Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Black Forest Biscottis

Chocolate Biscottis are a real treat, especially for our guests here at The Pearl.   These biscottis have a soft texture due to the addition of the butter.   I love including the cherries and chocolate chips.   To cut down on the clean up, I usually make the Almond Biscotti first, and then use the same bowls and utensils to make the Black Forest Biscotti.   This recipe came from the Moosewood Restaurant and contains 127 calories.

Black Forest Biscotti

Preheat oven to 350 deg. Lightly oil a baking sheet or use Silpat or parchment paper.

Heat to boiling and then set aside:
    ½ cup cherries
    1 cup water

Using an electric mixer or whisk, cream together:
    ¼ cup butter, room temperature
    ¾ cup sugar

Add to cream mixture:
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    ½ tsp almond extract

Fold in:
    ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    ½ cup chopped toasted almonds (optional)

In a separate bowl, combine:
    2 cups + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 ½ tsp baking powder
    ¼ tsp salt

Fold the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and press together to form an approx 12 x 3 inch log shape.   Press down on log to flatten into an inch thickness.

Bake at the top rack of a 350 deg oven for 20 min until slightly brown.   Slide log onto cutting board.   When cool, slice crosswise into ¾ inch pieces.   Lay each biscotti cut side up on the baking sheet.   Bake for 5 min on each side, using tongs to flip cookie over.   Cool.

    - Mary

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Returning Guests

We are so honored and pleased to see the return of guests who have stayed with us at various times over the last few years.   It is fun to hear about their accomplishments or various life changes, and it really makes our life easier since they are familiar with the house, the coffee pot, the fire pit and of course, the cookie jar.   It warms my heart when they request a particular breakfast item.   Several times, guests have become good friends and book the same weekend the following year.

In recognition of our gratitude for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th timers, we give our guests ”The Pearl of Seneca Lake” mugs the first time they are with us, and wine glasses and/or buffet plates for subsequent visits.   We have a very special surprise for guests who have stayed with us for 10 days or more.   We’ll keep that a secret to really make it a surprise.

Peter, being a mathematician, tells me that over the last 5 years, we have averaged 32-35% returning guests.  For the 2011 season, our returning guest rate remains at 35%, and many times potential returning guests are not able to come because they tried to make reservations too late.

Thank you all for staying with us and for your love and friendship.   We are truly blessed.

- Mary