Thanksgiving is one week away.
Is it just me or did that totally sneak up on us?
I have serious love for Thanksgiving and everything it entails. It's also the time of year that I miss my family back in Tennessee the most because when I was growing up, Thanksgiving always went a little something like: drowsily snuggle in pjs on the couch while watching the parade, gather in the kitchen to bake and cook together, watch a little football, and then enjoy the dinner. It's a very informal tradition but I love it. Especially the baking and cooking together part.
I think it's great to make something special Thanksgiving morning for breakfast but it should also be something that is portable (see the couch and pj activity mentioned above) and that requires little effort on whomever has decided to take charge of that meal.
This is where this recipe comes in handy. Biscotti is perfect because you can make it a week ahead of time and it's lovely with a hot cup of coffee, tea or cider on Thanksgiving morning. People can just lazily meander by and pick one (or two!) up so you don't have to wait for everyone to all wake up and sit down together.
Which, in my family, could take until noon because we do especially love to sleep in when an opportunity presents itself.
I started making biscotti a couple years ago and have never looked back. Homemade biscotti vs. it's storebought counterpart is like the difference between a loaf of mass-produced bread that's been sitting on the store shelf for several days and bread freshly baked out of the oven.
Making your own biscotti does require a couple extra steps than most baking projects but I promise it's easy and fun!
First mix together the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt - together in a large bowl.
Make a well in the center of the bowl by pushing the flour mixture to the sides.
Crack eggs into that well and whisk them together.
Then add the rest of your wet ingredients: milk, melted butter, vanilla extract and almond extract (optional, but so good). Mix until all the flour has been incorporated.
Sprinkle flour on the top of the dough and shape it into two rectangular logs, about an inch thick each. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 25 minutes or until they feel firm on top.
Turn oven down to 250. Slice the loaves and lay each piece flat on the baking sheet. Lightly toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, flip and toast for another 10-15 minutes.
You don't want any extra color to appear during the toasting time. Rather you just want it to dry the biscotti out a bit so it has a longer shelf life. And so it can be dipped in your morning beverage of choice.
After they have cooled, I like to dip the bottoms in melted white chocolate that I've spiced with cinnamon to make it a little more special.
Spiced White Chocolate Biscotti
Yields about 20-24 biscotti
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup milk
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)
1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the bowl by pushing the flour mixture to the sides. Crack eggs into that well and whisk them together then add the remaining ingredients (except white chocolate). Stir until combined. Sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the dough to keep it from sticking too much to your hands. Divide dough into two equal balls and mold each of these into a 1" high rectangle on a baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until the tops feel firm. Turn the oven down to 250. After the logs have cooled for about 10 minutes, slice each into 10-12 pieces. Lay each piece flat on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for another 15 minutes.
After they have cooled, melt white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl - be careful not to scorch it - stirring every 15 seconds. Sprinkle in a bit of cinnamon, stir and dip an end of each biscotti into the melted chocolate.
Allow chocolate to harden then store biscotti in an air-tight container for up to a month.