I'm at a loss for words today. This doesn't happen often, believe me, but as I sit here typing, bleary-eyed from a lack of sleep over the past few days, I find myself with nothing to say. Nothing at all. Nada.
I could tell you that I finally finished my gift wrapping yesterday, and am pleased as punch with the shimmery corner of my living room, now aglow with twinkle lights and sparkling packages. Or I could tell you that I didn't cook once this weekend since Friday night. Which means I'd also have to admit that the boys had cereal for dinner last night, while Rob and I dined on cheese and crackers, with a side helping of roasted garlic hummus.
I could mention that I recently made some wicked good hot cocoa powder, or that Jackson informed me that he needs Christmas vacation far more than I do, because when I go to work all I do is plan parties, but when he goes to school he works very hard every day for his paycheque, which is his good grades. And I'm sure I should tell you that Ben scored a goal in hockey, and then snuggled up on the sofa with me for an entire hour while we watched an HBO special on the the upcoming Winter Classic featuring his beloved Washington Capitals.
But I suppose I really should just tell you about the biscotti. The biscotti I decided I had to make at 9pm, when the kids were down and the dog was sleeping, and the house was quiet and clean. The one that I knew, upon quick review of the ingredients, was going to be a keeper. It's also the one that's made with cornmeal, flecked with dried cranberries and peppered with chopped walnuts. And the drizzle of white chocolate on top? Well, that's just an added flavour bonus. One that yields deep rewards from the first bite to the final swallow. Yes, I really do need to tell you about the biscotti.
And to think I thought I had nothing to say.
White Chocolate, Cornmeal and Dried Cranberry Biscotti, adapted from Alice Medrich's Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup walnut pieces
- 3 oz. white chocolate, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until light and fluffy.
Add the flour mixture, stirring until all of the ingredients are moistened. Mix in the cranberries and walnuts. With damp hands, shape the dough into a 12" x 3" log and place it on the lined baking sheet.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until cracked on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Transfer the log onto a wooden carving board and, using a serrated knife, cut the loaf into diagonal pieces, about 1/2 inch wide. Transfer the slices to the cookie sheet and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the cookies become slightly browned along the edges. Cool completely and drizzle with melted while chocolate. Once chocolate has hardened, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.