Hi all! We are back. Summer is here with a vengeance. Our area was hit with some wicked storms this weekend. There were almost 2 million people without power in the Maryland, DC and northern Virginia area. We were lucky enough to have power, but just a few blocks away the houses were dark. That meant no TV, no internet and NO AIR CONDITIONING! We went to the local pool in Baker Park on Sunday and they were closed. No electricity to run the filters. Sigh. According to the Washington Post, there are still almost 300,000 people without electricity. I'm sorry for all of you sweltering in your hot houses in the DC area. Hopefully, the lights will be on again soon.
In the meantime, we're making cookies. These are crispy, tasty treats that go great with coffee or ice cream. The recipe was contributed by Alice Medrich--pastry chef extraordinaire. This is the lady who introduced chocolate truffles to the US in 1973. (All together now: "Thank you, Alice!") She opened a pastry shop in Berkeley, CA and made truffles, chocolate tortes and other decadent European-style goodies. Do you own Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts? No? You should! It's a beautiful book that is full of wonderful cakes and foolproof building block recipes to create your own masterpieces. Alice knows her stuff and she's a terrific teacher. Go buy it right now, I'll wait....
Back to the biscotti... I didn't make it with hazelnuts, since I was too lazy to go out in the heat to buy them. I made them with almonds (which I had in the freezer) and used Amaretto instead of Frangelico. Check out the recipe here: Jodi of Homemade and Wholesome and Katrina of Baking and Boys.
It was easy to mix up. Just combine the wet and dry ingredients and add the nuts. Thanks to Sweet and That's It for posting the video of Alice and Julia making the biscotti. You can see that the dough is very sticky and, believe me, it is! The cookie logs smoothed out as they baked, as promised.
You can see the final baked logs on the left. The unbaked logs were the definition of homely, so I deleted that picture. They were easy to slice and not too crumbly. Some recipes that I've tried baked up really hard. It was like trying to cut through cement. Alice credits the baking soda in this recipe for keeping the texture light. After they're sliced, you put them on a rack and bake them again in the oven. It's a little tricky to get the rack in and out of the oven, but it's easier then flipping the biscotti halfway through the baking time. (Yes. I am a lazy baker.) I managed to wrangle the rack back and forth without dropping any cookies on the floor. (Yay me!)
It's amazing that these cookies taste as rich as they do. The only fat is from the two egg yolks (so the butter police can relax). I'm going to take some to work tomorrow and feel virtuous while I dip them in my coffee. What did you guys think of this recipe? Was it a winner for you too?