Today's TWD is supposed to be Mrs. Vogel's Scherben. It's basically fried dough. I couldn't bring myself to make fried dough three weeks before going to Hawaii.....where I'll once again have to put on a bathing suit. Fried dough and bathing suits don't relate well. Come to think of it, almost nothing in Dorie's book relates well with bathing suits. Whatev.
If you'd like the recipe for Mrs. Vogel's Scherben (it actually looks delish) you can get it from Teanna over at Spork and Foon. You should visit her blog even if you're not interested in the fried dough. It's required reading, plus she's gorgeous and doesn't have to worry about fitting into her bathing suit. Let's hate her. Just kidding (a little).
I opted to do a "rewind", which means I baked something the group had already made before I joined. I picked the Lenox Almond Biscotti. My mom asked me over the holidays if I had ever made biscotti and I said yes, thinking I had. I think I lied to my mother! Sorry, mama. It's the first time that's ever happened. Swear.
It turns out Biscotti is like Tarte Tatin for me. I thought it was going to be something really difficult and it turns out to be the complete opposite. Case in point.....Mr. B comes in this afternoon and I said,
"There's almond biscotti on the counter if you'd like some."
"Where'd you get these?"
"I made them."
"You MADE biscotti? How'd you do that?"
"I'm a flippin genius. That's how."
He's impressed. And I'm not going to be the one to burst his bubble. He needs to think I'm a flippin genius once in a while.
So, anyway, these were quite easy and I can't wait to make all different flavors. I chose to incorporate one of Dorie's "playing arround" suggestions and add some lemon zest to my sugar before creaming it with the butter. I like the extra bit of freshness that added but next time I'll probably try something else.
I hope this doesn't get me in trouble but I'm going to post the recipe. I couldn't figure out who originally picked this recipe, so I didn't know who to link to. I'm sure someone will call me out, but here it is.
Lenox Almond Biscotti
Dorie says.....When Toni Fortuna, the owner of Lenox, one of my favorite restaurants in New York City, gave me this recipe for his biscotti, I stopped making any other almond biscotti and started making these in double batches - twice a week. They are perfect - crunchy but not rock solid, dippable, dunkable and eminently munchable, as good with breakfast cafe' au lait as with late-night herbal tea. They're great with ice cream, fruit salad, mousses and puddings, too. Mille grazie, Tony.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temp.
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3/4 cup sliced almonds, blanched or unblanched (mine were blanched)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the cornmeal and whisk again to blend.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed for 3 minutes, until very smooth. Add the eggs and continue to beat, scraping down the bowl as needed, for another 2 minutes, or until the mixture is light, smooth and creamy. Beat in the almond extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. You'll have a soft stick-to-your-fingers dough that will ball up around the paddle or beaters. Scrape down the paddle and bowl, toss in the almonds and mix just to blend.
Scrape half the dough onto one side of the baking sheet. Using your fingers and a rubber spatula or scraper, work the dough into a log about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. The log will be more rectangular than domed, and bumpy, rough and uneven. Form a second log with the remaining dough on the other side of the baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the logs are lightly golden but still soft and springy to the touch. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and cool the logs on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.
If you turned off the oven, bring it back up to 350 degrees F.
Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the logs to a cutting board and, with a long serrated knife, trim the ends and cut the logs into 3/4 inch thick slices. Return the slices to the baking sheet - this time standing them up like a marching band - and slide the sheet back into the oven.
Bake the biscotti for another 15 minutes, or until they are golden and firm. Transfer them to racks and cool to room temperature
Serving: These are good with just about anything - including themselves. Eat one, and you'll want another!
Storing: Because they are dry and they're fine if they get even drier, the biscotti will keep at room temperature, covered or not, for about a week. They can be frozen, but I rarely store them that way - mostly because they rarely last long enough to get wrapped up for long-term storage.
My "Playing Around" option was Lemon: Rub the grated zest of 2 lemons into the sugar before beating the butter and sugar together.