When it's cold -- let's be honest here and call it downright bitter brrr-rr around here the past few days -- cooking and baking are just the ticket for warming up the kitchen. And besides, they put yummy food on the table, too.
If baking is your thing, Arlington cook Marcella Henske antes up again, this time sharing two biscotti recipes.
"I am submitting these recipes for Carolyn Barkley,'' she writes.
She also mentions she thinks using a serrated knife might solve the problem with crumbling, cracking and breaking while slicing the biscotti.
Marcella notes the first recipe is taken from her copy of "Gooseberry Patch Family Holiday Favorites, Very Merry Christmas Cookbook,'' while the second is from her "Ruralite Cookbook Special Collection.''
1/4 cup ground espresso
2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur or double-strength brewed coffee
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Place espresso in a small microwave-safe bowl; add liqueur or coffee and microwave on high for 10 to 15 seconds to steep; set aside. Beat butter or margarine and sugar at medium speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended; stir in coffee mixture. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Fold in nuts. Divide dough in half.
On a greased baking sheet, shape dough into two 1/2-by-1 1/2-by-13-inch rectangles, spacing them about 2-inches apart. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minuts or until golden. Remove to a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes.
Place biscotti on a cutting board; using a serrated knife, cut biscotti diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place slices upright on a baking sheet 1/2-inch apart and bake 10 more minutes. Let cool on rack. Store in a tightly covered container.
Makes 2 dozen.
Milk chocolate biscotti
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa (Dutch process preferred)
7 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds, toasted
Mix all ingredients, stirring in almonds last. Spread half of dough on plastic wrap in a 3-by-15-inch log, 3-inches thick. Repeat with remaining dough. Freeze for 2 hours or more.
Bake on foil-lined cookie sheets at 300 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from sheets and cool 5 minutes. Cut each log into 1/2-inch strips. Place back on sheets, standing on edge and bake at 275 degrees for 40 minutes.
Cool and store in an airtight container.
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