Monday, March 1, 2010

Baking - Biscotti

Biscotti seemed so exotic and fancy to me. The first time I saw biscotti was at Starbuck's, wrapped in the pretty cellophane and ribbons, being sold for $2 a cookie. I never thought it was something that people could make at home, nor did I think it was something EASY that people could make at home. Nor did I think people would WANT to - when I had biscotti, it was always rock hard and difficult to eat. I always wanted to dunk it in my decaffeinated white chocolate mocha, but was never sure that was socially or gastronomically acceptable. (Still don't, but at this point in my life, I'm beyond caring. If I want to and it's yummy, I'm doing it!)

During Thanksgiving, my mother brought a new recipe to try - Biscotti! She saw the biscotti on the Food Network Channel, thought it would be something different for her Pinochle group, and found it was REALLY EASY. So, she decided to share with me. It was a lot of fun baking together, I must say. Baking is something relatively new for both my mother and I, and we are connecting on a whole new level with it. It's really great.

Her biscotti recipe is from Rocco DiSpirito - click here to get to it. It WAS really easy, but I am really glad my mom did it with me the first time. When we mixed the dough, the dough was really wet and sticky. If I had been by myself, I would have added more flour to make it less sticky, which would have likely been a huge mistake! So, be forewarned - it's supposed to be extremely moist dough. When we made it, we mixed it with our hands, and the dough - or batter really, because that is more what it was like - was all over our hands. We tried and tried to get it off our fingers, and it never seemed to come off or be any less!

I made it again, by myself, and used utensils (a plastic rice spoon and a rubber spatula) this time. It was much less frustrating and annoying, and the utensils wiped of the dough/batter much easier than my hands!

Here is a picture of the biscotti after the initial baking.

After it was cool enough to handle, I began slicing it for the cookies.

Back on the cookie sheet they go for toasting each side!

Here are the finished biscotti cookies!

They are really easy, and tasty, too. Anise is a strong scent, just like black licorice, but the anise flavoring is not strong at all in these cookies. The recipe does not require a lot. And, they are NOT rock hard! They are actually enjoyable to eat without wondering if I'll need a dentist! We have enjoyed the biscotti with our morning coffee or tea, and also at night, after dinner as a light dessert. Biscotti is no longer this exotic, fancy thing that I can find only in coffee shops! I can make it any time I want to, right in my very own home! How cool is that?!

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