We won!

The suspense is over. At approximately 7:30 Tuesday, we logged on to watch the 2013 Baltimore Sun Mobbies Award Ceremony. With the kids glued to Looney Toons in the living room, my husband and I huddled around the laptop at the dining room table, waiting to see if the words “And the winner is…” would be followed by the words “Big Biscotti Bake.” Seconds after we logged onto the streaming video, the first award was announced. Big Biscotti Bake was voted the Best New Blog! WOO-HOO! While my husband and I celebrated, reveling in our new-found stardom and dreaming of an impending book deal, the kids asked us to be quiet because they couldn’t hear Bugs Bunny.

As you know, probably because we offered a few friendly reminders, Big Biscotti Bake was also nominated in the Best Food Blog category, where we came in second place. We were edged out by Let’s Give Peas a Chance (love that name), who won the Best Food Blog category last year as well.

You can see a list of the complete results here and watch the video from the awards ceremony here.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to everyone who voted and helped spread the word. There were some great blogs in the running and we are excited to be a part of a vibrant blogging scene in Baltimore.

 

The 2013 Mobbies

vote for my blog in the mobbies early and often

Let the voting begin! The 2013 Baltimore Sun Mobbies, a reader’s choice competition that highlights Maryland’s outstanding blogs, is underway. Big Biscotti Bake is nominated in both the Best Food Blog and the Best New Blog categories. There are some really top notch bloggers in the running, so we need your vote! Here is the lowdown…

1. You can vote once a day online from November 4th – 14th.

2. You need to be a registered user of the Baltimoresun.com, which is free, super easy, and part of the voting process.

3. Bookmark it, share it with your friends and family, post it on your Facebook page, and visit it every day until November 14th!!! Don’t forget to vote for Big Biscotti Bake in both the Best Food Blog and the Best New Blog categories.

http://data.baltimoresun.com/mobbies/2013/

Thank you!

The Baker

 

I won!

fair 2

The results are in. Over the weekend we all went to the Howard County Fair. We walked through ALL the cow barns, pet the lamas, heard the squealing pigs, and watched a woman fall of her horse. We (actually just my husband and the kids) rode the ferris wheel. If you know me, you know I am not a fan of amusement park rides and even the kiddie ones make my stomach queasy. Although I’ve ridden the tallest ferris wheel in the world in Kyoto, Japan, my husband always reminds me of the time he told the ferris wheel operator at the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland to stop the ride while I had a panic attack.

After we stuffed ourselves with fair food, we approached the Home and Arts Building where I dropped off my biscotti a few days ago. The moment of truth. We searched the shelves for the biscotti, displayed in a clear plastic container with all the other cakes, cookies,and breads. And then we saw them…with a yellow fourth place ribbon secured to the top. My daughter yelled, “Mom, you won a ribbon! I’m so proud of you!” which she repeated all day. She was also very curious about where I was going to display my ribbon. She puts all her ribbons on her closet door handle and mentioned this might also be a good place for mine.

So, the biscotti lost out to Hungarian Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, and another cookie that remains a mystery to us. I’ll try again next year. After we looked at the other entries and the ages of the bakers, our daughter decided she would like to enter a cake next year. I’m looking forward to making that early morning trip to submit our entries together next summer.

Oh, did I mention…in the “ethnic cookie” category, there were only four submissions.

Basic Biscotti Recipe

basic 4

We are visiting family to celebrate our son’s birthday. We asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday and he replied, “Go to papa’s house.” Papa is very happy. It is however a five hour road trip, during which time we took way too many restroom breaks, we threaten turning the car around at least a dozen times, and we made a game out of answering the question, “are we there yet?”

Today someone asked me “What’s a basic biscotti recipe?” That is actually a question I am asked time and time again. So I figured now would be a good time to share my basic biscotti recipe. You can create any combination of the extract or flavored oil, dried fruit, and nuts. My mom and I just made a batch with almond extract, dried apricots, and almonds. Delicious!

Basic Biscotti Recipe 

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup chopped dried fruit

½ cup nuts

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1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

2.  In a large flat bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla extract.

4.  With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together.  Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.

5.  Add the dried fruit and nuts and knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 times.

6.  Separate the dough in half.  Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.

7.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split.  Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

8.  Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board.  Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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What to do with the ends #4: Practice balancing the ends on your head.