I spent Tuesday morning doing something I despise. Ironing. A sheet. It seems that despite the expensive price of this sheet set, the manufacturer couldn’t quite make something that would come out of the dryer without deeply embedded wrinkle lines. Ugh. So, section by section, I ironed, starched and ironed again until it was all done … about an hour later. Who has time for this??
While ironing, a funny thought popped into my head: I originally wanted to name my blog something along the lines of Sarah, The Domestic Goddess. What a joke that would have been! I love to cook and all, but I am a major failure at chores. I hate cleaning (but do it), hate ironing (and rarely do), hate laundry (which my husband kindly does) and don’t like dishes (but do them anyway). My former and current coworkers can attest that I am not the best at keeping a clean desk either. But, I always know where everything is and I made a solid effort (and it’s pretty successful) to keep a clean house too. Still, I hate it.
I’ve always said that someday I would have a cleaning woman to help handle all the chores. But when it came down to it recently, I realized I don’t really want one — at least not right now. Why not? Because in order to have someone come clean, I would have to dedicate more time to clearing clutter so that they could clean. And at this point in my life, I don’t have time to add that to the agenda. Maybe later. So, perhaps someday I will get to that point. Hopefully.
In the meantime, I am up to here (picture hand at nose level) in baking and cooking for Christmas gift baskets. My husband needs three for his coworkers and I need at least three, though I have been cautiously ignoring an actual count — the plan is to get the first four done (three for him, one for me) and then evaluate how many more need to be made.
The first order of business? Biscotti. For those who aren’t sure, biscotti is a traditional Italian cookie that is baked twice — once as one big piece and a second time as individual slices to dry them out. It is fantastic served with coffee. Apparently, biscotti means “twice baked” or something close to it in Italian. And it’s plural. A single piece of biscotti is a biscotto. Interesting stuff.
Anyway, my inaugural batch of biscotti was crafted last December when making gift baskets. I don’t know what possessed me to try it, but it turned out to be a super easy and impressive looking basket filler. It does take some time, at least cooking time, but it’s totally worth it.
First up for this year’s baskets: Chocolate Chip Biscotti, which I think will really appeal to Shawn’s coworkers. He already gave it his seal of approval (stealing several pieces . . . “But they were the ends!” he insisted).
Chocolate Chip Biscotti
yields 24 cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar and baking powder. Stir in chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, whisk together water, vanilla extract, egg and egg white. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Stir together until all the dry ingredients are moistened. The dough will be crumbly.
Carefully turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until a solid dough forms. Form the dough into a 16 inch log.
Place the log onto the baking sheet and flatten out to about one inch thick. Place into the preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes.
Transfer the biscotti loaf to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Slice on the diagonal into 1/2 inch pieces. Transfer back to the baking sheet, cut sides down. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and cook for 10 minutes on each side.
Place biscotti on the wire rack and let cool – they will harden as they cool.