Thursday, April 24, 2008

Biscotti & Crocheting

Biscotti and crocheting may not usually go together but today they did. I invited my friend Cindy over for coffee and biscotti in exchange for a crochet lesson. Really I haven't seen her all winter and wanted to visit and catch up, the crochet lesson was a bonus. Cindy stopped by this morning and after catching up for a bit, a couple cups of coffee and a few pieces of biscotti the lesson started. I learned to single crochet and double crochet. From the picture you can see I struggled a bit and need to keep practicing. It looks like a kid made it, but you have to start somewhere. Right? I really want to be able to make this basket and this bag. So I'll continue to practice. I hope to continue to have coffee & crochet lessons each month. Getting to visit with a friend is always nice and maybe I'll learn how to make these tortoises for Nature Girl. Now on to the biscotti recipe I promised.

My mom loves biscotti, so I would buy Nonni's biscotti for her. True to my nature I thought "I can make that myself." So I did. I found a recipe and modified it to create Pecan Toffee Biscotti. My mom loves it so I've put a few pieces in the freezer and will take them to her this weekend. You can freeze any leftover biscotti and take it out as you need it, however we've never had any left to freeze. We tend to share it with friends and family so it disappears fast.
Today's biscotti was super yummy so I've already had two pieces. I'm sure I'll be having another piece with tea tonight. It's a nice treat for my husband and I after Nature Girl is asleep. Now it's your turn to enjoy some biscotti so get baking. Let me know if you have any questions on the biscotti recipe.

Pecan Toffee Biscotti


4 to 4-1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 Tablespoons almond extract
1 8oz. package toffee pieces (I prefer almond toffee pieces.)
1 cup chopped pecans


Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. In medium-sized bowl, combine 4 cups flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In large bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add almond extract to butter mixture and beat well. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture until well blended.

With spoon, stir in toffee and nuts. If dough is too soft to shape, stir in some of the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Divide dough into six equal pieces. Shape each piece into an 8 x 2-inch log and place across a large baking sheet. Bake logs 30 minutes or until firm and golden brown. ( I tend to cheat and make 3 larger logs. You have to increase the cooking time but it's a little less work.)

Transfer biscotti to cutting board. Using serrated knife and a sawing motion, cut diagonally into 1 inch thick slices. Arrange slices on baking sheet. Bake slices 15 minutes. Cool slices on wire rack and store in airtight container. Will keep for 2 months or so. In the freezer, they will keep up to 6 months. Enjoy with coffee, tea or hot chocolate!