Dark Chocolate Orange Biscotti

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Cookies are good. Yes, I enjoy cookies. When Christmas ended, I was at least happy to know that there were leftover cookies in the freezer. But that time has ended. No more Christmas cookies. Sad, I know. However, there is hope. For a long time, we would get individually wrapped biscotti in bulk for the ride to work. They were good. But then my wife starting MAKING biscotti. I will never buy individually wrapped biscotti from a big box store again. Biscotti baking is not complicated – just follow the damn directions!

Wifey can make vanilla bean biscotti, chocolate, chocolate macadamia nut, the list goes on. One of my favorites is what I bring to you: Dark Chocolate Orange Biscotti. Subtle hints of orange come through in the actual biscotti, all then dipped in a smooth layer of dark chocolate. What’s not to like?

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Baking Gone Wild! Top 10 Over-the-Top Baked Goods for the Holidays

I’ve been sucked in. For some reason, I can’t stop watching The Great American Baking Show. I don’t know if it’s the soothing voices of Nia Vardalos and Ian Gomez, the adorable British version of your grandma in Mary Berry (seriously – even her name), or the hunkish looks and personality (yes, I am comfortable with my sexuality) of Johnny Iuzzini. Whatever it is, I’m hooked. Then I started thinking about the 150 million dozen cookies my wife baked, the bread we are baking for Christmas dinner, the delicious cinnamon buns we have Christmas morning, the list goes on. We are in the heart of the season of baking. Some savory bakes, others totally sweet. Either way – we have it all. After much thought, eating, and more eating, we have the top ten breads, cakes, and bakes for the holidays. You’re welcome.

In no particular order…

10. Rolo Cheesecake Bars

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Thank god for bakers, right?

9. Six Layer S’mores Bars

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When a dessert is described as “oozing” with peanut butter, chocolate, and marshmallow, I’m in. Don’t tell me anything more.

8. Chocolate and Toffee Pecan Pinwheels

That is puff pastry. Yes, it does make everything even that much better. Carry on.

7. Pistachio Rum Mini Bundt Cakes

Pistachio Chewy Bite Mini Rum Cakes

Sure, you could make a chocolate bundt cake. But let’s be real – you’re making it from a box and nobody’s going to finish the whole thing. Try these for a change.

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Burns My Bacon: Oreo Thins

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The skinny Oreo. Yes, you heard it right, Nabisco is giving in to the effed up health-conscious world to bring you “Oreo Thins.” Supposedly, Nabisco is not trying to offer a healthier option than their Crisco-filled counterparts, but they project sales to increase from offering this wafer-like substance formerly known as an Oreo. Yes, these are more sophisticated snacks “for adults” according to the Associated Press. Nabisco claims that adults don’t want to twist or dunk their Oreos. Instead, adults want to chomp down on some thin piece of cardboard that does not have nearly enough sugar-lard filling and claim that they are satisfied. I call BS.

Let’s be real. First off, since the dawning of the Oreo, debates among young and old centered around the question: to dunk or to twist? “I prefer to eat my Oreo dry, with less filling, and untwisted” – said nobody. Further, when given the choice between a regular Oreo and Double Stuffed, I am willing to bet that 9/10 people will choose the double-stuffed. I mean, I’ll take two double-stuffed Oreos, twist off precisely so that all of the cream is on one side, and then sandwich the two double-stuffed sides together. I am not alone. And yes, on most days, I am an adult.

Finally – let’s talk about the Oreo brand. Oreo makes their money off of the “twist vs. dunk” debate. Endless advertising highlights the debate – even including adults. I recall an ad with a father (adult) and his son (to be an adult some day) by which the father teaches his son “the proper way to eat an Oreo.” I believe he actually followed the twist and dunk technique. What a simpleton.

PHOTO: Associated Press

Cookies Gone Wild! Top 10 Christmas Cookie Recipes

Christmas is around the corner. I know I’m counting down…yes…4 days of work left until break. Co-workers are coming in with their trays of Christmas cookies to share and we all poke around to see if our favorites are there and leave the lame ones to go stale. We spend hours upon hours creating tons of cookies to share with our friends and loved ones and there are always rejects left behind. What if tradition was thrown out the window and you could make any kind of Christmas cookies you wanted? Leave the plain butter cookies and the raisins and fruit filled cookies behind this year and try out our top ten Christmas cookies. Enjoy…

10. Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles

These are so easy and so tasty. You can through them in your Christmas tin and all of the sudden, these will be all your friends are talking about. You can make them in dark, milk, or white chocolate and can even add coloring to suit your season of choice.

