Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dipped Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Hi again! Miss Contra Costa County 2015. Now, if you're like me, you have been thinking, "what am I going to do with all of these leftover vanilla candy melts?!" I bought a huge bag at Hobby Lobby to make my Cherry Pistachio Bark (which was completely eaten up! check out the recipe here!) and I have a ton of melts leftover. Then I had a great idea...dipped biscotti! You can either make the biscotti yourself or buy some premade biscotti and spruce it up! Just melt, dip, sprinkle with some American Pistachio Growers brand pistachios, sprinkles, or other treats of your liking!

Dipped Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup pistachio nuts
leftover melts—I had 12 oz. left!

1.      Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F
2.    In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the extract, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl. Gradually stir powder mixture into the egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
3.    Divide dough in half. Form two 12”x2” logs on a lined cookie sheet. The dough may be sticky, so make sure you wet your hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.
4.    Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F.
5.    Cut logs on diagonal into ¾” thick slices. Lay on sides on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.

Here’s the fun part!
6.    After all biscotti is cool, melt vanilla candy melts in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time, until melted.
Dip each biscotto into the melted mixture until ½ of the biscotto cookie is covered. Sprinkle topping of your choice. My favorite was crushed pistachios! 

Enjoy! If you like my pistachio recipes, try them out for yourself! Tag me in any pictures you take @misscontracostacounty!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Cherry Pistachio Bark

Hi everyone! Miss Contra Costa County 2015, Angela Laird here! With the holidays in full swing, I was searching for a way to fuse two of my favorite foods together: chocolate bark and pistachios! The Miss California Organization is lucky enough to be sponsored by American Pistachio Growers, which in my mind says, “unlimited pistachios”! While there are many other perks to becoming Miss California, I would take the job just for the pistachios alone! Who’s with me?! The sweetness of the chocolate mixed in with the saltiness of the pistachios and the sweet tang of the cherries is divine! Plus, the red, green, and white bark is the perfect addition to your Christmas tablescape. Enjoy!

Cherry Pistachio Bark
1 ¼ cups dried cherries
2 tablespoons water
2 11 oz. packages of white chocolate chips

12 oz. of vanilla flavored candy coating

1 11 oz. package of dark chocolate chips

1-1 ¼ cups chopped pistachio nuts

1. In a small glass bowl, microwave cherries with water on high for 1-2 minutes, drain if necessary, and set aside.

2. In a separate microwave-safe bowl, microwave the dark chocolate chips until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. Line a 10x15” pan with wax paper and pour the melted dark chocolate into the pan. Sprinkle half of the cherries and pistachios onto the melted chocolate. Let this layer harden before continuing.

3. In another microwave-safe bowl, microwave the white chocolate chips and candy coating together the same way you did the dark chocolate chips. Pour the mixture over the existing ingredients in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining cherries and pistachios onto the white chocolate mixture. Chill for one hour, or until firm.

4. Cut into 1” squares or just break apart. Store unused portion in an air-tight container. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Here we go!

Hi everyone,

A lot has happened in the last two months! I've had many appearances alone and with my teen, Hannah...

Almost every weekend has been filled with adventure! But, things have calmed down for while now that the holidays are approaching. I even graduated Sonoma State University just last week. Now it is time to focus on the future! I am overflowing with gratitude for everything that has occurred in the past year and all of the blessings I have received. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me. This is the time for some rest and relaxation before the new year starts off with a boom. I promise to blog more often! :) join me!

xoxo Miss Contra Costa County 2015