3 hours ago
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I love Susan at Food Blogga. She is one of the first blogs I started reading about a year ago. I think she must be nuts because this is the second year she does this Christmas Cookie post.
Who has time for this? It's enough to have to bake, cook, plan menus and get ready for the holidays, but posting hundreds of other people's recipes, along with their photos? I hope she hired a high school kid to help her.
I am not much of a cookie baker. I just don't enjoy it. I am getting better at cake baking, but cookies just aren't my thing. Maybe it's a dough issue.
Well, with this amazing recipe, there is definitely a dough issue, or lack of one.
It is Susan's mother in law's biscotti recipe that she got from her Italian Bakery Sciallo Bros. in Providence, Rhode Island. You can buy these via mail order too. Her M.I.L. was nice enough to share the recipe last year with Susan's readers and I have made them at least 10 times. They are big pain in the ass to make.
There is basically NO DOUGH. There are only 2 eggs to moisten, so this biscotti is the really hard to work with. Jaw breakin' goodness.
I modified the recipe down to 2 cups of whole almonds, instead of 3 cups, and I do half the recipe dipped in semi sweet chocolate, the other half for the boring people!
They are definitely the best biscotti we have ever tasted, great for dipping in Vin Santo, or coffee, or not dipping at all. (I am a big dipper).
Here's a tip:
Keep your hands wet while working with this so called "dough". It is very crumbly, and I even splash a bit of water in the bowl to bind it together.
Susan's Mother in Law's Almond Biscotti:
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups King Arthur flour
pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp softened butter
2 cups of almonds (original recipe calls for 3 cups)
2 eggs beaten with 3 tbsp vanilla (I use a little less)
egg white for egg wash to brush on loaves
Oven at 350 degrees.
Mix all the ingredients together, except for the eggs (best if you use a standing mixer, I of course, do it free hand, I know I am a glutton for punishment).
Add the 2 eggs and vanilla while the machine is going around.
I use water to wet the mixture so it will form properly into loaves.
Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper. I make 3 logs and flatten them down with wet hands.
Brush with egg white.
Bake for about 40 minutes, but start checking on them at 30 minutes.
Remove them from the oven, and slide them onto a cutting board with a big heavy spatula. Let them rest no more than a few minutes, or they will be too hard to slice. (if you don't let them rest, then they will fall apart when you slice them! see what I mean about these being high maintenance baking!).
You don't have to twice bake these biscotti. They harden while they are cooling.
Slice on the diagonal into 1" slices. When cool, you can dip them in chocolate.
These truly are worth the effort. I love them and so does everyone who tries one.
One more note: Susan does a lot of charity work and gets involved in worthy causes like Blogger Bakeoff whose slogan is "Bake Bread Give Dough".
Since the declining economy & loss of jobs, a lot of our local soup kitchens and food banks are seeing more families in need these coming months and are overwhelmed. They are short staffed and short on funds.
Since we (who are reading this) all love food, what a nice gesture this holiday season to donate some time or money to your local soup kitchens, churches or food banks.
If you need help finding out where your local food bank is, click on this link Feeding America and type in your zip code! Ti's the season.