Why do things always seem to take much longer than they should? We went to the Christmas tree farm yesterday and the kids picked out our tree, which took three hours. Apparently everyone was out doing the same thing before the weather turned bad around here. It’s our biggest tree yet. We had to cut it down to fit it in the living room. We had high hopes of decorating it last night, but after dinner, baths, and Rudolph’s New Year movie extravaganza, we were lucky just to get it in the stand.
So we had high hopes of getting the tree decorated this morning. However, our daughter knows how to sleep. While we were all waiting for her to wake up my husband and I managed to get the lights on the tree, which in our house in no small task and took much longer than it should after we untangled the lights, fixed loose or missing bulbs, and manged to agree on a way to simply put them on the tree. Apparently I don’t stretch them out enough. I’ve been told I have a tendency to cluster them in order to give them a more random look as compared to a certain someone’s preference for the appearance of a straight line winding itself around the tree. Who knew!
As we waited for our sleepyhead so we could decorate the tree, we also managed to make breakfast, assemble another Lego airplane, play a game of Uno, do the dishes, wash the laundry, and take out the garbage. While we were still waiting for her to wake up, my husband decided to go to the gym. So, our son and I decided to make some biscotti. We actually had enough time to make three batches. Over twelve hours after first laying her head on the pillow, have I mentioned she knows how to catch some winks, our sleepyhead emerges and we loaded on the ornaments. We had plenty of close calls, but only one casualty…a moose loss its antlers. Mission accomplished.
Cracking the pistachios in these Lemon Pistachio Biscotti was a good stress reliever after hanging the lights. And now we have a little something to share with our friends and snack on the next time we are waiting…for anything really.
Lemon Pistachio Biscotti
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup finely ground cornmeal
1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for the topping
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Zest of 3 lemons
1 teaspoon lemon flavored oil
1 cup roasted pistachios, plus ¼ cup ground pistachios for the topping
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, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon flavored oil.
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 pistachios. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 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. Drizzle the top of each log with agave.
8. Mix 1 tablespoon sugar with ¼ cup ground pistachios. Sprinkle the sugar and pistachio mixture onto the top of each log and press down firmly with your hands to ensure the mixture sticks to each log.
9. 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.
10. 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.
What to do with the ends #53: Use the ends as buttons on a snowman.