Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

My life has been full of simple pleasures lately. Dunking a few Oreos in my weekend cup of freshly ground coffee. A night spent out at the movies, stashing a small snack in my coat pocket (don't pretend you haven't done it). An expensive plate of sushi because life is too short not to enjoy good food. A bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to accompany a simple spaghetti weeknight dinner.

The pleasures may be small, but together they form a contented moment in time.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti Chocolate Almond Biscotti Chocolate Almond Biscotti

As a first year teacher, I don't have a lot of time to myself. My days are filled with teaching, my afternoons with grading, and my evenings with lesson planning. In the last few months, I have spent most of my time cooped up in my apartment, partly due to the workload, partly due to the frigid, unforgiving weather. These simple pleasures often provide a bright spot of light to an otherwise normal day. Simple, yes, but they add the right level of spice.

Treating yourself comes in many forms. How have you treated yourself today?

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti is one of the small pleasures I enjoyed last weekend. Biscotti is a simple dessert, though it often appears more complex than it is. The word "biscotti" means twice cooked and that is precisely what these cookies are. Cookies are baked up as a "loaf" before they are sliced, laid on their sides, and baked once more. As the baker, you have the control over how soft or crisp these cookies become, adapting them precisely to your taste.

Dipped in coffee, tea, or a large glass of milk, these cookies are happiness in its pure and simple form.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti are crisp and best enjoy while dunked into your favorite beverage. Cocoa powder provides a deep chocolate flavor to the cookies while toasted almonds give them their crunch. A light chocolate drizzle helps to set the cookies off, providing just the right amount of decadence. Whether enjoyed during a stolen moment in the morning or as an afternoon snack, these biscotti bring about a sweet moment to be savored.

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Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

When I worked in a bakery, our recipe bible was kept in a floured, chocolate stained three ring binder. Inside the pages held lists of the amount of ingredients for certain recipes and little else. There was no procedure or method, no baking times or oven temperatures. It was not even unusual for the occasional recipe title to have gone missing. In a way, this all made senseβ€”a qualified baker should already be familiar with the preparation of the majority of baked goods. As I got a hang of the routine and the techniques, soon the recipe bible became a reference guide instead of a necessity as the lists of ingredients embedded themselves into my mind.

Approaching recipes in this way became a habit; a habit that has followed me out of the bakery and into my own kitchen.

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

When it comes to my own kitchen, I can develop my own recipes fairly successfullyβ€”a little of this, a little of that, and it tends to come out of the oven looking right. However, when it comes to following someone else's recipe, I tend to falter. As accustomed to ingredient lists as I have become, I barely glance down at the rest of the recipe before pulling ingredients out of the cupboard. As you may imagine, this method usually turns out quite poorly. At times I have missed the mark so greatly, I might as well have invented something completely different. I like to joke that I am losing my ability to follow recipes, but the truth is that I need to remember to actually read them.

It is a small, but important distinction.

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

Snowed in with another blizzard last weekend, I spent some time browsing through the pantry. Without the ability to head out to the market, the cupboards became my inspiration. As I debated whether to share another cookie recipe, I realized that I had never made biscotti. After properly reading through a dozen recipes for reference, I set out to create my own version. Biscotti is a bit like a cookie baked in a unexpected manner. While most biscotti sold in stores or coffee shops is bone dry, by making biscotti in your home you can determine the texture by adjusting the baking time. The less time you bake it, the softer it will be; the longer time you bake it, the crunchier it will be.

In a way, it is a like a choose your own adventure book (except it is a really delicious snack).

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti is a sweet and spicy bite to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea. Essentially, biscotti is made by baking cookie dough into a log shape and, after removing it from the oven, cutting it into slices and baking it again. The mellow tone of the chocolate contrasts nicely against the bite of candied ginger. The biscotti is dipped in chocolate for an extra touch. On Sunday morning for breakfast, I savored one of these slices of biscotti with a hot cup of black coffee. It was bliss.

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