Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vanilla Almond Biscotti

I work in a very interesting office.

Sometimes my job is to shop online for drag queen dresses, and organize said dresses for my straight middle aged boss. Sometimes my job is organizing a cheesecake party for a co-worker, sometimes my job is calling local businesses asking for donation like a giant organic pet treats basket.

But there is something unique and special about my job. There really is this energy when you walk in the building that takes over. A uniquely happy energy for an organization that deals with many many sad situations on a daily basis.

One unique thing that definitely sets Food & Friends apart is the fact that we have a Bocce court on the property. Don't ask me how it all started, I actually would have loved to have been there to hear that first discussion about putting the court in. We were put into teams (named after the Lucky Charms marshmallows) and play bocce during our lunch breaks.

I told you its pretty unique.

In case you don't really know what bocce is, its an Italian bowling game. One person throws a small white ball called the pallino on the court. Each team tries to get there balls closest to the pallino. Whichever teams balls are the closest to the pallino gets 1 point (all depending). We play until one team reaches 10 points. I am a so so bocce player, not the best but not the worst. However, my team (pink hearts of course) won today even in the scorching 100 degree heat! Go Team.

So in honor this wonderful Italian game I thought I'd share an Italian dessert.


Biscotti actually means twice baked- kind of how I felt today in the burning sun trying to get the ball in just the right place. It's called this because you actually bake these cookies 2 separate times.

I love this vanilla almond biscotti recipe.

Although, I am sure if I branched out and made some with pistachio or chocolate or dried cherries or cinnamon or Hazelnut...I would love them just as much. But I really really love vanilla almond.

I feel like there is a stigma that biscotti are difficult or maybe its just that they are time consuming but I honestly think they are pretty darn easy to make.

The idea is to form the dough into a log and bake it the first time around. Let them cool and then slice the log.

Place the slices back on a baking sheet and bake again.

I like that home-made biscotti turns out a little different than the kind you buy. The outside has a nice little crunch but the inside is soft and crumbly whereas the store bought kind are crunchy through and through.

These are still perfect for dunking into coffee, tea or even better chocolate.

Vanilla Almond Biscotti:

~from Better Homes & Gardens New Baking Book

1/3 Cup butter

2 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups chopped almonds


In a bowl mix butter with 1 cup flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder and vanilla until combined.

In another bowl mix 1 cup flour and chopped almonds. Add to the wet mixture.

Form into a log and bake on a lightly greased sheet pan in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Let cool and then cut into slices. Bake again for 8 minutes in a 325 degree oven.

I recently found out that my temporary position will be extended until December with a little hiatus for the month of August. And I am looking forward to all the other crazy and interesting jobs that I will be asked to do and learning something new from each and every new task.

And then in December I will move on to the next adventure, whatever that may be. While I usually like knowing what will happen next, this time I am excited to just see where the wind takes me.

But in the meantime I will spruce up my bocce skills or just bring these biscotti into work to distract the players on the other team.


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