Let's face it, all that holiday cookie baking requires an inordinate amount of time. Short on time but still want to share home-baked goodness with friends and neighbors? How about trying biscotti (or cantucci)? Believe me, they are very quick and very easy . . . and oh-so-festive and tasty! Instead of scooping out dozens upon dozens of cookies, with biscotti you only need to mix up the ingredients, form a log, bake, cut the log, and bake again. So dang easy. With my European-sized oven, cookie baking can seem to drag on and on, often with no end in sight.
Besides the chocolate hazelnut variety that I recently learned to make, I've also baked up a batch of cranberry pistachio and almond anisette flavors.
Since this was a last minute project, I gathered jars from around the house that were being used to store things like walnuts or ribbons or stamps, washed them up, glued ribbons around the lids, tied ribbons and twine around the jars, and voila! -- perfect gifts for office staff and admin at my school.
I was so impressed with myself that I plan to forgo most other cookie baking I had planned for neighbors and friends in favor of these biscotti-filled jars. (The Quattro Stagioni jars, by the way, are the Italian version of the Mason jar and are readily available in an array of sizes in most local stores.)
Peace and joy to you. The excitement is building in our house. A snowfall postponed the school concert but brought with it the chance for a snowman this morning -- which is not a problem, since I won't be spending all my time baking!