The 12 Days of Sharing virtual cookie jar | eat. live. travel. write.

The 12 Days of Sharing virtual cookie jar

These biscotti and blondies are my contribution to Share our Strength’s 12 Days of Sharing Campaign.

What’s that you ask?

Every day for 12 days, a different food blog will host a virtual cookie swap by posting a different cookie recipe. The event is organized of Jennifer Perillo of In Jennie’s Kitchen – head on over to her blog for more information on how you can participate in the 12 Days of Sharing Campaign and also check out the Virtual Cookie Jar where you can find the many recipes contributed by food bloggers. These recipes are posted to encourage you to think about the many children who don’t get to bake cookies this holiday season: if you can afford to make a donation, please click on the badge below and donate whatever you can to Share our Strength.


A donation of $25 will feed a hungry child three square meals a day for a month, however, any amount will help food in the mouths of children who need it. Donating makes you eligible to win some great prizes too.

If you have a food blog, you can join in by posting a cookie or baked “square” type recipe and link to the 12 Days of Sharing Campaign — details can be found here.

Holiday Biscotti with Cranberries and Pistachios
from Bon Appetit (December 2003)

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon whole aniseed
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
3/4 cup shelled natural unsalted pistachios6 ounces imported white chocolate, chopped 


Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift first 3 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl to blend well. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in lemon peel, vanilla, and aniseed. Beat in flour mixture just until blended. Stir in cranberries and pistachios (dough will be sticky).

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Gather dough together; divide in half. Roll each half into 15-inch-long log (about 1 1/4 inches wide). Carefully transfer logs to 1 prepared baking sheet, spacing 3 inches apart.

Bake logs until almost firm to touch but still pale, about 28 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

Carefully transfer logs still on parchment to cutting board. Using serrated knife and gentle sawing motion, cut logs crosswise into generous 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place slices, 1 cut side down, on remaining 2 prepared sheets.

Bake until firm and pale golden, about 9 minutes per side.

Transfer cookies to racks and cool.

Line another baking sheet with waxed paper. Stir white chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water just until smooth. Remove from over water.

Dip 1 end of each cookie into melted chocolate, tilting pan if necessary; shake off excess chocolate. Place cookies on prepared sheet. Chill until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. (Can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight between sheets of waxed paper at room temperature.)

Since some of the biscotti were, umm a little burned and not able to be served, I decided to make a version of Smitten Kitchen’s blondies using the leftover cranberries and pistachios.

Adapted from How to Cook Everything

8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour


1. Butter an 8×8 pan
2. Mix melted butter with brown sugar – beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.

3. Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in 1/2 cup of dried cranberries and 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios.

4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. I always err on the side of caution with baking times — nobody ever complained about a gooey-middled cookie. Cool on rack before cutting them.

Check out that holiday cheeriness in BOTH blondies and the biscotti! So fun!

(Apologies for the pics which are a little wonky – I am using my NEW DSLR – Santa came early to ELTW! – and because I am an impatient blogger, I have not yet read the manual – I just started shooting pictures! I will read the manual on the plane this Friday, promise!)


27 Responses to The 12 Days of Sharing virtual cookie jar

  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella December 16, 2009 at 06:50 #

    What a great way to get into the spirit of Christmas! I always think that dipping things into chocolate can only make them a hundred times better! 🙂

  2. Ellie December 16, 2009 at 07:03 #

    Nice touch with dip of white chocolate 🙂 Loving both the blondies and biscotti!

  3. Neil C. Phillips December 16, 2009 at 10:12 #

    What Mardi neglected to say, is that these are also her assistance to me — these are my end-of-year treats for my office staff.Both are a hit, so far: going fast! The blondies are my favourite…but that's a tough call. 😉

  4. Conor @ HoldtheBeef December 16, 2009 at 10:56 #

    Great biscuits, and great cause too.New DSLR???? So goddamn exciting! Maybe when Santa comes on the actual day he'll bring you the gift of manual-reading-patience.

