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Bake & Bitch | Biscotti

{Our usual blog swap with the ladies at Girly Obsessions will be taking on an occasional new spin. If there’s one good thing about the time Ash and I spend together, it’s all the bitching that gets done. But bitching, while incredibly therapeutic, isn’t that productive. So while we do said bitching, we will bake.}

M: So I suppose it’s safe to assume a good hostess should be able to prepare a homemade dessert and not serve chocolate bars as I have been known to do. Ash was nice enough to walk me through a super easy recipe. I, of course, only helped by providing one ingredient…. the alcohol. Typical. I may have stood to the side lines for our first try and let you run the show. I have a feeling next time my baking coach is going to be rougher on me.

Ash: I thought this exercise would be a bit more hands on and not as much of a spectator sport. But that’s ok. The goal was to show you that baking something from scratch is not that difficult. And we started with something that looks harder than it is biscotti. The thing about baking is that you just need to follow instructions.

M: Yeah, I’m not good at that. But let’s not forget you taught me a very important lesson. How to get my nuts toasted. That’s why we split a bottle of Prosecco. No I’m actually talking about almonds. I had no idea you actually just put them in the toaster oven. I was also a double boiler virgin. Who knew you could melt chocolate so smoothly… All baking aside there was much drama to be discussed.

Ash: You mean like when I asked if your pipes were fixed? (Literal kitchen pipes, but I see how it could have been taken out of context.) But, there’s always drama. We’re women. We gossip. You know what pissed me off? When you kept saying “in my older age.” We’re the same age, and I don’t think I’m old. And neither are you. Stop aging us!

M: We are though!! There were days when we went college bars and wore obnoxiously tight pants. Now we drink bubbly out of your good crystal on a Saturday at 3pm while baking. Next step is playing bridge in a nursing home. We need to enjoy the biscotti we baked before we lose our teeth. Wow I’m so negative. No, no we’re actually in our dirty 30s. And we covered off on some pretty inappropro topics of conversation.

Ash: Par for the course! But let’s get down to business. The business of Almond Biscotti.

1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp brandy
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole almonds with skin
3 large eggs
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

• Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Lightly toast almonds (appx 5-10 minutes in oven). Chop coarsely in food processor and cool for 10 minutes.
• Stir together sugar, butter, brandy, and extracts in a large bowl, then stir in almonds and eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined.
• Cover and chill dough in refrigerator for about 30 minutes (or 10 minutes in the freezer if you’re impatient like me!).
• Using moistened hands, halve dough and form 2 (16-by 2-inch) loaves on large ungreased baking sheet.
• Bake until pale golden, about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer loaves to a rack and cool 15 minutes.
Cut loaves diagonally into ¾” slices with a serrated knife.
• Arrange biscotti, with a cut side down, on a clean baking sheet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely.
Optional: Melt white chocolate in double boiler on medium-low heat. Dip bottom of each cookie in white chocolate and smooth with offset spatula. Return to cooling rack to allow chocolate to harden.

photo source: Ashley Rutter, Girly Obsessions

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