Home / Essays / 2015 / November / S01E11 The one with the biscotti cookies

S01E11 The one with the biscotti cookies

Introduciiiiiing tooday's reeeeciiipeeeee! From “The one with two parts”, in the left corner we have Mad About You's Jamie and Fran, in the riiiight corner Pheobe Buffay! And in the middle “ 2 lattes and some biscotti cookies”. Now fight in the name of Italian goodies! If you are confused, go and watch the thing! What are you still doing here? If you know what I'm talking about, you're gonna wanna watch it again, because that's just the kind of person you are.

A lot of things happened in the world since the last post. Adele performed “Hello” on TV for the first time, Caitlin Jenner “finally” got her driver's license gender changed, teenage girl punched 87-year-old woman in face on bus in Britain, las empleadas domésticas en la Ciudad de México luchan por un trato digno, and I am on a low carb diet. You be the judge and establish which of these shocked you to your very core. I am not one to have dreams of skinnyness (yes, I did just make that up), I'm actually quite fond of my Nigella Lawson style curves . I just wanna transform the jelly parts of me into..well...not so jelly parts of me. You know, from soft cheese to a cheese that can hold its form. And the headline would read: The magical journey from mozzarella to Gruyere! [insert music notes] Reeead all about iiiit, reeeead aaaall aaabouuut iiit! However, I would like to do this while at the same time being true to my carb-loving self. I feel like my identity is being stolen from me! Yes, carbs are a part of my identity!I know there are brothers and sisters out there who fully understand me. I also know, some of you are calling bullshit on this. Papa Bear, honey, sugar snap, if you haven't had carbs taken away from you, you don't get a say on this one! You can't understand how it feels to suddenly rely on meat and eggs to fill you up. And no, the eggs cannot come in the form of a deliciously yellow batter that you can make into cupcakes, pancakes and/or generally slather your jelly-like body with. No! Even the stuff that autumnal baking dreams are made of are off limits. No more apple pies, pear and frangipane strudel, pumpkin spice flavoured everything, rice pudding with home made sour cherry jam, mashed potatoes with mascarpone instead of butter! Goodbye butter biscuits! Goodbye biscuits for that matter! A world without carbs is a world I don't wanna live in. It's a sad, bitter, black and white world, and bitch, I need colour! Foreeeeeveeer fat, I'm gonna beee foreeeveeer faaat! Do you really wanna eat forever? Foooreveeer caaarbs!

That being said, I decided to try my best but not deny myself what I consider basic needs. Because if baking bread (wholemeal even) at 11 a clock at night is wrong, I don't wanna be right. Eating 5 slices of it with butter and gruyere cheese, is definitely wrong. They might as well put it on the label :“Eating Gruyere doesn't make you Gruyere”. So much for that whole “You are what you eat” thang. It's important to know the difference between right and wrong so that there is no confusion in your mind when you're being a bad, naughty, downright dirty girl.

Tune in, and witness how I fail at life but win at food! Every week, I will have a “Naughty list” to share with the world (as graphically as possible). You know, cause I need to keep count. And what better way to do it then publicly? Declaring it, like you would in a great arena of shame. Glorious!

Now, let's focus on the recipe. "Cantucci" as they are called in their homeland, are biscotti that were born in the region of Toscany, the place where dreams are made of food. Traditionally they are made with almonds and almonds only. But we are a creative people and thus man has made many different combos. I will be making both the original one and a Christmasy one with pistachios, white chocolate, cranberries and orange zest. What makes them different from other types of biscuits is the fact that they are double baked for that extra crunchy, perfect-to-dunk -in-wine texture. Oh, did I not mention? Yeah, italians dunk them in Vin Santo toscano and gracefully stuff their faces with it! In our episode, they accompany lattes because they're in a coffee shop in NY and because God doesn't like it when I drink my wine with biscuits. He's such a purist. Even more so than the Italians.

Things and stuff:

  • bowls
  • mixer/old fashioned whisk
  • oven tray
  • parchment paper
  • brush/your fingers

It was this big:

  • aprox. 25 biscotti

It took this long:

  • 25 min. to make, 35 to bake! I made the rhyme, you do the math. It's only fair.

Ingredients and quantities:

The Process:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 190 degrees/ gas mark 5/ moderately hot.

Step 2: Take your nuts of choice and lay them in a tray, as you would a lover in bed.

Step 3: Toast them for 3-4 min.

Step 4: Crack 2 of the 3 eggs in a bowl, add the sugar and salt.

Step 5: Wisk, beat, do whatever you have to do to get the mixture foamy and pale.

Step 6: Add the butter. Melted and cooled down.Mix.

Step 7: Start slowly adding the flour. One tablespoon at a time. This is how it looked after half of the flor was incorporated:

Step 8: Add the rest and you will get a very soft dough, like this:

Step 9: This is where I realized that I forgot to add the baking soda (when adding the flour). First I panicked. Then I added it anyway, stirred the shit out of it, and voila! Like it never happened.

This is a picture to help you understand the magic of Irish weather and thus how lighting is an adventurous game I play every time I take these pictures. That cloud moved within seconds! That's how fast the sky changes its profile picture around here.

Step 10: I divided the dough in two almost equal for the two different biscotti. Now add your cool(ed) nuts,choc&cranberries. Drop that stuff from a height, because it makes you feel badass.

Step 11: Lightly flour a surface. Place dough.

Step 12: Play with that dough. Like playdough! Omg, I just got that! Shape it into a log. That is easier than you may think it is. This has got to be the most cooperant, gentle, docile, well behaved, polite dough ever! Just...really the nicest dough!

Step 13: Remember that third egg? Crack it, gently whisk it, brush them logs with it.

Step 14: Get those babies in the oven for 20 min at 190 degrees and just stalk them until they're nice and tanned.

Step 15: Get them outta there, let them cool for 5-10 min. Cut them diagonally. Try not to eat them. I ate some just like that, because IJBDBCHVC. Like I need a reason?!

Step 16: Tuck them in close together, like a big tray filled with babies. Now forget about my foolish baby comparison and get them back in the oven for 10-15 min at 170 degrees.

That is all! Fatto! Finito! Tutto aposto!

Now make yourself a latte, sprinke some crazy cinnamon on it and go to town. Methaporically. Don't really go into town, you just made biscotti!

Jump, Bis Scotty! Go on, take that bubble bath, you'll feel so much better.

A mountain is a mountain. When it's a biscuit one, it's just much easier to climb

I dunked a biscotti and I likeeed it.

Come on close, young dunked Cantucci!

Il Cantuccio nostagico.

In my corner. Where pretty things happen. Especially when you bake them.

Feedback: I'm just gonna say this: easy and delicios. Next time, I'm drowning them in wine! Because getting drunk on food is awesome!

Yours truly, forever a bit fat, Gogo Cherie!

Until the next one, happy eating!