Its almost the end of the month. But missing deadlines is my speciality. I do it like there is greatness in it. Sometimes I don’t miss deadlines, I discard tasks completely and feign it wasn’t important enough to do, so to hell with the deadline anyway!
Having said that, there is allegiance in me so strong, that I just wish I take up more significant causes, cos my conscience sometimes never ever gives up. Pushing me to do stuff which in my mind I had thought it was ok to abandon.
Confused? Don’t be. Its just that, no one wanted it to lose steam. The baking club I mean. Both my namesakes, Aparna and yours truly. We did the mango pound cake with all enthusiasm and then poooof! It was like suddenly thunder struck and lightening did us in. only each of us had a valid reason to not finish the theme this month which was biscotti. Only Arundathi Krishna finished it well ahead of time and posted to…so brownie… err biscotti points to her. Much as I tried to finish this biscotti baking business, my head was spinning around and I was going nuts. Ask my husband K he will vouch for the loony I became this month. I had grand plans to get my apartment painted and that snowballed into an activity that drove me to my edge and made me look like I would have been a better person if I was on drugs!
Anyone who has taken up a remodeling activity while living on the premises will tell you its not such a great idea. Further, anyone who has dealt with labour inIndiawill tell you how they have a mind of their own even if you are paying their wages! Add to that my hormones were in overdrive with an impending birthday looming large over my head and a visit from the mater. All this was brought to a head because I have a house full of so much stuff, I do not know when I acquired most of it, I do not know what to do with it and seriously made me aware of the addiction I have for knick knacks!
So apart from tearing my hair out, whining all evening once K got back from work, painting the study a shade of blue grey and the ceiling of a bedroom green with stark white walls, I was generally being such a pain in the backside even I couldn’t bear myself. Then I went and baked biscotti.
To describe to you the aromas of baking biscuits in a house that looked like the tsunami had hit it is going to be impossible! Lets just say that I sat on my gorgeous sunny now painted warm yellow balcony to enjoy this fantastic biscotti with a cup of elaichi chai, everything was made worthwhile, even turning a year older!
I followed the recipe from Joy of Baking and added chopped almonds in place of pistachios. I got about 14 pieces, but i think i needed to slice them thinner. Below is my version
Cranberry and Almond Biscotti
2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated whitesugar
1 teaspoonpure vanilla extract
1 teaspoonbaking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all-purposeflour
1/2 cup (60 grams) Almonds, chopped roughly
1/2 cup (75 grams) dried cranberries or cherries (can also substitute with tutti fruitti, raisins or any other sweet dry fruit of choice)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminium foil.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the sugar and eggs on high speed until thick, pale, and fluffy (about 5 minutes). (When you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.) At this point beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg mixture and beat until combined. Fold in the chopped pistachios and cranberries.
Transfer the dough to your foil lined baking sheet and form into a log, about 12 inches (30 cm) long and 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) wide. You may have to dampen your hands to form the log as the dough is quite sticky. Bake for25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Transfer the log to a cutting board and cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) slices, on the diagonal. Place the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 16 – 20 biscotti.