Bake Me Into the Fall
There is no other season I love more than fall. I love to crank up the oven and do my thing. It's like certain things go hand-in-hand; baseball games and hot dogs, Thanksgiving and a turkey, Christmas and sugar cookies. For me fall and baking go together like a hand in a glove. I don't bake any other time of the year if I can help it. It's just too hot turning up that oven when the heat index is 105 here. So I cut and rip out ideas for things to bake all year and the first day the temperature goes under 70 I head for the pile of recipes and get going. Today I needed something to have with my coffee and tea. I got introduced to Biscotti by my friend Angie and her family. We were living in PA and were invited to visit during meal time. While we were there Angie's grandmother baked some Biscotti. I was smitten. Can you be that way about food? You betcha! So today I made two different kinds of Biscotti. The first recipe was Friuted Nuts Bars. Then I made Espresso Biscotti. I did make some changes to both the recipes because I never seem to have everything I need for any recipe when I get the whim to bake. Since these things are mostly spur of the moment, that explains the recipe alterations. Both recipes come from my favorite little book all about Biscotti, Biscotti written byLou Seibert Pappas.
2/3 cup blanched slivered almonds
3 TBS coffee beans (I had ground coffee but didn't use it)
2 TBS Kahlua or double-strength coffee (I didn't have any Kahlua so I used some instant Espresso powder-I did take 2TBS of the powder and mixed 1 TBS of warm and microwaved the mixture.)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups plus 2 TBS unbleached or all-purposed flour (I only had the AP flour so I used that)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Place nuts in a shallow pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool. Grind coffee beans into a fine powder. Place in a small bowl, add Kahlua or coffee and heat in a preheated 325 degree oven for 5-7 minutes to steep. Or place in a microwave-safe dish, add Kahlua or coffee and microwave on high 10-15 seconds to steep. Set aside. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and ground coffee and liqueur. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the creamed mixture, mixing until blended. Fold in the nuts. Divide dough in half. On a greased and floured baking sheet pat out into two logs about 1/2 inch high, 1 1/2 inches wide and 14 inches long, spacing them at least 2 inches apart (they are not kidding about spreading them apart, this recipe blew up like a balloon!). Bake in the middle of a preheated 325 degree oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer from the baking sheet to the rack. Let cool for 5 minutes. Place on a cutting board. With a serrated knife slice diagonally at a 45 degree angle about 1/2 inch thick. Place them sliced upright on the baking sheet 1/2 inch apart and return to the oven for 10 minutes longer to dry slghtly. Let cool on a rack. Store in a tighly covered container.
Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen (...again, it did not make this much but the turned out HUGE).