Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone. I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday full of loved ones and good food. I made my usual trek to Minnesota to spend the holiday with my mother’s side of the family at my parents’ house. Because I live the furthest from my family, I’ve never hosted the holidays and usually join as a lazy guest. In fact, this year I barely helped out. My father, in a quest to be organized, had done the bulk of the prep work the night before and had the turkey in the oven before I was even out of bed. Because of this, there was little he needed help with beyond some homemade stovetop gravy. One of these years though, I think I’ll have to tackle my grandmother’s recipe for pumpkin pie.
But before you start thinking I’m a completely lazy, ungrateful guest I feel the need to mention that I didn’t show up completely empty handed. I made sure to load the car with a few homemade treats.
For my sister, I brought a pan of classic Scotcheroos. When she visited in October we made a batch together. She forgot to take the leftovers with her so I promised her another batch the next time I saw her, which happened to be Thanksgiving. And for my mother, I brought my latest biscotti creation – Blueberry-Almond.
Among her favorite varieties are the Cherry Pistachio Biscotti I made in 2010 so I did a new take on that recipe with dried blueberries and toasted almonds. A little orange zest rounds out the flavor. You might be tempted to skip it, but don’t! It adds a pleasant zing to the dough and a depth of flavor. These biscotti are flavorful and oh so crunchy, perfect for enjoying with a hot cup of coffee or tucking into a holiday care package. I’m baking again for Baking GALS this month and am thinking, as always, that biscotti will be a mainstay since they travel so well.
Adapted from Epicurious.com
Yields about 2 1/2 dozen small biscotti
-2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-6 tablespoons unsalted butter
-3/4 cup sugar
-2 large eggs
-1 tablespoon grated orange peel
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1 cup dried blueberries
-2 ounces slivered almonds, toasted
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift first 3 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl to blend well. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in orange peel and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture just until blended. Stir in blueberries and almonds (dough will be sticky). Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Gather dough together; divide in half. Roll each half into 15-inch-long log (about 1 1/4 inches wide). Carefully transfer logs to 1 prepared baking sheet, spacing 3 inches apart.
Bake logs until almost firm to touch but still pale, about 28 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
Carefully transfer logs still on parchment to cutting board. Using serrated knife and gentle sawing motion, cut logs crosswise into generous 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place slices, 1 cut side down, on remaining 2 prepared sheets. Bake until firm and pale golden, about 9 minutes per side. Transfer cookies to racks and cool.