Feature // Charlie Girl
As I’ve mentioned before, Nebraska is full of incredibly talented and creative people.
Before I decided to jump into the blog scene, I was completely unaware of any local bloggers. I follow all of the big names, of course, with the fancy photos and the styled home decor and the lives that are filled with adventure, but that’s not what I love about blogging. I love reading about someone’s life experiences. The real, raw and unedited human experience, especially when it’s in my home state.
Charlie from Charlie Girl is one of my favorite Nebraska bloggers because she is all of those things. She lets her readers see the pretty and the tragedy. I’ve found myself both chuckling and crying as I scroll through her posts. She is the kind of writer we all wish we could be and I’m absolutely certain she’s going to do great things with it.
She creates art with her words. And her personality is just as pleasant (if not more) as her internet presence. Her free-spirited, outgoing personality draws you in and she makes you feel like you’ve known each other for years. I can’t say enough great things about her blog and if you haven’t taken a look at it, I suggest you pour yourself a cup of coffee and get started.
I asked Charlie to share a favorite holiday tradition and here is what she had to say about it:
When Jordan asked me to write a holiday guest post, I knew instantly that I would share this recipe! It’s my one and only tradition that I have stayed true to (besides getting a REAL tree), from my first Christmas as a newlywed with Jonny, in every little apartment to our first owned home—with Lucy, with Tobin, through loss, through joy, through all of these 8 years we have shared together! I like to use organic sugar, eggs and Organic Valley butter when I bake. That extra love really makes a difference. I hope you enjoy them!
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped (I use the raw ones)
2/3 cup dried cranberries
12 ounces Ghiradelli white chocolate (3 bars), chopped
Red and green sugar crystals, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries.
Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 30-40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.
Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip half of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.
The biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic freezer bags up to 3 weeks.