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Aunt Titi’s Biscotti & Friday Flowers (a must see for your Chanukah party)

 

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!

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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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

2   eggs

¾ cup sugar

½ cup oil

1 tsp     almond extract

pinch     cinnamon

2 cups   flour

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

½ cup   sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:

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.

 

Friday Flowers

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With Chanukah Parties on the agenda for this weekend many of us are looking for easy, inexpensive and creative ways to decorate our tables.

I came across this fantastic tutorial on how to make PAPER NAPKIN FLOWERS. (For more great ideas you must check out her blog!)

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)

4 Large napkins:

Unfold them and lay them on top of each other in a pile:

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).

Now start folding your stack of napkins up like a fan, or accordion:

Just keep flipping it over and folding, flipping over and folding the next piece on top of that,

until everything is folded up like this:

Then pinch the center of your flower together and kind of smush it down where you’re pinching together:

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.
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f you didn’t scallop your center napkin, you can do it now. In fact, I always take a pair of scissors to each flower when I’m done, just to trim things here and there, for a pleasing look.

Shape your petals the way you like it, and you’re done! You have a gorgeous over-sized flower to decorate a table, hang on your wall, or you may even downsize it and make a corsage.

Have a wonderful FUN & FAMILY FILLED Shabbos Chanukah!

till next week…

Sarah

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About the Author

For the last 8 years Sarah Lasry has been the heart and soul of the successful and celebrated Tastebuds Gourmet Café & Flower Shop in Howell, NJ. Sarah opened and ran Tastebuds to much critical appraise for her unique approach to delicious, kosher gourmet cooking as well as her legendary parties, original style and artistic culinary flair. In 2006 Sarah wrote the acclaimed bestselling cookbook “THE DAIRY GOURMET” which revealed all the secret recipes of Tastebuds Café. With much anticipation from her many fans and fellow foodies, Sarah’s brand new cookbook “THE AT HOME GOURMET” just hit the stores with high praise and reviews. Sarah currently resides in Lakewood, NJ where she has recently left the restaurant business to concentrate on her passion for writing cookbooks and is hard at work as the Food and Home contributing editor for Binah Magazine and www. Kosherstreet.com.

Comments (1)

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  1. Sara Vail Miedema says:

    My grand daughter and I make them out of tissue paper. We have them on our table in the kitchen. Great craft for a family project !!! You can use “pipe cleaners” instead of string and that makes a good stem.

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