Blueberry Lavender Biscotti

lavendar blueberry 3

March is National Craft Month.

While I have over the years tried to justify my crafty ways to my husband, he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get it the way I don’t get golf. Really…spending all day in the hot sun chasing a little white ball around the grass? Long before children, when he couldn’t find someone to golf with, I would occasionally venture out with him. I drove the golf cart, which seems like the only really neat part of it all. Apparently I talk too much and don’t see anything wrong with driving on the greens, which I learned is frowned upon. I was also responsible for the scorecard, until he began making up his own score. So I simply started writing down what I thought his score should be before we moved onto the next hole. With my verbal chiding, random scoring system, and reckless driving, my chauffeur duties didn’t last long.

In the spirit of National Craft Month, a few of us decided to take on a challenge and learn how to knit socks. After two classes, we are half way though the project, which up until this point has already involved a great deal of trial and error, some late nights, a few swear words, and arthritic fingers. At this point in the project, I consider myself lucky, not talented.

One of our sock sisters has freaky fast fingers. Her family will all be getting socks for Christmas. Realizing my limitations, I will be lucky to complete one pair of socks this year.

I believe there is much to be said for creating rather than consuming. I think an article another fellow sock sister shared explains it best. Entitled, “This is your brain on knitting,” the article describes the benefits of creating, whether through music, the arts, cooking, or crafting. When we create, we live more fully. For our family, biscotti is one that we enjoy creating, both food and memories.

Our sock sister who forwarded the article is also the creative visionary behind these Blueberry Lavender Biscotti, an amazing flavor combination that not only smell good coming out of the oven, but taste delicious too!

 

Blueberry Lavender Biscotti

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ tablespoon dried lavender

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

zest of 1 lemon

¾ cup dried blueberries

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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, salt, and lavender.

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

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 blueberries. 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.  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 #71: Wrap your yarn around the ends for your next knitting project.

Sesame Almond Biscotti with Blueberries

sesame blue 3

We don’t normally buy biscotti. We usually have plenty in the house. They are covering the counters and crowding the freezer. But at the grocery store I was intrigued by a little package of Sesame Almond Biscuits. Made by Almondina, these little “biscuits” are shaped like biscotti, but sliced very thin like a cracker. “The Delicious Cookie without the Guilt” touts an all natural cookie with no added fat or salt, and zero grams of cholesterol. I perused the ingredients list to find out that sesame seeds comprised almost a quarter of the biscotti, which also uses only eggs whites and no yolks. On egg yolk contains approximately 210mg of cholesterol.

Just like the Almondina “biscuits,” we used only the egg whites and also sliced them very thin. Not as thin as those in the package, but thin enough. They were perfectly crunchable. The egg whites created a crisp biscotti to satisfy any hardcore snacker. The kids loved these and our daughter, who is missing quite a few teeth at the moment, had no problem downing quite a few. The Almondina biscuits had raisins, but we added just a few blueberries to give these Sesame Almond Biscotti a bit more sweetness. We also used both black roasted sesame seeds and white sesame seeds for contrast. You could of course stick with whatever you have on hand. If you love sesame, these biscotti will not disappoint.

Sesame Almond Biscotti with Blueberries

YIELD: approximately two dozen

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

¼ cup barley or malted barley flour

½ cup roasted black sesame seeds

½ cup white sesame seeds

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup dried blueberries

agave

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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 flours, sesame seeds, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg whites 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 blueberries and knead until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.

6. Separate the dough in thirds. Form three 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 the logs with agave and spread with your fingers.

8. 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.

9. 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  or 25 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 #29: Drop the ends off a deck or roof to experiment with gravity.

Blueberry Almond Biscotti with Nonpareils

blueberry almond

Blueberry season is in full swing and we cant seem to get enough.  Once a week during the summer and fall, we take a trip down a winding country road to Larriland Farms, a sprawling pick-your-own farm with an iconic red barn stocked with shiny fruits, fresh vegetables, homemade jams, baked goods, and cold drinks, which are much needed after sweating our butts off in the fields.  Blueberries bushes are just the right height for the kids, easy for little hands to pick, and have no thorns, unlike the raspberry bushes which always have the kids in tears when the thorns snag their clothes and prick their arms.  We leave looking like weve just been attacked by a gang of feral cats.

Since the fields were closed and we ran out of blueberries, I was desperate to try and avoid a blueberry meltdown.  Have I mentioned we love blueberries?  However, I was able to locate a random bag of dried blueberries in the bottom of the Biscotti Bin and we came up with Blueberry Almond Biscotti with blue, green, and white nonpareils, at my daughters insistence.   She loves anything topped with sprinkles.  She hates pickles but I think if we put sprinkles on top she would eat them!  Im not sure the nonpareils add much flavor to the biscotti, but they look fabulous pressed onto the top.

Blueberry Almond Biscotti with Nonpareils

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup finely ground cornmeal

½ cup almond flour

½ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup dried blueberries

½ cup finely chopped almonds

1 tablespoon nonpareils

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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, cornmeal, almond 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 blueberries, almonds, and nonpareils and knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 to 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.  Press the top of each log with nonpareils.

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 #2: Feed the ends to the ducks.