My friend, R, writer over at riatarded, came up with an idea to get everybody talking about how they overcome writer’s block. She asked me to get involved and I couldn’t say no. Curses! (Just kidding, R)
Come Labor Day is the dateline. And as you can see, it’s now the 27th of April, and I have barely begun. Writer’s block you say? Yeah I procrastinate a lot. I haven’t been baking much for a while. Life’s been a whirlwind and the things happening all around makes the things I love to do so…dull. On this blog, I bake to write. Food is all I’m interested in, well, mostly. And food is what that keeps me going. Not in a scientific way, but I love reading and writing about food. I love food photography, most of all. I could browse through food magazines and books at the library hours on end and not get bored.
Words may fail you, hence we all know the saying that a picture paints a thousand words, if not more. Some people rather leave it to the imagination. But don’t pictures make words a lot of interesting? Would you want to read about the latest news without seeing the action in print? Pictures make things a lot more believable. Then again, there’s photoshop, you might say. Whether it’s a fake or not…it all takes “interesting” up another level. Don’t you think?
Recently, I made some biscotti for a good friend. It was my first successful attempt at it (the first being a complete disaster but that was another recipe). It wasn’t bad, but it could have been better. Then again, it’s the thought that counts so there should be no complains. =P
The recipe called for almonds, and since I don’t grow nuts in my backyard, I settled for what I had, pistachio. Almonds, though, might have been a nicer option. They are a lot more crunchy. Dip the biscotti into good coffee or milk, whatever you prefer.
I don’t own a cupboard full of cookbooks. Neither do I subscribe to a lifetime’s supply of food magazines. Even if I had the money to support myself, I’d stick to the few I can rely on, and spend the rest on good chocolate and vanilla……and good shoes too. When there’s something last minute I want to make, I know I can always flip to my David Lebovitz cookbook and not make a complete disaster out of it.
These Almond and Chocolate Chunk biscotti speak my point.
Where there is good food around, I know that everything else will definitely fall in place.
Almond and Chocolate Chunk Biscotti
David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert
makes about 60
- 2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups (155 g) almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 7 ounces (200 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch (1.5-cm) chunks
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking powder.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until the mixture thickens and holds its shape, about 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture, then mix in the almonds and chocolate.
On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough in half. Using dampened hands, shape each half into a log 3 inches (8 cm) in diameter. Set the logs lengthwise on the prepared baking sheet, evenly spacing them apart. Dampen your hands and smooth the surface of the logs.
Bake, rotating the baking sheet midway through baking, until the logs are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. (They will flatten out during baking.) Remove the baking sheet from the oven and decrease the oven temperature to 300°F (150°C). Let the logs cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the logs to a cutting board. With a serrated bread knife, cut each log diagonally into slices 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick. Place the cookies, cut sides up, in a single layer on the baking sheet. (If necessary, use an additional baking sheet.) Bake until the biscotti are firm, about 20 minutes, flipping them midway through baking. Let cool completely; they’ll continue to firm up as they cool.
The biscotti will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
“You can substitute 1 1/2 cups (240 g) chocolate chips for the chopped chocolate, if you like, although I prefer the irregularity of chocolate chunks in these cookies.” David