Once in a while I'll be at a grocery check-out line and a girl with scars on her forearms will give me this knowing look of solidarity and I realize my food scars are being mistaken for self-mutilation. It's an awkward situation. I feel like saying no no that's actually from the convection oven at this one place I worked at, where everyone was taller, and this is from that time I left the tongs on the gas range and forgot they were hot, and that one... the list goes on. Anyway, I don't say any of these things. I just smile and hope she won't hurt herself anymore. I'm baking biscotti in my ridiculously sunny kitchen today with a breeze so nice I have to stop and acknowledge it every few minutes, and I'm wishing I could pack up a little cookie package for all the people I've met who ever needed to be comforted and weren't. Here is a biscotti recipe that will never fail. You must dunk these in coffee or wine, though, as they are of the tougher persuasion.
Spiced Chocolate & Espresso Biscotti
250 g flour
250 g sugar (I use half caster, half brown)
2 beaten eggs
75g chopped dark chocolate
75g chopped nuts
50g crushed espresso beans
pinch each of
Preheat the oven to 375
Mix everything together, except the eggs, which you will beat in a separate bowl with a bit of orange zest or vanilla extract, whichever you have or prefer.
Use your hands to bring it all together and form a dough. Try to distribute the nuts and chocolate evenly (but no fuss). If you have a hard time with the dough, put a few tablespoons of olive oil on your hands or in the mix.
Divide your dough, shaping two logs on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Your logs should be about an inch thick. Brush them with a little bit of milk and sprinkle an little extra sugar on top.
Bake the logs for 15 minutes letting them spread, but they should still be soft in the middle. Take them out and lower the oven to 325. Let them cool a little so you can handle them and cut them to your desired size. Arrange them all on the baking sheet again and bake for 10-15minutes more on each side. Watch them though, some ovens will burn your biscotti really fast.
I'm taking a plate down for the ladies working at the hair salon I live above. There's always a pot of coffee on down there...
Post Script: I went over to Sarah's to hang out with the little ones and look what I came home to! I feed the stylists, they hook me up with hair products. This is a functional relationship...