Do you know that feeling? Where time grinds to a halt and you're oblivious to your surroundings. For those precious seconds nothing else matters, and if you can keep doing what you're doing right now, you don't need anything else. Indeed, your life is perfect. Even if it's only for a little while.
Yesterday morning, I made chocolate peanut butter tofu mousse. But it didn't count as baking to me. So that same day at 10 pm when the sky was dark and my family was already in their beds awaiting sleep, there was a sole fluorescent light in the kitchen. The house was silent except for the gentle whirr of the oven heating up. I pottered about the kitchen measuring flour, whisking eggs, stirring sticky batter, and a while later the most delicious scent filled the kitchen. Round one of biscotti baking was done. I could continue, but I decided to leave some fun to be had the next day when I woke up.
So I did, and the first thing I did when I awoke this morning was to head straight to the kitchen to slice up the loaves and arrange the biscotti slices prettily on the baking sheet. 15 minutes later, they were done. As I reached into the oven with my oven mittens and pulled the tray of golden brown cookies, that feeling washed over me. That feeling of pure contentment. I don't think it's because I've not been baking for a while and miss it so. I have a hunch that this feeling will never go away. If there's one thing I'm sure of in my life, it's that I want to never stop baking.
And I don't want to just bake for myself. I want to pass on this joy that I've received by some miracle by baking for others. That's why I want to set up my own bakery one day. And I'll keep working towards that goal, you can count on it.
So these biscotti. They are the traditional kind that is harder, crisper and can stand up to dunking in hot cocoa or coffee. I've made the other kind before, which incorporates butter to make a more tender and flavourful cookie, but I decided on the former because I feel like having a whole lot of crunch this time. They are not very sweet - hardly, in fact - so feel free to drizzle them artistically with chocolate and sprinkles. It's the Christmas season so let's indulge a little!
P.S. I uploaded a video of the biscotti in the making on my instagram!
adapted from Baking with Julia
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unblanched whole almonds
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together. Stir in the almonds.
Whisk the eggs and vanilla together and then stir them into the flour mixture. The dough may seem dry at this point but it will come together as it is kneaded.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Divide the dough into half and shape each half into a 12 inch log. Gently press down on the logs to flatten them until they are about 2 inches wide and 1 inch high. Transfer them to the prepared sheets.
Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly risen and firm to touch. Cool logs completely. At his point, you can wrap the logs in plastic wrap tightly and continue at another time when it is convenient. The logs can be prepared several days ahead.
When the logs have cooled completely, preheat the oven to 350F.
Slice logs diagonally into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place the sliced cookies cut side down on the pans and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the biscotti are crisp and golden. Cool on the baking sheets.
The biscotti can keep for up to a month in an airtight container.