So, a few things that I have become obsessed with in my absence from the blog world…
1. Breakfast of Fage 0% with fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, apricots, etc), a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of honey or agave, and a serving of granola. A side of coffee completes this AMAZING meal 🙂 Seriously, when I ride my bike home from the gym I am like salivating thinking about this bowl of amazingness.
2. Making things from scratch that I would normally buy. I figure that if I’m quitting my job and taking a huge salary cut I should stop splurging financially on things that I can easily make at home. In the past 6 months I have ordered from Mix My Granola numerous times. And although I absolutely LOVE their granola, it is definitely a splurge that I can make at home. Here was my first attempt – it came out awesome!!! This mix included a maple cinnamon granola (oats, kashi puffs, flax meal, maple syrup, cinnamon, a few more things I can’t remember!), dried cherries, almonds, walnuts, and pecans. It’s almost gone! I’ll definitely be making more in the next week. This stuff can get addicting, so as soon as it cools I portion it out to about a 1/4 cup breakfast serving (30-32 grams).
I’ve also made homemade Larabars which I roll into a ball and have dubbed “laraballs”. I made PB&J and Gingersnap so far. This week I’m also going to try to make Cashew Cookie and my own variation – Cranberry Pistachio. I rolled them into 22-24 gram balls, which is about half a Larabar. Every morning before I head to the gym I pop half a Larabar for fuel, so I made the balls to be already half the size to save me the time of dividing it. Better idea, right? Here is the PB&J variety.
My other staples that I have mentioned previously are hummus and nut butters. Joe has been making homemade bread loaves too! Oh, and homemade pretzels for the market – see below 🙂
3. My final obsession brings me back to the title of my post… I have been making biscotti like CRAZY! A while back I made a Mexican Chocolate Biscotti, which I have tweaked and improved (adding butter makes biscotti taste so much better). This past week I made a gluten-free Lemon Pecan Biscotti that was posted by Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. It sold out so fast at the market! I swear more NON gluten-free customers bought it. So, I decided to try my hand at more biscotti this week so that the gluten-free variety would be available for my gluten-free shoppers. I will add, this biscotti was out of this world good! It was the first time I had baked with almond flour – and I would love to use it more if it wasn’t so darn expensive!
So, I decided to make 5 different types – Mexican Chocolate, Double Chocolate Hazelnut, Coconut Lime with Almonds, Apricot Almond, and Cranberry White Chocolate. They are all delicious! For the non-chocolate varieties, I started off using Dorie Greenspan’s “Lenox Almond Biscotti” and then changed/substituted from there to make it to my liking. I decided to do a biscotti tutorial as well. I used to think that biscotti would be hard to make, but definitely not! If you haven’t tried it yet, definitely do so 🙂
On to the tutorial. I start EVERY recipe with some mise en place. This one took 3 bowls (not counting my egg cracking bowl)
Cranberries and White Chocolate
Dry ingredients – the yellow is cornmeal, which I’m finding gives the biscotti some really nice texture
Butter and Sugar – premixed
Silpat lined pan – I could go on for days raving about Silpat. GET ONE NOW! (or 2 or 3)
1. Cream the butter and sugar. Then add an egg and mix thoroughly again. Pretty much a standard for any biscotti recipe
2. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low to medium until just combined
**Note: the dough is pretty sticky**
3. Add in the mix-ins of choice, and fold in by hand.
4. Then, use your spatula to plop the sticky dough onto your silpat (or parchment) lined pan.
5. Huge important step – WASH YOUR HANDS and KEEP THEM WET! I have found that we hands make handling sticky dough SO much easier. Joe was awesome and took pictures of me shaping the dough into a log about 2 inches wide and about 12 inches long.
Ready to bake! Definitely don’t worry about the dough being smooth.
My oven is finicky, so I always rotate my pan 180 degrees halfway through baking. If I don’t, one half the pan will overcook. Here is the baked log!
Unfortunately Joe left for work, so I was on my own for the rest of the pictures.
6. When the log has cooled about 20-30 minutes, transfer it carefully to a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to slice into about 3/4 to 1 inch thick slices, return the slices to the pan, bake. Again, I turn my pan halfway through.
Let them cool on the pan for a few minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack (sneaking a bite in the transfer) to cool completely. They should be firm to the touch, almost hard. They will harden more as they cool 🙂
Seriously… biscotti is amazing and SO easy to make!
What flavor should I try next???
P.S. I’m so happy to be back to blogging!