Saturday, December 10, 2011

Baking for Christmas

I am baking several fabulous items for inclusion in the Christmas baskets for this year.  I made a group of Double Chocolate Biscotti that has a hint of cinnamon and lots of chocolate chips.  Frank was cleaning up all the crumbs that happily formed when I made the cuts for the individual pieces.  Look into the oven and see the logs baking.  With biscotti you first bake it into two logs then you cut the logs on the diagonal to make the pieces.  You can see the almonds and the chocolate chips in the pieces.   

Then every year I make a wonderful old Italian Christmas Bread called Panettone.  It is like a fruitcake crossed with a brioche.  Filled with anise!  I love the anise.  I usually also make an Anisette Toast but not tonight.  Maybe tomorrow after the parade.

Here is the Panettone rising. Yes, it is a yeast bread.   It is sitting on a heating pad.  (That greatly upset Frank who thought I was going to burn the kitchen down.)

The second rising is going on right now.  For some reason this dough is not as firm as it should be.  I am hoping that doesn't matter when it is baking.  Hmmm..........
It has the same citron fruits as a fruitcake so I generally make a fruitcake or two as well.  SO.......
I do have two fruit cakes in the oven as we speak.  They need to bake for three hours so it is time to rest and type up this blogpost. 

I love this cookbook.  It is the one my mother had when I was a young girl learning to cook by making desserts for the family.  I cooked most of them listed in this book over the years.  And I still cook from it.  My Panettone recipe is from its pages.

Fruitcake is mixing in the bowl and the citron has soaked in Coconut Rum overnight.  The recipe wanted dark rum but I only had the coconut.  The coconut is from the last cruise to the Caribbean so it is probably well rested! 
Here are the fruitcakes as they bake in a slow oven. 

I think I will dance a bit, Frank is watching that Tom Hanks movie where he is lost on an island with a volleyball.  So I guess I will dance with my short dogs and wait for the fruitcake timer.

Yes, I get the joke, I guess I am a little fruitcake crazy for dancing with the dogs!



  1. Dancing with the Dogs sounds better than Dancing with the Wolves. That movie was a very big hit and so would a movie of you dancing with the bassets. All that baking makes me envious.

  2. Dancing with Bassetts, love it! Betty Crocker is my kitchen companion as well, "she" makes the best meatloaf!


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