March 22, 2012

Baking Biscotti

I faced and conquered a fear. On a January evening, I was bored with reading the Internet and watching TV. I avoided reading a novel because I was writing a novel and didn't want someone else's fictional work to influence my own. I needed a challenge that was creative and different. It was time to attempt to bake biscotti!

Biscotti is a twice-baked Italian biscuit. The "twice-baked" aspect is what seemed daunting to me. Every time I took a bite of a biscotti from a bakery, restaurant or store, I was in envy of the baker behind the product. How difficult can it be?

Ingredients in my kitchen led to my choice of a recipe. I had almonds and dried cherries on hand. Finding a Williams-Sonoma® recipe for hazelnut and dried cherry biscotti was close enough. I didn't want to go out and purchase more ingredients, so I substituted almonds for the hazelnuts. Other than the substitution, I followed the recipe, adjusting my oven temperature down by twenty-five degrees to use the convection baking option.

I was so pleased with the results! There was nothing difficult about baking biscotti except for allowing the amount of time to cool between baking. The tasty slices stored well but didn't last long as my husband and I enjoyed the biscotti with our coffee...that I can no longer drink...but, that's another story. I now drink decaffeinated ginger tea for breakfast.

Go ahead and bake a batch of biscotti!

(All photos were taken with my iPhone. Click any photo to view enlarged in a slideshow.)
Biscotti after first baking.
I used parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
After cooling,
cut slices diagonally and turn on sides.
Bake for the second time.
Let biscotti cool again.
Shake off loose crumbs and store
in airtight container.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

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Defining Your Home, Garden & Travel

Home, garden and travel tips by Freda Cameron

My name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. A freelance garden and travel writer with roots in technology/marketing strategy at SAS Institute Inc. I'm loving my life whether at home, in the garden or traveling. I garden in harmony with bees, butterflies and....deer and rabbits! Zone 7b. My wonderful husband (aka "The Musician") helps with the heavy lifting.

My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

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Paris, France; September 2013