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Entertaining Idea: Biscotti Bar

A girls' night activity that doubles as a holiday gift.
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As much as I love holiday cookie parties, they can be a production. The timing has to be just right between first making the dough, then rolling it out, cutting the shapes, allowing them to cool after baking, and making the royal icing to decorate them. Biscotti, on the other hand, is much easier to prepare if you don't have an entire afternoon to dedicate to baking. It can be made up to a week in advance, and dipped in just about any topping, which makes it the perfect base for a "make your own" holiday bar. In anticipation of a girls' night earlier this month, I prepared two different flavors of biscotti the weekend beforehand—a double-chocolate and classic. For toppings, I kept things simple and riffed on what I already had in my pantry. I melted milk and white chocolate as the base, then set out a variety of toppings in ramekins to dip into: crushed pistachios, sprinkles, cookie crumbs, dried cherries, and crumbled toffee. Since I had pre-made the biscotti, the entire display took a matter of minutes to set out and it created such a fun activity and snack to eat while we caught up. And, as one of my friends suggested, biscotti makes the perfect, easy gift wrapped in cute paper or cellophane—I may make another batch later this season with white chocolate and crushed peppermint to give out to friends and neighbors. 

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