Sometimes, a chore that is simple and often repeated becomes mundane, routine—like washing produce after a trip to the market, or making soup from last night’s left-over chicken. But when the sun suddenly pours through the window, illuminating the commonplace and ordinary, I am quickly reminded of how much beauty there is in those ‘every-day’ things and activities, and that I am blessed and privileged to enjoy such largesse from a generous Creator.
I thought about getting dinner started (some sort of pasta with a ragu of venison or duck).
I thought about running the vacuum over the fine layer of cat fur insulating the living room rug.
I thought about going for the run I missed this morning (why run when you can sit at in a car dealership service department?).
I even thought about doing some work in the garden as an alternative to any sort of indoor pursuit.
Then I thought about a cup of hot coffee.
With a biscotti to dunk in it.
While sitting in the sun on the patio.
It’s true…we become what we think of.
I hope you’re having a beautiful Friday, and thank you for visiting!
Chocolate Almond Biscotti
(oh-so-slightly-adapted from Pastry Affair)
Yields about 1 dozen
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces chopped, toasted almonds
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, to melt for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt together thoroughly and set to the side.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in completely after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually add the dry ingredients, blending until uniformly moist. Stir in the almonds and chocolate chips. The dough should be relatively dry to the touch.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, form the dough into a log about 12-inches long by 3-inches wide. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the dough cracks on top and just begins to brown (a bit tricky to tell with dark chocolate dough). When done, allow it to cool on the cookie sheet for ten minutes, or until the dough is cool enough to handle. With a serrated knife, cut the log into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices cut side down onto the baking sheet, and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the biscotti slices are lightly browned. Turn the biscotti over to the other cut side, and bake for another 8-10 minutes. If you don’t like yours crunchy, you can skip this final baking. I like mine very crunchy (better for dunking and storing) so I add an additional baking, standing them upright on the baking sheet and baking them for another 5 minutes or so at 300 F.
When the biscotti are cooled, melt the ounce of chocolate (chocolate chips are fine for this) and drizzle it over them, either with a spoon, or by putting the melted chocolate in a small plastic bag with the tiniest bit of a corner snipped off.
Allow the biscotti to dry completely before you store them.
Hello and good morning! It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen you, and I’ve missed you all terribly. I think I’ve been sucked into the weariness of winter–smothering in the soul-draining gloom of rain and grey.
Really though, it’s time to come out now. The daffodils are a riot of yellow everywhere I look, and the daphne’s scent teases me with the promise of longer, brighter days. Our lambs are coming too–a set of twins the other day, with eleven more mamas to go.
I’m headed off this weekend for a short trip to visit my daughter (which may or may not be blog-worthy), and when I get back, it will be a new season. Still raining probably, but with more light and warmer temperatures.
But, I will be back–even though the weather is infinitely better where she is–and when I return I’ll have one more brownie recipe to share. It’s my favorite, and I’ve been saving it for last in the Brownie Challenge. Plus, I promised I’d show you how to dress up a box mix of brownies so that they taste amazing and very un-boxy.
And, I have to make this beautiful thing for a friend.
So now, out of the dreariness, into the cheeriness…
With love, and looking forward to being with you in the kitchen (and garden!!) again soon,