It’s Rocker Dude’s birthday today, so I decided to make him a present. Rocker Dude has few loves in his life. His music, his comics, his Little Rocker, oh right, and me ;). One of the things he really enjoys is biscotti. Not the hard dried cookie that you normally see dipped in coffee, but the biscotti that I make, soft with a crispy outside. He also loves biscotti because of the word. He is a research assistant for an Italian professor (he is Italian, not that he teaches Italian) in bar Ilan University. This basically means that he makes sure that the professor’s computer is well-stocked with music and spending a lot of time chatting. Rocker Dude once told this professor, M., about my biscotti. M. gave him a confused look until Rocker Dude explained. Then he replied, “Oh, you mean biscott-i!” in a proper Italian accent. Rocker Dude loves to imitate him saying this.
One day, after Rocker Dude had had a particularly hard day (or maybe it was when he got his job for the fall) I decided to do something nice and make whatever he wanted. I asked him what he wanted and he said, “biscotti.” Finally I get a clear request from him. (Of course he would say that he always gives clear requests, I just ignore them.)
So I took out my trusty dusty biscotti recipe and got baking. This is an awesome recipe as it doesn’t call for butter so I don’t have to wait to let margarine get to room temperature (I keep it frozen) and it mixes up in one bowl and is ready to bake really quickly.
This time, I decided to do the recipe properly and add almond extract. Every other time I made this recipe, I just didn’t have almond extract so I just used vanilla. This time I figured that since I had all the proper ingredients, I would use them, including almond extract. I know that Rocker Dude does not like nuts, but I figured that the extract could only add to the taste.
So I made the cookies, shaped them and baked them. They smelled wonderful. Rocker Dude came home from doing his radio show (www.rock4rookies.com) at 11:30 pm and walked into a fragrant, biscotti-smelling kitchen. He got so excited because I had made one of his favorite things.
Then he took a bite. He carefully chewed it and then took another bite. He carefully chewed this too. Then he asked, “Did you change the recipe?”
I told him that I added almond extract so that I could do the recipe properly.
His face fell. “Why Elle, why? Why would you mess with something that is already so perfect?!”
Me: “I just wanted to do the whole recipe. Does it taste bad?”
RD: “Well, it doesn’t taste like it used to. It’s all almondy and everything.”
Me: “Will you eat it?”
RD: “Of course, but now I don’t trust your baking anymore. How do I know you won’t stick almonds into my blueberry cheesecake?!?!” (see post here).
As you can see, we have some trust issues to work out. I am officially on probation and need to faithfully report any ingredient I use. Mind you, Rocker Dude ate every one of those cookies, so I don’ t know what he is complaining about.
A couple of days ago when I offered to make Rocker Dude biscotti as a snack, he gave me a look and said, “Can I trust you not to mess with my babies?” If only he loved us as much.
As a surprise to him, I made him biscotti last night to have when he came home from doing his show. Because it is his birthday, and I want to be nice to him (and I don’t want to be banned from baking), I made it with only vanilla extract. The Little Rocker and I tested them when they came out of the oven. Yum!
I let them cool and when Rocker Dude came home I presented him with fresh-baked biscotti, just the way he likes them :). They were well appreciated.
3 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 cup oil
1 tbsp. vanilla extract or 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or, if you want a crispier cookie, to 375 degrees).
Mix all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix it around a little with the paddle attachment so that all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Then add the oil, eggs and extracts. Mix until just combined.
Divide the dough into two equal portions. Shape each one into a flat long loaf. Bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and slice each loaf into 1 inch thick slices. Turn each slice on its side and put the baking sheet back in the oven.
Bake for another 5-8 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and flip each cookie onto the other side. Bake again for 5-8 minutes.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool on a rack.
Dip in coffee or just eat them plain, enjoy!