Today, I am thankful for a biscotti tradition.
I am not the best baker on our block - that special honor goes to my next-door neighbor, Debbie. But, I will admit that I make excellent biscotti. S and I love the popular "twice-baked" Italian biscuits, especially my home-baked creations. I now bake them during the holidays and when Mike, our Air Force Academy cadet, visits.
Biscotti from the Italian deli and local cafe are very hard - almost break your teeth hard - and rather grainy and rough textured. One year, based on my experience with ready-made varieties, I consider making biscotti as Christmas gifts for my sisters in California. Flavorful, sturdy confections that surely would not crumble en route - the perfect gift from my kitchen.
I test a popular recipe for pistachio and dried cranberry biscotti. The dough is very easy to make and handle, but the twice-baking steps are time consuming.
After the first batch cools, I try one. To my surprise, the biscotti is fragile with a dry, fine, crumbly texture - melt in my mouth delicious. This is not the rock hard, "please dip me in coffee" biscuits served at the local cafe. What a culinary revelation! I wonder how many people won't make biscotti because they don't like dry, hard biscuits.
Long story short, I send my sisters other gifts for Christmas and give biscotti to local friends and neighbors. And, joyfully, a new holiday baking tradition begins in our household.
For this blessing, I am grateful.