Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti

With Christmas right around the corner, I figured it was about time for a more Christmas-y recipe. When I came across this amazing cranberry white chocolate recipe, I looked no further. 

I ended up making my biscotti a little thicker, making it a little softer than normal biscotti -- almost like shortbread. Dipped in coffee, this stuff is perfection.

You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post! 

Jessica Christine Photography - Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti
Jessica Christine Photography - Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti
Jessica Christine Photography - Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti
Jessica Christine Photography - Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti
Jessica Christine Photography - Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti
Jessica Christine Photography - Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti
Jessica Christine Photography - Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti

Original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift together flour and baking powder and set aside. In a mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest and salt. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the cranberries and 1/2 of the white chocolate chips.
  3. Form the dough into a 12-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
  4. Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti again, for 15 minutes, until they are golden brown. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
  5. Melt the remaining white chocolate chips in a double boiler. Dip the bottom of the biscotti in the white chocolate and let chocolate cool and set.

Pear Tart

For my mom's birthday weekend my husband, brother and I made my mom a birthday dinner complete with these absolutely delicious pear tarts. We served them with some seriously delicious vanilla Blue Bell ice cream, and they were to die for! 

Jessica Christine Photography - Baking - Pear Tart
Jessica Christine Photography - Baking - Pear Tart
Jessica Christine Photography - Baking - Pear Tart
Jessica Christine Photography - Baking - Pear Tart
Jessica Christine Photography - Baking - Pear Tart
Jessica Christine Photography - Baking - Pear Tart

Original recipe found here.

Ingredients:

For The Pastry Dough:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (8oz) unsalted butter, kept very cold and cut into small chunks
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons iced water

For The Filling:

  • 2 1/4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 ounces sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • I small tub ready made vanilla pudding (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 large ripe pears
  • 2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling on top

Glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 6 four inch tart shells.
  2. In a bowl combine the flour, salt and cold butter chunks. Rub them together with your fingertips until most of it has been squashed. You still want to keep large chunks as this helps with the pastry layers.
  3. Add the iced water and gently mix together with your hand until a soft ball forms.
  4. Wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Using a stand mixer, beat the soft butter and sugar together until light.
  6. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until it's all well mixed together.
  7. Fold the flour into the mixture and then the vanilla pudding. Set aside.
  8. Once the pastry dough has rested, roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick and cut out circles large enough to fill 6 four inch tart shells.
  9. Place the dough into the tart molds and trim to fit. Transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes to rest.
  10. Blind bake the pastry shells using parchment paper and dry beans in the oven for 20 minutes.
  11. Once the shells have cooled slightly, fill them with about a heaped tablespoon of the filling mixture.
  12. Peel the pears and slice into four wedges around the core.
  13. Take each wedge of pear and slice it again thinly. This will be the pear slices which will go on top of your filling mixture.
  14. Once you slice the pear thinly, push it down with your fingers to create the fanned look, place your knife below the slices and scoop them up and place them on top of the filling mixture.
  15. Gently push the down slightly until some of the mixture comes up over the sides of the pear. This will give the tarts the look of the sponge top around the edges.
  16. Sprinkle the tarts liberally with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees F.
  17. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 55 minutes and the tops start to get golden brown in color.
  18. Once the tarts have cooled, combine the water and sugar in a small pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes until it thickens into a syrup and using a pastry brush, carefully glaze the tops of the tarts to get a nice shine.

Maggie | Senior

I really can't think of a better way to start off the senior photo season than by photographing this cutie of a girl, Maggie. Maggie is so full of joy, and it's contagious. I had way too much fun getting to know her and photographing her adorable self. Seriously...it's sessions like this that make me love my job and thankful I get to capture such beautiful souls. Maggie, you are precious and have the best eyelashes of all time.

Peach Pie

Best peach pie ever. Will ate practically the whole pie (don't worry not in one sitting...but in one weekend...hehe). 
I love that pies allow for some creativity when it comes to the crust. And this buttermilk crust is to die for! Recipe at the bottom of the post! 

For the pie crust:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk, cold
1-2 tablespoons water, cold
1 large egg, beaten, for the egg wash
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top of pie

For the peach filling:

8 cups sliced peaches, skin removed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3-4 tablespoons cornstarch, depending on how juicy your peaches are
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: 

1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the cubed butter and toss to coat. Dump the mixture out onto a clean surface and use a rolling pin to roll the butter into thin sheets, combining it with the flour. Use a bench scraper to scrape the rolling pin and to bring the mixture back into a pile as necessary. Continue until all of the butter is incorporated into the flour. Mixture will be very flaky. Return mixture to the bowl and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill the butter.

2. Remove from freezer and add the buttermilk. Use a spoon and then your hands to stir the mixture until it comes together into a ball. If mixture is too dry, add the water a tablespoon at a time. Divide the dough in two and flatten into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

3. While the dough is chilling, make the peach pie filling. In a large bowl, combine peaches, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, and vanilla extract. Gently stir until mixed well.

4. When ready to roll out, let the dough rest at room temperature for five minutes. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a rough 13 inch circle. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to pie dish. Fill pie with peach filling. Repeat with the second disk of dough. Cut dough and make a lattice over the filling. You can also leave the circle intact and cover the filling completely, cutting a few vents with a sharp knife, but I went with a lattice top for my peach pie.

5. Fold the edges of the top and bottom crusts together and use your index fingers and thumb to pinch into a pattern. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

6. Bake in a 400 degrees F oven for 45 minutes or until the pie is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Let the pie cool completely on a wire cooling rack before cutting.

Note-you can use this same pie crust to make apple pie, berry pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, etc. Use your favorite filling!

Recipe Source

Lemon Lavender Cake

Life can be crazy, you guys. I find myself getting so caught up in work a lot of the times, that I forget to slow down and enjoy the other things I love doing. I recently discovered that baking is one of those things. I love the patience it takes and the way it forces me to slow down and just enjoy the simple things. Fridays have become my day of rest (right before the craziness of the weekend begins). I turn the record player on, put on an apron, and bake. It's relaxing, soothing, and well...delicious.

I have decided to document the different things I bake each week, starting with my first baking adventure--Lemon Lavender Cake. You can find the recipe at the bottom of the post! 

Cake

1 cup unsalted butter--room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 Tbs lemon zest
juice of 1 large lemon
1 generous tsp dried lavender buds

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time fully incorporating after each

addition. Stop and scrape down the sides with a spatula and resume beating until the mixture looks like

buttercream frosting. Meanwhile…in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice and buttermilk together. With the mixer on low, alternately mix in

the flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, in 3 additions. Do not over-mix, just allow the ingredients to come together. Stir in the lavender. Pour into 2 loaf pans that have been coated in pan spray. Bake at 325 F for approximately 50 mins. Check for doneness after 40 minutes. Cake is fully baked when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.When cool, pour glaze over

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs cream
Juice of lemon (more or less to your taste)
Stir together and pour over cooled cake.

Recipe Source