RECIPE: Endless Simmer

Dark Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

9. Coconut Macaroons

My fiance makes bakery-quality macaroons. Seriously – best I ever had. But these take a very close second. Macaroons are not often thought of as a Christmas cookie, but they are too damn good not take a spot on the dessert table after Christmas dinner!

RECIPE: Barefeet in the Kitchen

8. Red Velvet Cookies

Red Velvet is not necessarily a “Christmas Seasonal,” but I think these will easily earn a place in the cookie tin. Especially with that cream cheese filling…

RECIPE: Amy Bites

7. Salted Caramel Clusters

Okay…they are not technically cookies. But they look so easy to make and even easier to eat.

RECIPE: The Small Things Blog

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Top 10 Foodie Gifts

Ah yes, Christmastime is here. Christmas music is playing at every department store in the nation, fathers and husbands are crankily rushing around to strings of lights, Christmas trees, and other gadgets that are used for one month out of the year, and yes- – we are all searching for gifts to please those special people in our lives. There are so many things to choose from. But what about for those of us who love food the most? What are you going to get them? A fruit of the month club? Another cookbook that will sit on the shelve to collect dust? NO! How about something that is different/unique but also enjoyable? Well, we’re here to help. Here are our 2014 suggestions:

First Nibs: Chocolate Subscription

10. Raaka Chocolate Subscription

Raaka now offers a subscription service that offers two limited edition bars and one of their “classics” sent directly to your doorstep. The limited edition bars are only available through subscription. We were in Bryant Park and got a chance to sample their Pinot Noir Salt and Pink Peppercorn bar which was very tasty. A neat idea for any chocolate lovers out there who also appreciate a twist on some original flavors.

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9. The Original Bacon Kit

If you don’t like bacon, you most likely hate America as well. This kit would be fun for ANYONE to try out themselves and pride themselves on serving their own bacon on Sunday morning.

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8. Handpresso Auto

You already know how I feel about this product. If you have an espresso lover in your life, I guarantee they will enjoy this. Fresh espresso in your car – what else is there to say? I mean, other than the fact that it also ensures your car will always be smelling like Starbucks!

7. Spiegelau Craft Beer Tasting Kit

Spiegelau is known for their high quality glass and practical designs, enhancing the flavors of the beverage poured into the glass. We’ve already tried the IPA, Stein, and Stout glass, but this kit gives the beer lover a glass to drink each beer they have in their fridge. I’ve been doing some in depth testing of the kit that Spiegelau sent us and I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the way each glass enhances the aroma, flavor, and sometimes carbonation of the beer. If you know someone who loves beer, invest in two of these kits as a gift – they need to have enough glasses to share with you!

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Cookies and…Beer? Flying Dog Holiday Collection

image1 (3)What’s the best drink to have with cookies? BEER. Why not, people? The holidays are coming; we’re celebrating getting fat and doing it with our families and friends. To support our mission, Flying Dog created The Holiday Collection: Four Otterbein’s Cookie Inspired Craft Beers.  While I was hoping that the kit would come with Berger Cookies, the Otterbein’s cookies did not disappoint.  But what about having them with beer? Well, luckily I’m here to do the hard work of tasting and drinking each beer and cookie. After our DIY beer pairing, we continued on with dessert, complements of Flying Dog. We judged the beers, the cookies, and then the pairing. Here we go!

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OREO Snack Hacks Get Clever with the Cookie

OREO Snack Hacks are simple and unexpected ways to enjoy the classic cookie. Who knew you could use a pepper mill grinder to crush OREO cookies and sprinkle them over ice cream? Or what about cookie ice cubes? Just freeze milk and crushed up OREO cookies in ice trays and drop the delicious cubes in your Saturday morning coffee. Now, OREO has teamed up with ink. and ink.sack chef and owner Michael Voltaggio, food truck revolutionary and Kogi co-founder Ray Choi and young gun Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen to remix OREO with other foods to reveal their most clever food Snack Hacks yet: Golden OREO-crusted chicken tenders, OREO tortilla chips with strawberry salsa, OREO bread pudding and, even an OREO shandy!

See more OREO Snack Hacks. Got a hack of your own? Submit it here.