Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Chrishanukwanztivus Celebration

Today is the winter solstice.

There couldn't be a better time to share my recipe for biscotto. For those of you who are not acquainted, a biscotti is a crisp Italian cookie. It's the only thing I bake with any regularity.

I find that, for me, baking is more challenging than cooking because it requires more discipline. It's necessary to adhere to the recipe and freelancing rarely brings a positive result. That's counterintuitive to how I typically function in the kitchen.

Last night I made two batches, one almond chocolate chip and the other pistachio, white chocolate and cranberry.

I'll take you through the recipe focusing on the almond chocolate chip, which is more of a traditional recipe.... {Keep in mind, I've never done any food writing so there may be cooking terms here that are applied incorrectly.}

You start with four large eggs, two teaspoons of almond extract and two cups of sugar. For the pistachio, white chocolate chip and cranberry substitute vanilla extract for almond and add a bit of lemon zest.

Beat together the eggs, extract and sugar until they're well blended.

Next you add two cups of flour, plus a few tablespoons, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Mix well.

At this point you start adding your featured items.

In the first batch it's toasted almonds and chocolate chips. The recipe actually calls for toasted chopped almonds, but I leave them whole and it works just fine.

I put pistachios, white chocolate chips and cranberries in the second batch.

The dough will be sticky and it's important to fold in the ingredients so everything is well incorporated.

At this point you cover the bowl and chill the dough until it's firm.

This, according to the recipe, takes about an hour. I normally smoke about six or seven joints and it's good to go.

Preheat the over at 350 degrees, lightly grease two large baking sheets and grease two large baking sheets.

Divide the chilled dough in half and place the dough on baking sheet.

It's important to use wet hands to execute this maneuver. Pat and shape the dough into a log. The optimum shape will be ten inches long and four inches wide.

Try to do it quickly and handle the dough as little as possible. I say that, again, because the dough will be sticky, even with wet hands.

Repeat on the second baking sheet.

Sorry, I don't have a shot of the logs {or as they're referred to next loaves} going into the oven or coming out. Here's a reminder, though, of what we're putting together....

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

Remove loaves to a cutting surface. With a long, sharp knife cut the loaf into 1/2 inch slices.

After cleaning and re-greasing the baking sheet, place the slices cut side down. Bake about 15 minutes until crisp and golden, turning the slices once.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Then, you eat.

In this season of Chrishanukwanztivus I wish you joy. This recipe is my gift to you. Enjoy!


goooooood girl said...

your blog is very good......

Peila Kolassa said...

This looks so simple to make and looks even more delicious! I printed the recipe and will make it in the morning for tea during the holidays.

Anonymous said...

This is a great recipe , thanks for sharing . I love the food blog keep up the great work


zerrin said...

Sounds easy and yummy! This one is new to me. I love such crispy cookies. Thank you for sharing such a unique recipe. I think you should write recipes more :)