Looking for a holiday themed book to take with you on your holiday travels? I recommend Holiday Grind, first holiday themed book from the Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle.
After a holiday event at the Village Blend coffeehouse, Manager Clare Cosi goes looking for her customer and friend who never showed up. Alfred Glockner, one of New York’s Traveling Santa never did arrive to play Santa this year. With concern for her friend Clare attempts to track him down only to discover him gunned down in a nearby alley. Knowing there is more to the crime than a mugging gone badly; Clare sets out, on her own to find out what happened to Alfred. Clues and leads are discovered at every turn along with running the Village Blend.
This book is truly a fun read. Including everything one would want to know about coffee and recipes for all of the goodies mentioned in the book.
Whether you are traveling near or far this holiday season consider sharing Clare’s Mini Red and Green Holiday Biscotti (featured in Holiday Grind) with your family and friends.
Enjoy the recipe!
Clare’s Mini Red and Green Holiday Biscotti
Makes 36-40 Mini Biscotti
1 cup dried cranberries, or “Craisins”
1 cup pistachios
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk (save the egg white for glaze)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups white chocolate, chopped into small pieces or use chips
Step 1- Prepare Red and Green Goodies
Place dried cranberries in a bowl and cover with hot tap water to plump up. Let sit for at least 15 minutes but no longer than an hour. Drain well before adding to recipe. For pistachios: Remove shells, measure out 1 cup’s worth, then roughly chop with ladle or meat hammer. (If using a food processor or spice grinder, be careful. You want roughly chopped pistachios not green powder.)
Step 2- Make Dough
Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, egg yolk, and sugar for 2 full minutes. Add vanilla and melted (and cooled) butter and beat for another full minute. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and ground cinnamon. Now marry your wet and dry ingredients, mixing only enough to form dough. Fold in drained, dried cranberries and roughly chopped pistachios. (At this stage, Clare dusts her hand with flour and uses her fingers to fold in the goodies, making sure they’re evenly incorporated. Just take care not to over work the dough.)
Step 3- Form Logs and Glaze
Divide dough into two equal portions. On a floured surface use floured fingers to form each portion into a round log measuring 12-inches and no more than 1-inch in diameter. Place both logs onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or silicon sheets to prevent sticking. Press down lightly to flatten a bit. These skinny logs will spread out more during baking so be sure they’re well separated. Using a pastry brush, glaze the unbaked logs with the reserved egg white (just whip it up a bit with a fork before brushing). Now sprinkle both logs with granulated sugar. The glaze will help brown the logs and hold them together when you slice them.
Step 4- Bake and Slice
Bake in a preheated 350*F oven for 25 to 35 minutes (depending on your oven). Logs are finished baking when they are light golden brown, firm to the touch, and cracking a bit on the surface. Remove from oven, transfer off the hot baking sheet, and let cool completely. Wait at least 1 hour (3 is better) and slice up like a loaf of bread. Ideally, cookies should be about ¾ of an inch in thickness. Each log will yield 18 to 20 mini-biscotti, depending on how thick or thin you slice them.
Step 5- Second Baking
In Italian the term “biscotti” actually means baked again. So turn the sliced mini-cookies onto their sides and bake again, in 350*F oven, for 8 minutes on one side, then carefully (don’t burn your fingers) turn over and bake another 7 minutes on the other side. You want your cookies to dry out and toast a bit on the surface.
Step 6- Dip in White Chocolate
Let your biscotti cool completely and then dip the top edges of each cookie with melted white chocolate. (Melting chocolate is easy but tricky. See melting instructions at the of this recipe.) Set your freshly chocolate-dipped cookies on flat plates covered with wax parchment paper for easy clean-up. (Do not use paper towels. They’ll stick to the chocolate) Waite until chocolate hardens before moving again. To speed up this process, I pop the plates in the freezer for 5 minutes (just be sure to use the wax or parchment paper or some may freeze to the plate).
Clare’s Crumble Alert
Here are four tips to help prevent mini-biscotti from crumbling. 1) Let your logs cool completely, 3-4 hours is best. You can even allow the cooling logs to rest overnight. 2) Use a sharp, non-serrated knife. 3) Press straight down. No sawing. 4) Don’t try to slice cookies any thinner than ½ inch (3/4 of an inch is ideal). Inevitably, a cookie or two will break apart. No worries, a few usually do (and you wanted to taste them anyway, didn’t you?)
