Happy Chanukah! This week after much anticipation, Chanukah finally arrived with much ado!
It is only day 4 of Chanukah, and I have already eaten enough latkes to last me a whole year! But oh how GOOD they were! Loving this Picture someone posted on Facebook – Funny & OH SO TRUE!
This is the first year that I get to really enjoy this fun holiday through the eyes of my 2 year old and it has certainly made this festival of lights just all that much brighter.
Watching her eyes go wide with wonderment as I allow her to hold the candle with me to light her clay menorah, listening to her cries of excitement as she ripped through the wrapping paper and found her new doll, sharing with her the first latke of the season as we sing as loud as we can, “driedel, driedel”, all of these snippets of Chanukah make my holiday all that more sweeter and meaningful.
Every year while they lived in America, my great Aunt Titi would make a huge Chanukah party at her house. With the majority of my family living now in Israel, my own family Chanukah party this year is very small.
Because I am longing for family, I am making my Aunt’s Titi’s famous Almond Bars Biscotti, because this Shabbos Chanukah would not be complete with out these wonderfully perfect hard cookie treats to nosh on.
Aunt Titi’s Biscotti
My Aunt’s biscotti are always perfectly thin bars and they are quite addictive when dunking them into your morning coffee or tea. A few years ago, I begged her to divulge her secret recipe and I have been making these bars ever since.
This recipe is my base for many variations of this bar; I have been know to add all sorts of combinations including chocolate chips, pistachios, dates, coconut etc..
I also change up the almond extract, and use lemon, orange or mint extract for some fun flavor changes.
¾ cup sugar
½ cup oil
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
Pre heat oven to 350F
Mix first 5 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Switch to your paddle attachment and then slowly add the flour and baking powder. Mix just to combine for about 1-2 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the toasted sliced almonds.
Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 9”x2” log. Place logs crosswise, 4 inches apart, on large cookie sheet. With a pastry brush, brush tops and sides of logs with egg. Bake logs 25 minutes. Cool logs on cookie sheet on wire rack for 10 minutes.
Place log on cutting board. With serrated knife, cut warm log crosswise into ½ inch thick diagonal slices. Place slices upright, ¼ inch apart on cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining log. Bake slices 15 minutes to allow biscotti to dry out. Cool completely, the biscotti will harden as they cool.
Store biscotti in tightly covered containers.
With Chanukah Parties on the agenda for this weekend many of us are looking for easy, inexpensive and creative ways to decorate our tables.
These sturdy flower napkins are not only pretty easy to make (think great project for your older kids), they are really beautiful and the perfect thing to use on your buffet table (scatter around amongst the platters) or on your dining table as a gorgeous centerpiece runner (use in clusters running down the middle of your table, and disperse tall candles and small votive candles among them)
If you’d like to add a contrasting center to your flower, place a different colored napkin on top. It works better if the center napkin is slightly smaller. Or just take a large napkin and trim it down. ALSO, I realized this after the fact, but you may want to scallop the edges of your center napkin right now (but that will make more sense in a bit).
Then use string, pipe cleaners, staples, whatever you want to hold the flower together in the center. THE BEST THING TO USE is wire twist ties (the kind you find on bread bags or with garbage sacks)
Cut a small semi-circle at each end of your fan, so that the napkins become “scalloped”:
Should look like this:
Then very carefully (so you don’t rip the napkin), start to peel each layer of the flower up. You may need to carefully pull the petals out a bit at the center of the flower so that they come together better in the middle.
Have a wonderful FUN & FAMILY FILLED Shabbos Chanukah!
till next week…
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