Monday, December 7, 2009
Biscotti Bake-a-thon Begins-
sorry about the lower case type. i'm becoming adept at typing one-handed. babe snuggled up close in one arm, laptop literally atop my lap. anyway, i hope that all is well. i'm glad to have verified that you are alive in person, only missing in the blogosphere. after my jaunt to victoria i have some culinary highlights to reflect on-
1- the rebar. best food ever. i need to recreate that basil salad dressing. and the vegetarian fajitas. and the coconut cream pie. and the mousse cake. and the peanut butter cheesecake.. is there a reason why the baby-weight is coming off so slowly?
2-your french press coffee. given my chronically sleep-deprived state coffee is an important part of my day, and yours was top notch.
3-Joan's after-church tuna melts. mike has our house under a tuna ban so I love a clandestine tuna engagement.
OK, babe is in bed and I'm back to the world of two-handed typing. So today began my festive season of biscotti-baking. Now as you know, December is reserved for cranberry-almond-white chocolate-dipped biscotti. I haven't done the ceremonial chocolate-dipping yet, but that will come. I need to reserve that portion of the biscotti production line for when my greedy sous-chef is out with daddy.
I know that I shouldn't bother giving you this recipe, since you will be perfectly content waiting until Christmas for your batch. You can't say that I'm not concerned of the happiness of a most-beloved sister (just finished my annual re-reading of Pride and Prejudice)-
Cranberry-Almond Biscotti - as adapted from the One Smart Cookie
2 T soft butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Stir in pre-sifted dry ingredients:
2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt
and stir in 2/3 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup chopped or slivered almonds
The dough will be very stiff, I usually finish off with a hand-mixing to get everything combined.
Now for the shaping and baking portion of your biscotti-bake off-
1) Shape your dough into a flat log - - maybe 14" long by about 4" wide. If you like smaller biscotti go longer and skinnier.
2) Bake for 30 min at 350 degrees.
3) Remove from oven. After a few minutes remove carefully - today I used two dutch cheese cutters as my spatulas. Let cool on a rack for about 15 min or so.
4) Transfer your log to a cutting board, and on the diagonal, cut your cookie "loaf" into 1/2" slices.
5)Important!! Do not skip this step!! Next, as the baker eat the leftover loaf ends (Rach, our Reems terminology would dictate this as the "cuppy.." As I typed this I became curious if this had a legitimate source or was a Reems-original, A la google I discovered that the Dutch term for the end of a loaf of bread is the "kapje, leading to our usage of the word cuppy")
5) Bake these biscotti beauties again at 275 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove. If you like them really crisp bake on each side for 15 minutes each. I like them not rock-solid and stand them on their base (see the way the biscotti is standing in the pic) for one 15 min stint.
For everyday biscotti you can leave it at that. To kick it up a notch you can dip one end in melted white chocolate. I melt white chocolate in the microwave.
There you have it.
I'll see you again Wednesday! Give C a birthday hug for me tomorrow.