Peanut Butter and Almond Biscotti

30 Nov

Vacation is weird.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  I’ve been to the Art Institute three times this week.  My goodness.

But I’m going ice skating tonight, which is super exciting!  Because let me tell you something–the rink is in Millenium Park, and I’m going at night.  Chicago at night in the winter is the most gorgeous place.  Every single tree is covered in Christmas lights, there are giant Christmas trees all over the place, the skyscrapers are lit up red and green, and everyone and their mother is running around with a camera being absurdly happy.

Oh wait, that’s mostly just me.

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But still. It’s so beautiful here.  It’s like the city is saying, “You know what, this place is miserable in the winter, so we’re going to rock the fuck out for an entire month leading up the Christmas.”

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So anyway, Christmas blah blah blah, how about these biscotti?

I had a sudden biscotti craving because my wonderful sister sent me some for my birthday.  It is an established fact that she makes the best biscotti in spite of the fact that our family has nary a drop of Italian blood.  And come to think of it, I should have just asked her for her recipe…

But I didn’t, so instead, I adapted a Joy the Baker recipe for my purposes, which is, as usual, utterly delicious.  I particularly love the use of peanut butter here because it softens the biscotti even though it’s twice-baked, making it… you know… eatable.  Not teeth-breaking, that is.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick butter (4 tbsp)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted peanut butter (the stuff from TJ’s is brilliant)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk (hang on to the white so you can brush it over the dough)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup almonds (sliced or whole and blitzed with a food processor)
  • the egg white you saved and 1 tbsp milk for egg wash

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 325 with racks in the middle and upper third of oven. This is per Joy the Baker’s recipe, which I followed exactly for once since I am largely unfamiliar with biscotti making.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

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In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy, or about 3 minutes.

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Mmm… delicious.

Add egg and egg yolk and beat until incorporated.  Add all the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.

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Add the nuts and stir together by hand.

Divide the batter in half and form two logs, about eight inches long.  She warned that the dough would be dry, but I still found it a little difficult to make the logs.  So… be aware.

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Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with as much sugar as you can stand.

Then, bake for 15 minutes.  Switch the pans between the two racks and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Remove and let cool.  Seriously, let them cool.  Otherwise when you go to slice them, they will fall apart all over the place.

When they’re cool but still soft, cut into 1 1/2 inch-thick slices.  Joy the Baker recommends using a serrated knife, but I found that the sawing made them fall apart more easily, so do whatever works for you.  You have two loaves, so you can mess one up and eat the crumbs if you need to.

Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

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These are especially good when dipped in coffee (by which I mean doubleshot lattes, which is pretty much all I drink).

DSC_0661Mmm, yes.

 

So I read a book called Tomatoland the other day, which has made me deeply afraid of tomatoes.  I got it because I thought it was about the ruinous genetic modifications and unsustainable farming practices as applied to tomatoes, which it is.  In part.  It’s also about the workers who pick the tomatoes, however.  The workers who are paid next to nothing and some of whom are literally modern day slaves.  Let’s just say it’s a very eye-opening book.  It will make you start to care–or care more, if you already do–about where our food comes from and how it gets to our tables.  It’s also a very readable book, so even if non-fiction isn’t usually your thing, you should have no trouble getting through the 193 pages.  Highly recommended.

 

 

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One Response to “Peanut Butter and Almond Biscotti”

  1. ecm5420 02/12/2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Kate, you are definitely over the top. I enjoy your wry style of writing immensely , like someone else I know.

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