How to Melt Chocolate
WARNING: make sure your bowls, pans, and utensils are completely dry before you begin. Even a few drops of water can make the chocolate seize up!
Easy Microwave method
Place chopped chocolate pieces or chocolate chips in a dry microwave-safe bowl and warm on medium power for only 30 seconds. (Why? Because you are trying to prevent scorching, which will ruin the taste of your chocolate) Now take the bowl out of the microwave and stir it with a dry rubber spatula. Continue warming, 30 seconds at a time, stopping to stir each time. As the chocolate gets closer to melting completely, shorten the interval to 15 seconds, continuing to stir until the chocolate is just melted. Because of their milk solids, white chocolate and milk chocolate are more sensitive to scorching than dark, so be careful not to overheat.
You can find this recipe, and others in the Coffee House Mystery series!
We at Ingenious Travel want to make sure you’re well fed throughout the holiday season! Do you have a favorite holiday cookie? If so, please list it below. Contact us to learn about culinary trips, which are a treat any time of year!
Sounds like an interesting read, and a great holiday recipe
True to both. Michael, are you a reader? If so, what do you like to read?
What a yummy recipe! Thank you so much for sharing! It looks like it is easy which is even better!
Heather, they are easy and the whole house smells great while they’re baking!
great post! thank you for the recipes!!
You’re welcome! If you try the recipe, please let me know how you like them.
That sounds really good!! 😉 I can picture a cup of coffee, a Coffeehouse Mystery and a biscotti! 😉
It’s a perfect combination. Trying them gluten-free this year, too.
Wow! Recipes in a mystery series. Such a great idea.
There are a lot of books that include recipes. I’ll be sharing more throughout the year!
Going to share this recipe with my wife – she will love making it together with my daughter!
Hope you enjoy them. The house will smell wonderful, too!
Thanks for the biscotti recipe, I love biscotti and I love coffee shops. Too bad that Santa never showed up 🙂
You’re welcome! Hope you’re able to try the recipe.
On my to do list today…find a recipe for biscotti…Woohooo! Thanks Maria…can’t wait to make it!
Talk about perfect timing! Please let me know how you like them…enjoy!
Thank you all of the yummy recipes!
You’re welcome. Hope you get to try them!
Great way to mix up your usual travel posts, Maria. The recipe looks delicious!
Thanks Jackie! I’ll be mixing more recipes in throughout the year.
Biscotti is my FAV! Thanks so much for the easy recipe. Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas to you, too! They taste great and the house smells amazing while baking!
My mouth is WATERING! I can’t wait to try these!
Wonderful, hope you enjoy them! Let me know how you like them.
oh YUM! thanks for sharing! If you like this kind of read, I also recommend Diane Mott Davidson’s series—- funny mysteries with recipes— she’s a caterer but loves solving crimes.
Thanks! I’ll check out her series.
Just looking at those pictures makes me hungry. YUM! Those are perfect for Christmas!
They sure are. You can keep them for yourself or give them as a gift.
These are great tips and a great recipe for those who enjoy indulging in coffee.
Can’t wait to try the recipes!
I know you will enjoy them!
Great recipe. Thanks.
You’re welcome! Hope you’ll try them if you get the chance.
These look Amazing!! I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to print this recipe and use them for Christmas eve 🙂
They are amazing and your house will smell wonderful, too. Please do make them, they are perfect for Christmas Eve. Would love to hear how you like them.
YUM! Definitely printing this out to make in the next couple of weeks!
Wonderful, would love to hear what you think of them! Enjoy!
Sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
You are welcome. Feel free to try them as they are great to eat yourself or give as a gift.
Delicious recipe! Biscottis are interesting goodies that everyone loves. What beverage do you think it is best served with?
Coffee, hot tea, or hot cocoa would be my recommendations. However, like with any other “cookie”, milk might be good, too.
I love Biscotti Maria! I’m going to put this recipe on my list. Thank you and Marry Christmas! – T 🙂
Wonderful, I know you’ll enjoy it! Merry Christmas to you, too! 🙂