Biscotti & DIY Gift Bag

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Biscotti means ‘twice baked’. They are a very old type of baked goods; probably among the oldest, because the way they are made make them excellent for keeping for long periods of time. Originally made without sweetening, they were crackers or hardtack, designed for long journeys. With sugar added, they become a crunchy sweet treat, and with other good things added like nuts and cocoa, they become a very special creation worthy of gift-giving. Use these biscotti for hostess gifts or anytime gifts, or make into smaller packages for delectable party favors.

Chocolate & Nut Biscotti
Makes 2-3 dozen.

• 1 cup sugar
• 1-3/4 cups flour
• 1/2 cup cocoa
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1 cup toasted almonds or hazelnuts
• 3 eggs
• 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp almond extract

Mix, sugar, flour, cocoa, soda and salt until blended. Add the toasted nuts and the chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly, add the vanilla and almond extracts, then stir into the dry mixture just until blended.

Form dough into two logs, each 12″ long. Put on parchment or wax paper on a cookie sheet, evenly spaced apart. Bake at 300° for about 30 minutes or until almost firm to the touch. They will spread while they bake. Remove from oven, but keep the oven at 300°. Let cool for 15 minutes, move to a cutting board, and with a sharp knife cut 3/4-inch diagonal slices. Lay the slices cut-side down on the baking sheet and put back in the oven. Bake 25 minutes, turn, bake another 25 minutes. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly, and leave the biscotti in the oven until completely cool.

Nut & Lemon Biscotti
Makes 2-3 dozen.

• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 cups flour
• 1-1/4 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 cup pine nuts (or slivered almonds)
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup oil
• 1 tsp vanilla flavor
• 1 tbsp lemon zest

Mix, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt until blended, then stir in the pine nuts. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly, add the oil, vanilla and lemon, then stir it into the dry mixture until blended. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for about a minute, just until ingredients are blended.

Form dough into two logs, each 12″ long. Put on parchment or wax paper on a cookie sheet, evenly spaced apart. Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes or until almost firm to the touch. They will spread while they bake. Remove from oven, but keep the oven at 350°. Let cool for 15 minutes, move to a cutting board, and with a sharp knife cut 3/4-inch diagonal slices. Lay the slices cut-side down on the baking sheet, return to the oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

Easy Paper Wrap

You Will Need:
• Decorative paper – get it online at www.paper-source.com, or go to your local craft or scrapbook shop
Oval labels
Large cellophane bags
• Staples, straight-edge, and cutting knife or scissors

In this project we used a large cellophane bag (3-1/2 x 2-1/8 x 9-3/4), folded down the top edge and stapled it to keep the biscotti fresh and crunchy. Then we encased it with a heavy decorative paper wrap, folded in two places to make a sturdy bottom, and fastened at the top with two staples.

Choose a thick paper printed with a pretty pattern or texture. If you use lightweight paper, double it up with a heavy paper. The template below will guide you in making your paper wraps. You can adjust the dimensions to fit any size bag of goodies.

Use a piece of scrap paper to make your first wrap so you can test the dimensions without wasting your lovely paper. Use the template above as a guide. Cut out with an exacto knife along the solid lines. Then, using a ruler for a straight edge, score along the dotted lines with the back edge of a table knife. Pre-fold at the dotted lines, place the bag of goodies on the paper, and fold the sides up. Staple both the bag and the paper wrap together at the top and place a label on the front. So your biscotti turned out fantastic and beautiful? They now look fabulous! Your biscotti turned out not so perfect? They look terrific now!

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More homemade ideas from Jeanne…

Jeanne (123 Posts)

Jeanne and her husband David launched My Own Labels in January of 2000. It was a spin-off of their successful graphic design firm, plus it allowed Jeanne to incorporate her love of baking, making, sewing and creating. Today David and Jeanne continue to be the heart of the operation both creatively and practically.


Comments

  1. Chris says

    I have a question about this project. Are these bags supposed to be very small (about 3.5 x 5 inches)? The photo makes them seem so large. That along with the size biscotti usually is makes me wonder what Im missing here. Can anyone clue me in? I’d love to make them!

    • Jeanne says

      Hi Chris, thanks for your interest and your question, I am happy to explain. The instructions above do tell you to use the large size cellophane bags, size 3-1/2 x 2-1/8 x 9-3/4 (it’s right below the Paper Wrap illustration). Be sure to form your biscotti loaves with the size of the packaging in mind. This is always a key to making a food gift that packages up perfectly.

      Enjoy your baking, and please let me know how they turn out!

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