In my previous post, I’ve mentioned how much I like to make my own Christmas tree ornaments. Even though homemade craft is not my forte, I can imagine the satisfaction you’ll get from the end product, regardless it’s good or bad.
Unfortunately, if owning a hot glue gun (for a start) is a prerequisite to crafting at home, all I can say is not only I don’t have the “talent” but also the necessary “gadget” to expand my crafting skills.
But fret not. I know I can always count on food and my kitchen gadgets to come to the rescue. Especially when it comes to Christmas decorations, it’s quite common to use edible ingredients, transforming from yummy-licious to beauty-licious. 😛
There are many ways we can go about making edible decorations. For a start, we can bake some gingerbread cookies and then glazed them with pretty pastel coloured icing; and if you’re infatuated with blings, there’s nothing like sparkly sprinkles and edible pearl cachous can’t do. And don’t forget about popcorns garlands? Love those too!
That said, I thought it would be fun and special to add these biscotti ornaments to my growing list of Christmas decoration ideas. What do you think?
Stained Glass Biscotti & Christmas Tree Decoration
(tweaked slightly from The Australian Women’s Weekly – Macaroons & Biscuits)
Taste or aesthetic? The original recipe specifies 1 1/2 cups of glace cherries which I think it’s a bit excessive for my taste. So I’ve reduced to 3/4 cup which I’m glad that I did. Otherwise, the biscotti would be overly (sickeningly) sweet. That said, for aesthetic purpose, the original portion would garner more “stained glass” effect as compared to mine.
Makes 60 biscotti
¾ cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar
1 1/3 cups (200g) plain flour
1/3 cup (50g) self-raising flour
¾ cup multi glace cherries, halved
½ cup (80g) pecan pieces (or blanched almonds as per original recipe)
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Grease oven trays or line with baking paper.
2. Hand whisk sugar and eggs in medium bowl until combined; stir in sifted flour then cherries and nuts.
3. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth.
4. Divide dough in half, roll each portion into a 30cm (12 inch) log;
5. Place logs on tray and bake about 30 minutes. Cool the logs on tray for 10 minutes before cutting into slices of biscotti. Meanwhile, reduce oven temperature to 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit).
6. Using serrated knife (I found steak knife to be useful), cut logs diagonally into 5mm (1/4 inch) slices. If you are to use some for Christmas tree decoration, create a hole near the end of the biscotti with a chopstick – this is where you’re going to thread a gold string through the hole and hang the biscotti.
7. Place slices, in single layer on baking paper lined trays and bake for about 30 minutes or until dry and crips, turning halfway through baking.
8. Cool on wire racks.
9. Once cooled, start to thread the biscotti. If you’re having trouble threading (due to the final baking in step 7) use a toothpick / satay stick to “clear” the hole.