  5. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite December 16, 2009 at 11:07 #

    Lorraine and Ellie – chocolate makes everything better!Neil – glad everyone is enjoying it!Conor – it's a pity you couldn't just "tell" that they were "better"shots. LOL!

  6. Laura December 16, 2009 at 11:52 #

    Great recipes for a great cause. Also a great early Christmas present:0

  7. Tasty Trix December 16, 2009 at 12:01 #

    Very cool cookies, and a great cause!

  8. Tasty Eats At Home December 16, 2009 at 12:03 #

    Great cause! These look yummy!

  9. Kate at Serendipity December 16, 2009 at 12:53 #

    Biscotti! I love them. I can't wait to see your new camera next week. I"m already getting excited! Dan's going to Brux on Friday to visit Neuhaus… heh, heh. Have a safe flight.

  10. Kelly @ EvilShenanigans December 16, 2009 at 13:27 #

    Cute biscotti! I love the kind dipped in chocolate, so yours look perfect to me!

  11. high low December 16, 2009 at 15:20 #

    mmm…both looks so yummy for such a good cause Mardi! Love the vainilla!

  12. Cathy December 16, 2009 at 17:39 #

    Mardi – read the instructions!!!

  13. The Chickenless Chick December 16, 2009 at 18:59 #

    I'm sure many parents will remember you in their prayers this holiday season. I am more than happy to participate and will have a related post up before Christmas! Thanks for letting us know about this. And sorry for my recent absence from the blogosphere; will be more attentive now that there's not a dresser in the middle of my kitchen floor…

  14. Diana Bauman December 16, 2009 at 19:09 #

    Mardi, these are great! Love your sharing post!!

  15. Simply Life December 16, 2009 at 20:17 #

    YUM! I just made one of my first batches of biscotti and I'm already excited to make another one – I love this recipe!!!

  16. 5 Star Foodie December 17, 2009 at 00:09 #

    Both biscotti and the blondies look great! I love that the biscotti were dipped in white chocolate!

  17. penny aka jeroxie December 17, 2009 at 00:52 #

    That is such a good thing to do! Will head over and check it out. Hope that I can join in too!

  18. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite December 17, 2009 at 07:51 #

    Thanks everyone – yes, it IS a good cause. I will make an effort to see whether there is a similar organisation in Canada next year – this all came up on my quickly – because I would really like to support a "home-grown" charity too. And yes, the chocolate dipping really does make the biscotti!Kate – Neuhaus – mmmmmm!highlow – that's actually "vanilla" in Spanish! And yes, the poncho is cute!Chickenless – glad to hear you are back on the blogging wagon!

  19. Miss Mitten December 17, 2009 at 13:39 #

    Great cause and these recipes look wonderful! A must try!

  20. Fuji Mama December 17, 2009 at 14:41 #

    Mardi, those blondies look absolutely to-die-for!

  21. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite December 17, 2009 at 14:45 #

    Miss Mitten – thanks so much!Rachael – apparently they were. Neil took the whole lot to his staff (I offered) and because I had spent the whole day baking on Sunday, I couldn't bear the thought of eating one. Must try again soon though!

  22. Fresh Local and Best December 17, 2009 at 17:00 #

    Those biscotti and blondies look terrific! I'd love them the a warm cup of coffee.

  23. Kelsey B. December 17, 2009 at 23:19 #

    Once again these pictures make me drool. I love the slice and bake!

  24. Neil C. Phillips December 18, 2009 at 09:28 #

    Post Script:There was a near riot at work as many did not get. I know Mardi baked enough…there must have been some double- or triple-dippers.They have become somewhat legendary!

  25. janet December 18, 2009 at 15:32 #

    Great looking biscotti!

  26. Cristie December 18, 2009 at 16:36 #

    Beautiful biscotti- the colors and flavors are a perfect match for the holidays!

  27. myblissfulbites December 18, 2009 at 19:07 #

    Biscotti are my to make around the holidays because they keep so well and can be shipped or given as a present so easily. And the cranberries & pistachios are so festive!

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