I know Valentine’s day has come and gone, but I want to talk about love…and food. Love and cooking go hand and hand.
I don’t care if y’all disagree, because in my little head this is truth. We cook for the people around us that we care for.
Sorry guys, but I already had this post written up when I realized that the food that went with today’s post actually made an equals sign on the pan, so I had to incorporate it. What can I say, I’m a dork.
Guys cook to impress their ladies and vice-versa, momma’s bake with their little ones and create memories that last a lifetime, we take dinners to our elderly family and friends who have trouble getting around and casseroles to our friends who’ve just had babies, or who have recently experienced tragedy, and why? Why do we do this? Because it’s the most commonplace and tangible act of love.
My husband makes me iced coffee and brings it to my bedside every Saturday morning. (After he’s sure I’m awake.) Lord knows we’ve been married long enough that he knows not to wake me up on a Saturday morning! I love that he does this. He’s good about doing little stuff like that.I remember when we were newlyweds, he thought it would be sweet to bake me something, so he set out to make me his momma’s monkey bread. When I say newlywed I mean so newlywed that we didn’t have our new house unpacked or our wedding gifts all opened yet. He couldn’t find a bundt pan, so he grabbed an angel food cake pan instead. Yeah, those of us who know better are shaking our heads, but he was very inexperienced in the kitchen and thought, “Same general shape! We’re good to go!” Everything went really well until the syrup mixture that goes over the top of the dough got to the bottom of the pan and by that point he already had it in the oven. So he couldn’t see that syrup slowly seeping out all over the heating element in the oven. We all saw, heard, and smelled the flames shooting out when it caught fire!
Hehehe. I love that story. It still makes me giggle. He’s learned a lot over the years and hasn’t set fire to anything since then except the barbecue grill, which, you know, is supposed to be on fire. But then he hasn’t ever made me monkey bread again either…
The Chocolate Almond Biscotti I am sharing with you are a great way to show someone you love them! I make these for my momma’s birthday every year. Baked three times means three times the love, right? Yes, I said baked three times. I’ll admit these cookies are a bit more work than some, but they are so worth it. It actually only takes a few minutes to mix up the dough. Most of the time taken for this recipe isn’t active work, but baking time in the oven. This recipe yields a rich, very crisp buttery almond cookie with a drizzle of chocolate over the top. They are a delight this time of year with the very tail end of winter’s cold and snow still hanging on. Best served with a mug of hot coffee or tea to dunk them in and a good book on the side. Great to share with friends and loved ones near or far because their sturdy shape and crispness means they hold up very well to being packaged.
Chocolate Almond Biscotti
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter , softened
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon shortening
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and almond extract mixing thoroughly. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients, this dough will be stiff. After all the dry ingredients have been beaten in, mix the almonds in by hand with a spoon.
Divide the dough in half. With floured hands, to prevent sticking, shape each half of the dough into a rectangle about 3 inches wide by 11 inches long and a little under an inch thickness on an ungreased cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until set.
Cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.
Remove to a cutting board. Cut the loaf diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.
Eat the end pieces as a reward for your hard work. Ha ha. But seriously, discard or eat the end pieces.
Arrange the slices back on the pan, cut side down and closely together.
Bake for another 8 minutes.
Remove the pan and flip each cookie over to the other side.
Bake again for another 8 minutes.
Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Melt the chocolate chips and shortening on low heat in a small saucepan. Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate over the biscotti. Let sit until the chocolate sets up.