Almond Biscotti with Super Dark Chocolate and Lavender

Do you know your neighbors?

I have a feeling you don’t, because I don’t really know mine either.
But I want to… so I made them some biscotti.  Hopefully we can soon be friends.

Making biscotti for my new neighbors makes me feel old fashioned, I might as well have a full skirt and walk across the street with a jell-o mold. I feel like that’s ok, that we need to make a conscious effort to slow down a little, look each other in the face every once and awhile, read a book… like a real book and appreciate the beauty around us.
There are lots of beautiful things in these biscotti.
Toasted Almonds, Super Dark Chocolate and Lavender.
When I say super dark I mean it, Ghiradelli 100% Cacao. That’s hard core.

1 Cup Toasted Almonds
1/3 Chopped Super Dark Chocolate
2 TB Dried Lavender
2 Cups Flour
¾ Cup Sugar
2 TS Baking Powder
1 TS Salt
¼ Cup Cold Butter
1 Egg
1/3 Cup Milk
1 TS each Vanilla & Almond Extract
Egg Wash (Egg Yolk with a little water)
Parchment Paper
Chop the almonds and chocolate, mix with lavender and set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a second bowl. Cut in cold butter.

This is the hardest part, I use a pastry whip. A pastry whip is handy because you won’t melt the butter with the heat from your hands. You want the butter to stay cold so that it melts while the biscotti are baking and leaves little teeny air pockets. Air pockets = flaky and delicious.
Now add the egg, milk and extracts. Mix just until combined then add the beautiful things (chocolate, almonds, lavender) mix some more.

Once the dough is combined place on a sheet of parchment paper and put another sheet on top. Squish until it is about 8x11 (that’s about the size of normal computer paper) and a little over one inch thick. It’s probably not going to look like a rectangle, but that’s what you are going for here.
Remove the top parchment paper, brush the top of the biscotti loaf with egg wash. Bake in a 350° oven for about 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and parchment paper and let cool.

Once cooled, slice the biscotti about as thick as your pinkie finger, unless you have a really pudgy pinkie, then a little smaller. You know who you are.  Lay the slices flat on the baking sheet and brush with a little more egg wash.  Lower the oven temperature to about 250° and toast the biscotti for about 15 minutes until golden. Let them cool again.
These begged to be dunked in a creamy latte.
It’s almost too much to handle, like a riot in your mouth.

My dad tells a story about when he moved to Japan, he found out that you are supposed to give your neighbors a present because you disrupted their space in your move. They in turn give you a present welcoming you. You give them a present thanking them for welcoming you. The present giving never stops. I like this kind of world. Enjoy!

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