Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet? *to the tune of Adele*
Welcome to the very first post of baked + risen—it’s been a long time coming! I figure I’ll paint you an image before we get down and dirty with one of my all time faves: biscotti.
Baking was my first true love. Baking loved me through my awkward years, back when Ina and Emeril were the celebrities I’d most like to meet. (Note: my loyalty for Ina still holds strong and true). One particularly memorable night, around middle school, I decided I HAD to learn how to make the perfect danish. Danish dough is essentially puff pastry (e.g. loads of butter and then more butter). Picture me in my PJs literally pounding cold sticks of butter into a flat sheet with a rolling pin. Now that’s a very typical image of my Friday nights back then. Cooking and I met later on in life, more like high school, and have had a warm relationship since then, but I don’t think it could ever top baking for me. As they say, you never forget your first love.
When I was younger, there was no Pinterest, viral Tasty videos, or food blogs for cooking inspiration. For me, my ideas came through a steady stream of Food Network and old-fashioned cookbooks. One of the first cookbooks my family owned was a Better Homes and Gardens baking edition that my mom had bought for less than a $1 at a book sale. I spent countless mornings, curled up on the couch flipping through it. Of the hundreds of recipes in that book, I’m not sure what compelled me to choose biscotti one day, but it became one of the first things I learned to bake successfully. I’ve been baking all kinds of biscotti for years now, and my close friends know me for it. For others, initial reactions often include: “You can MAKE biscotti?? How??
Well, friends, I’m here to tell you that it’s very possible and you can totally do it! I love that biscotti is a crunchy, not overly sweet cookie, that’s perfect for dipping into hot tea or coffee. Biscotti is traditionally an Italian cookie, literally translated into “twice-cooked” or baked. It’s essentially made by forming a basic dough into a log, baking it, slicing it, and baking the pieces again. They make amazing gifts because they stay fresh for days and when dipped or drizzled in chocolate, they can look pretty fancy! I can promise this blog will feature plenty of biscotti to come, and below is one of my favorites by Smitten Kitchen–so light and crisp you’ll find yourself eating two or ten in one sitting.