set aside to cool.

Combine sugar and egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water; whisk until the mixture feels hot to touch and the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the bowl to the mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on medium-high until cooled, about 15 minutes.

Add the butter a piece at a time beating continuously until its all added, now add the cooled chocolate and beat until combined. Use immediately.

Spread a thin layer of the marmalade on top of the cupcake, pipe some of the chocolate buttercream in the middle. Enjoy!

Mixed Citrus Curd

Mixed Citrus Curd


Makes 2 cups

1 each orange, tangerine,clementine, lemon (I used a navel orange and honey tangerine)

1 heaping tbs zest from the fruits

1/2 cup juice (mixed from each fruit)

6 extra large or large egg yolks

4 oz unsalted butter cut into pieces (1 stick)

1 1/2 cup sugar

pinch of salt

1 tsp orange zest (added after its cooked)


Zest the fruit and set aside a heaping tbs of mixed zest, juice the fruit mix together and set aside 1/2 cup. In mixing bowl add the egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt. Beat with hand held mixer until creamy and light. Whisk in the juice and zest and pour into sauce pan. Cook at medium low heat stirring constantly until the sugar has melted and it’s hot to the touch. Now add the butter on piece at a time stirring constantly until the butter is melted. Place thermometer in and continue cooking until it reaches a temperature of 175. Remove from heat.

Pour through a sieve into a bowl, add the 1 tsp orange zest stir to combine and cover with plastic that sits directly on top of the curd, allow to come to room temperature then refrigerate overnight.