Forget the PSL, Try Pumpkin Biscotti Instead!

26 Oct DSC01098

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Now that it’s Autumn, coffee empires like Starbucks will make you think that you absolutely need a PSL to feel warm and fuzzy inside. And they’ll actually expect you to know what “PSL” means. What, haven’t you heard? Everyone is drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte these days!

If you really knew what ingredients are actually in a PSL (hint: there is no pumpkin), you might think twice before buying one. Instead, you could make your own pumpkin latte at home by blending a little pumpkin puree into your espresso concoction. I haven’t tried that, but if it ends up tasting similar to the Starbucks version, I think I’ll pass (the Starbucks PSL was the most vile espresso-based drinks I’ve ever tasted.)

Here’s my alternative: dunk some delicious pumpkin biscotti into your regular latte, or cup of coffee! Biscotti are twice-baked, so they do require a bit more work than a regular cookie. But these treats are well worth the effort, and they keep well too – so you can make them ahead of time for pot-lucks and other holiday parties.   This was my first time making any kind of biscotti and I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup crushed pecans
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (I used semisweet)
  • 6 Tbsp white sugar
  • 6 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ¾  tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½  tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line one large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices until well mixed. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat pumpkin and both sugars until well mixed. Add butter. Beat in eggs and vanilla.DSC01078
  3. Mix the flour mixture, pecans, and chocolate chips into the pumpkin mixture until the dough comes together. It will be very sticky!DSC01081
  4. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a log, approx 9 inches by 1 ½ inches. You can put each log between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently shape it. Then, remove one piece of the plastic wrap and flip the log over onto the baking sheet. Leave at least 2 inches between both logs.DSC01084
  5. Bake at 350°F until the loaves are cooked through and are cracked on top, about 30 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and let the pan cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.DSC01085
  6. Transfer the loaves onto a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut each loaf into thin slices, about 1/2-inch thick. Lay the slices back on the baking sheet and return them to oven. Bake until crisp and golden-brown on both sides, about 20 minutes. Halfway through baking, turn the cookies over and rotate the baking sheet.
  7. Remove from oven, and let cool. completely. Store in an airtight container.

If the biscotti aren’t fully cooled before you store them, they will soften and end up being more like dry scones than biscotti. Luckily, you can rescue them by toasting them in a toaster oven for about 5 minutes.

  tower of pumpkin biscotti

Delightful Donuts: Ohlin’s Bakery, Belmont, MA

19 Oct DSC01048

DSC01052When I was a kid, growing up in a dreary suburb of a giant metropolis, my dad used to buy a dozen donuts to brighten up some Saturdays.  We definitely had to get a whole dozen, since it wasn’t cost effective to buy just one.  Since I no longer have the metabolism of a nine-year-old, I rarely buy donuts at all – nevermind a full dozen. But when I saw that Ohlin’s Bakery had made several “best donuts” lists in the Boston area, I had to check it out.DSC01047

It took my husband and me at least 10 minutes to choose two from the wide array of donut offerings. Because Ohlin’s has no seating, we brought these two home:

The chocolate with maple drizzle

DSC01077Soft yet springy, with a yummy glaze that’s not too sweetOhlin's Bakery - chocolate with maple drizzleDSC01077The pumpkin donut

Ohlin's pumpkin donutPerfect for October!  It’s a “cake” donut, but very light and moist. As you bite into it, it falls apart in your mouth. Absolute heaven! DSC01070 Ohlin’s has a wide array of cakes, cookies, giant cinnamon rolls – you name it. But the next time I go there again, it’ll be hard to stay away from those donuts!

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Ohlin's Bakery on Urbanspoon

Aside

Smile of the Day: “Corona” in Bogota

15 Oct

My husband travels a lot for work. Recently, during a trip to Bogota, Columbia, he sent me this photo along with the comment,

 

I have a constant urge to drink a Corona every time I use the restroom…..

SAMSUNG

Pumpkin and Chicken Chili

11 Oct

BusyFoodie's chicken chili

It’s October! That means it’s pumpkin time! I don’t know if it’s a chick thing, but the excitement over pumpkin doesn’t seem to extend to many of the men I know. Though you can definitely taste the pumpkin in this recipe, it’s subtle enough that my pumpkin-evading husband still enjoys it. I use ground chicken in this recipe, but you could also use chicken breast and thighs, cut into cubes. Alternatively, use turkey instead of chicken. I make this chili in a slow cooker so I don’t have to keep an eye on it, but you could also simmer it on a stovetop.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb ground chicken (or turkey)ingredients
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped (about 3 small carrots)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) green chilies
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt, pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Saute chicken on high heat until white (about 5 minutes). Put chicken in slow cooker. DSC01020
  2. Saute onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add cumin and saute for 1 additional minute. Add to slow cooker.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker.DSC01026
  4. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours, or LOW for 8 hours.
  5. If you used of chicken instead of ground chicken, pull the meat apart using a fork.  

    Nutrition Information
    per 12 oz. serving

    Calories: 270
    Total Fat: 8.2 g
    Saturated Fat: 2.3 g
    Sodium: 124 mg
    Sugars: 4.4 g
    Protein: 24 g

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