Friday, July 20, 2012

Up All Night...

I'm so grateful that yesterday I attempted a delicious biscotti recipe from Ellen, our in-house pastry expert and sister extraordinaire. Not only did it turn out wonderfully, but it gave me something to munch on when I was awakened by the monst...I mean, munchkins at 2, and 4 and 5:45!!! Normally, I consider myself lucky to have kids who are asleep by 7:30 and up around 7:00. I will take an early morning in exchange for a quiet evening any day. When else am I going to catch up on bad reality tv, read and fit in a quick devotional or boardgame with my hubby???
Last night went south. First, my daughter "wasn't tired", was "scared" and wanted to "sleep in Mommy's bed"...oh dear. It took some wrangling but finally, at 9:00 she was asleep. On went Tori and Dean reruns followed by my first stab at slumber. Round 2: Logan awakened and was fussy so I brought him in my bed (as I do nearly every night. Yes, the kid is almost 2. What??) Back to sleep. But not for long. Jovie awakened from a bad dream so a potty break and drink were in order. Again, back to bed we went. In her bed. With my legs dangling off the edge. Side note: Apparently, I'm the only parent with auditory capabilities after 11:00 at night. It's a strange phenomena but one that I live with gracefully, sort of.
Finally, in the home stretch and after a quick potty break for Logan at 4 a.m., I blearily made my way to the couch in hopes of a little shut-eye. The CAT then demanded to get in from the garage so after one last interruption, I was off to sleep. Again, not for long. At 5:45, Jovie came downstairs wondering where I was. So we drifted off together on the couch until the alarm for Mike went off just an hour later. It was a sad night for any mommy. The only two luxuries I long for these days are sleep and peace and quiet once in a while. I was zero for two.
This long story brings me to my saving grace...the biscotti. I savored it with my daily cup of coffee and after a sleepless night, it hit the spot. Slightly sweet, nutty and crisp, it was perfect! Sleep was lost, but my sanity remained. As my son sits in front of me, carefully putting my hair behind my ear to access my cheek for a kiss, I realize there's no one else I'd rather be awakened by.

Here's the recipe:

1 cup whole hazelnuts, preferably blanched (not gonna lie, I used pecans. Target doesn't sell hazelnuts and I wasn't ABOUT to go to another store!)
2 1/2 cups flour, plus flour for work surface
1/2 cup Dutch-style cocoa powder
1 tablespoon espresso powder (left out, regretfully)
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar.

Note: I halved the recipe, which you can do if you only want about 10 or so biscotti. Or, make the whole recipe and freeze half the dough for later!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread hazelnuts on baking sheet and toast about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. If hazelnuts are not blanched, toast them until the skins begin to crack, then remove them from oven and wrap them in clean linen or cotton towel (not terrycloth). Rub them to remove most of the skin. Set aside. (I toasted the pecans in a pan, about 2 minutes, or until hot and fragrant.)
2. Sift the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder together and set aside.
3. Beat eggs lightly, just until blended, in mixing bowl with whisk or in electric mixer. Beat sugar into remaining eggs until blended. Stir in flour mixture to form soft dough. Divide dough and shape into two logs, flattened slightly. Top with toasted nuts and press into dough. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set to the touch. Take out, slice on a diagonal with a serrated knife. Place pieces on their sides and bake another 20 minutes or so, until they are no longer soft.
Let cool and enjoy! These make the perfect gift as they hold up well and only get better as they dry slightly. And may I point out the obvious?? They have NO oil or butter, making them an almost guilt-free indulgence. Almost.

The dough, slighty mixed...needs kneading

On the pan

Nuts toasting

On the dough they go

After baking 20 minutes..

Slice and place on pan sideways


Recipe adapted from

1 comment:

  1. Looks tasty! Wish I hadn't finished all of ours already. I love having instant coffee granules on hand...a big jar is sorty spendy upfront, but it goes in so many recipes and lasts forever : )