Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Beer Label Coasters

coasters 2

My daughter made these beer label coasters to give to her boyfriend for Christmas this year and because I am more than positive that he is not a regular Pickles and Cheese blog reader, I felt it was safe enough to post these photos and not ruin the surprise.  : )

Coasters 1     Coasters 4

It is so nice to see her creative side emerging.  Especially since mine has been on somewhat of a hiatus! 

The idea was spotted on Pinterest and you can get How-To instructions from Attic Lace. 

I will definitely be making a set for myself one of these days.  Just need to start collecting the beer carriers.  Might require some craft brew experimentation!

Tough job but it’s all in the name of a quality craft project.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

biscotti 1
My new favorite Christmas cookie this year has to be these Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti.  Gave away most of the last batch I made and will be making another in the next few days.  These are awesome!
Biscotti 3
Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Original recipe makes 3 dozen

1/4 cup light olive oil

3/4 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts

Optional:  1/2 to 1 cup of melted white chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs.
  3. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
  4. Divide dough in half. Form two logs approximately 12x2 inches on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
  6. Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet.
  7. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.
  8. After the cookies are cool, hard, and dry, you can drizzle melted white chocolate on them.  Or dip one end into the melted white chocolate.  To do this, I melted the white chocolate chips in a heat proof Pyrex measuring cup and microwaved them for 30 seconds and then gave them a stir.  I mircowaved and stirred them in 30 second intervals until the chips were melted. 
  9. Using a fork I drizzled the melted chocolate back and forth across the cookies till I liked the way way they looked.  Then set them aside to cool and harden. 

Biscotti Bags

I found the recipe on Allrecipes.com and these cookies are worth raving about.  These are a keeper.  Also fun to give away.  I packaged mine up in some Christmas cellophane bags and tied them up with some ribbon. 

biscotti 2