July 14, 2013
So our air conditioner broke, and it sucks. I had a conversation with my mom this morning about how to keep the house cool until it can be fixed, and she 100% advised me not to turn the oven on. Well, moms know best for sure, and I should have taken her advice. The problem is that Zach and I really really wanted some biscotti. I also really really wanted to write about making biscotti. Instead of taking my moms advice, I turned the oven on anyway. Was this a bad move or no? Well, I don’t think I would have turned the oven on if I were making anything other than biscotti. * I may regret this later. I will keep you posted. * Anyway, if ya’ll don’t remember, a couple of months back we took a stab at a chocolate biscotti and it came out terrific! If you don’t remember (this makes me sad), then you can check it out here. It went over so well, that it disappeared in just a couple of days. Zach asked me to make it again, and he didn’t have to ask me twice (despite the conversation with my mom about keeping the house cool). This time we went the vanilla bean and almond route. Don’t worry. I didn’t forget the chocolate completely. Anything dipped in melted chocolate is ok in my book. Of course, it is anise-free. Ew. I can’t stand the stuff, but it certainly does not lack in flavor. It is filled with the aromas of vanilla and almond. It is just spectacular.
I am seriously watching the temperature rise on the thermostat. Yes, mom you were right. At least we can sweat and eat biscotti at the same time! It kind of makes the whole ordeal ok!
Anyway, if you’ve never made biscotti, this is a great recipe to get started on. It’s really just a glorified cookie that’s baked twice, and your options are limitless on how creative you can get while making it. Biscotti is also great if you plan on storing it for a couple of days. It takes a long long while for it to go bad and it travels very well. Although, if you do plan on traveling with it (in the blistering heat), I suggest skipping the chocolate dipping part. Also, if you are an anise fan, you can certainly add it into the mix. For reasons that I may have mentioned already, we skipped it.
As soon as I hear the word “vanilla” only one beer comes to mind, and I know that I’ve already paired with it before. I can’t help it. You really can’t go any other way than Stone’s Smoked Porter w/ Vanilla Bean. This beer is absolutely the perfect dessert beer. It is so smooth with just a hint of sweetness. The vanilla is there, but is definitely not overpowering. It’s distributed just about anywhere, and if you are out to pick up a bottle, grab the chipotle version too. It’s equally satisfying!
Well, I know I’ve been absent for a few days…had to get all of my ducks in a row. You know how it goes, right? Zach and I (and a good friend of ours) are getting ready to head out into the wilderness for 4 nights next week. Don’t worry, I have plenty of yummy recipes coming your way before we leave. I hope everyone had a great weekend. Enjoy your Sundays!
Vanilla Bean and Almond Biscotti
This biscotti is anise-free, but does not lack in flavor. It is packed full of vanilla, almond, and dipped in a delicious dark chocolate.
2 1/4 cups flour, all-purpose
1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
seeds from one vanilla bean
3/4 cups almonds, sliced
chocolate chips, melted (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, salt and baking powder until completely combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (with paddle attachment fixed), cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at at time, making sure the first one is completely incorporate before you add the second one. Add the vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and mix to combine. In ½ cup increments add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until all is incorporated, or until you have a very thick “cookie-like” dough. Gently fold in with a heavy wooden spoon the sliced almonds.
- Flour your work surface and dump the dough onto it. Mold into a 12 inch by 4 inch log and transfer to your baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until just hard to the touch (be careful).
- Remove from the oven and let cool COMPLETELY for about 45 minutes to an hour. Transfer the parchment paper along with the biscotti to a cutting board and cut ½ inch slices out of the log. Line your baking sheet with another sheet of parchment paper. Lay out the biscotti slices, cut side down. Bake again for about 15 minutes or until crispy.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way. Once the biscotti has cooled again COMPLETELY, dip the biscotti into the dark chocolate about ¼ of the way down, and decorate as you please. Place on a piece of parchment paper to dry completely.
- Can be stored at room temperature for 1-2 weeks. Enjoy!
- Hardware: * Bowls * Baking Sheet * Parchment Paper * Stand Mixer (with paddle attachment fixed) * Measuring Cups * Measuring Spoons * Heavy Wooden Spoons * Double Boiler (for melting chocolate) * Wire Rack (for cooling) *