My favorite recipe
I’m thinking of…
Sitting on a bench at a worn picnic table with a latté in my hand…12 ounce, please…watching the waves on this gray fall day. The weather report prediction is for five straight days of rain and it looks like it is just about to start. Gretapie, my sweet dog, happily sniffs the rocks and driftwood on the shore. She comes back and settles herself. I do not grow up with a dog, but for nearly forty years now there has been one by my side—my plus one.
It’s raining when I arrive back home and Mr Fez the One-Eyed Pirate Cat is waiting on the porch stoop. Three years ago I almost lose him…an infection gone wild, he drops from twelve to seven pounds and for a time looks like a walking skeleton. Now he receives twice-a-week hydration therapy for advanced kidney disease. We are regulars and he is back up to over nine pounds. I try to bring fresh baked treats for the crew each week…something easy to pick up and munch on between patients. Today it will be biscotti.
What You’ll Need
1 1/3 cups (140 g) almonds
2 3/4 cups (400 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups (266 g) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon anise seed (optional)
Zest of one lemon, orange, and lime (If you don’t have all three, don’t worry, but do try to use at least one)
3 large eggs plus 3 yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to Do It
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 10 to 15 minutes. Let them cool.
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, optional anise, and zest.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, and vanilla together until mixed.
Pour the egg mixture into the dry mixture and beat on medium with an electric beater or stand mixer until nearly mixed.
Add the almonds and mix again until everything just comes together. Don’t be tempted to overmix.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead in everything that was left in the bowl.
Divide the dough into three pieces and shape each into cylinders about 10-by-2 inches (25-by-5 cm).
Put the cylinders on a greased or parchment-covered cookie sheet with about 4 inches (10 cm) between each.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 300°F (150°C).
Set a cylinder on a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, cut a 1-inch-wide (2.5 cm) piece on the diagonal. Repeat with the other two cylinders.
Place the slices on the cookie sheet and bake at 300°F (150°C) for another 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how firm you like your biscotti.
Remove from oven. Let cool and share, or store in an airtight container.
This recipe is from Home Cooking with Kate McDermott, the second book I am so privileged to have written. James Beard Award winner Wendell Brock wrote, “Home Cooking with Kate McDermott is one of the best American cookbooks -- of this year or any year.” Read the full review here.
Like to Cook and Bake? You might enjoy these newsletters:
The Culinary Woman Newsletter by Micheline Maynard. I’m especially looking forward to following her updates on The Great British Bake Off. Love that show!
Time Travel Kitchen. I was drawn to this newsletter as the author also bakes in an old kitchen—1927 (hers), 1922 (mine).
And of course, I’m really hoping that if you enjoy my work and this newsletter, you will support it with a paid subscription.