I am not sure what it was that inspired me to spend the afternoon baking. Maybe it was the fact that our family’s favorite football team was having their worst game of the season. Maybe it was because I had nothing better to do. But really, I think it was the fact that I had never baked a biscotti and wanted to try it without feeling rushed. It was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Trying something new is a risk. Sometimes it doesn’t work out..oh well. But sometimes it turns out so amazing that you can’t believe you had never traveled down that path before.
The other big step I am taking is that I am enrolled in a four-week food photography class. If you guessed that the biscotti’s were one of the things I used for an assignment, you are correct.
Being a life-long learner is something that is part of living intentionally. Not just saying “I wish I was better at
(fill in the blank ” But thinking about what it would take to put some action to that wish. Take a class? Find a mentor?
Sometimes our goals seem so big we don’t know where to start.
Just begin at the beginning. It is like following a recipe, start by gathering the ingredients.
Think of what your life will feel like if you take that risk?
Now, think of what your life will look like if you never try.
And if things don’t turn out the way you had wished, well, as the saying goes, “That’s the way the cookie- or biscotti- crumbles!”
So what are you waiting for? Grab your cookbook, or whatever else inspires you and make something wonderful.
From my kitchen to yours,
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour ( plus extra for dusting it dough is too sticky to handle)
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup packed light or brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. ( If you have never tried fresh nutmeg..do it!)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup salted butter, cold and cubed
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup diced dried apricots
- 1/2 cup dried craisins
- EGG WASH: 1 large egg white beaten
- DRIZZLE: 8 ounces white almond bark or chocolate.chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Spread almonds on one sheet and toast for 12 minutes, stir every 5 minutes to keep from getting too brown. Remove toasted almonds from the oven and turn the oven up to 350°F.
- When almonds are cool, crush with the bottom of glass until it resembled confetti.
- In large mixing bowl, whisk flour, almond flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt together.
- Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Gently toss in almonds, dried apricots, and craisins Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, and vanilla together.
- Pour into flour/butter mixture and gently stir without over mixing.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With floured hands, knead lightly until the dough is soft and slightly sticky, about 8-10 times. If it's uncontrollably sticky, knead 1-2 more Tablespoons of flour into dough.
- Divide the dough in two and place each half onto a baking sheet. Shape each half into an 8-9 inch long roll, patting down until each is about 1/2 inch thick.
- Lightly brush the top and sides of each biscotti slab with egg wash.
- Bake in batches for 25-26 minutes, or until the top and sides of the biscotti slabs are lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven, but do not turn off the heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Once the slabs are cool enough to handle, cut each into 1 inch thick slices at a slight angle.
- Set slices cut sides upright, ¼ inch apart, on the baking sheets. Return to the oven to continue baking for 7-9 minutes.
- Turn biscotti over and bake other side for 7-9 minutes. The cookies will be slightly soft in the centers with harder edges.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before drizzling.
- Melt the chocolate in a medium bowl in the microwave (or use a double boiler). The key to melting chocolate in the microwave is to check it often and stir frequently.
- Allow chocolate to set in the refrigerator or at room temperature until completely hardened.
- Store in airtight container.