Category Archives: Baking

Pistachio and Cranberry Biscotti with Chocolate

IMG_2824This biscotti originates with ‘Biscotti di Stephi’, Steph McVox’s biscotti recipe. I love this biscotti for its soft cookie-like crumb. Not too crisp, yet it holds up when dunked into a coffee (or wine, if you will). The addition of green pistachio and red cranberry gives the biscotti a festive flavour. And everything is better with chocolate. Steph’s original recipe (below) has toasted almonds—and the combination of almonds and chocolate and orange zest is damn fine. Happy baking! -bvox

“These biscotti are not too hard; you can eat them without dunking!” -Steph McVox

Biscotti di Stephi

  • 1/2 cup whole almonds (I used slivered raw pistachios, not toasted)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate, chopped (white, dark or milk, or mix them all together)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp of amaretto (I used orange liqueur)
  • The zest of a medium orange, finely chopped
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg or poudre douce (I used 1/2 tsp of Steph’s poudre douce blend)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. If using almonds, lightly toast them in a 325 degree oven, for 8-10 minutes. Let cool and chop into halves or thirds. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at time, then vanilla, Amaretto (or orange liqueur), and zest.
  3. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg or poudre douce, and salt. Add to creamed mixture; mix until blended.
  4. Add chopped almonds/pistachios, chocolate, and cranberries; mix until blended.
  5. Divide mixture in half, place on greased and floured cookie sheet (or parchment-lined) and form into two logs about 1/2″ thick, 1 1/2″ wide and 12″ long, spacing at least 2″ apart.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway.
  7. Transfer from the baking sheet to a rack. Let cool 30 minutes. Place on cutting board, and slice about 1/2″ thick. Lay the slices flat on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 10 min. more turning once, to dry slightly.
  8. Let cool on rack and if desired, drizzled melted chocolate on top.
  9. Store in tightly covered container for a week, or freeze.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen biscotti.


Cherry Crumb Cake

If life is a bowl of cherries, then what is a freshly baked cherry crumb cake? Not to wax poetic, but the cherry season is so short and when the cherries come in from British Columbia, I get excited and get busy in the kitchen. I usually make some type of preserve with cherries but decided to make this cake after browsing a past issue of Baked from Scratch magazine. Continue reading

Almond Date Granola Bars

Up your granola bar game with these simple, healthy no-bake bars. Packed with good stuff, these bars are a great guilt-free snack. Not only are the almond butter and dates a tasty combination, they bind these chewy bars together perfectly.

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Skillet Granola


Making granola in a skillet couldn’t be any easier; this batch took me less than 10 minutes to make. I simply tossed all of the ingredients in the skillet, and voila!

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins


These mini apple muffins are a big hit with adults and kids alike. I made these when my niece Daisy was visiting Vancouver and she gobbled them up. Continue reading

Leslie’s Tourtière

IMG_0454Each Christmas our mom Leslie makes tourtière, the French Canadian classic. Traditionally tourtière is a New Year’s Eve meal in Quebec but it has become our family tradition to have it on Christmas Eve. I look forward to it as my mom makes a vegetarian version with veggie ground round for me! Served up savoury with baking spices such as nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon – tourtière is comfort food on steroids. Continue reading

Lemon Cream Scones

scones with jam

Most summers, Mom likes to bring out her beautiful china, her beautiful, hand-embroidered linens and host an old-fashioned tea party in her beautiful garden. Everybody lends a hand and makes the tea sandwiches and dainty desserts. The least I can do is bake some scones that are worthy of the time Mom takes for one of our favourite traditions. Continue reading