This week’s blog comes from a guest writer: the teaching, principal lady, marathon-running extraordinaire, giver of life, my mom 🙂 Together with my dad behind the camera, she graciously has taken over the blog this week while I’m away at auditions. Enjoy!
Almond Joy Biscotti with Hot Chocolate
Some of my fondest family memories are linked to baking. The sound of my mother’s wedding band clinking on her cake pans as she floured them seemed so fancy and grown up to me. As I married years later, I remember making that same sound for the first time and standing a little taller at the sink. I felt like a real baker!
As a little girl, I loved cooking and baking for my family. They suffered through–I mean enjoyed–homemade milkshakes dyed exotic colors, plates garnished with pickles “to add color,” and many other “made with love” recipes.
Meeting my husband’s baking grandfather, I spent an afternoon learning the art of homemade bread (although my first loaves resembled doorstops). I can remember watching his wrinkled, loving hands knead the dough–and sharing the sound it should make when you give it a good smack. I still love making his bread–and feel him with me as I do.
As my children grew, we often spent time together in the kitchen. I especially loved when they grew old enough to bake together–making unique cupcakes with fruity or chocolatey fillings. It was the laughter and smiles in the kitchen that were truly the best part.
August of last year was a significant milestone for my husband and I, we officially became empty nesters. Allie returned to ballet in Pittsburgh, and our younger daughter, Katie, was off to her freshman year at the University of South Carolina. Family and friends looked at me with pity–expecting me to burst into tears at any moment.
The strange thing, I am okay. How?! They call us often. They share their lives regularly, and I still spend time laughing and crying with them. Don’t get me wrong. My heart aches from the distance–but I know they are amazing young women–one a baking ballerina and one an artist educator–and I am incredibly blessed to be their mother, and we always have food conversations to make the distance seem shorter.
So, why I am blogging this weekend (especially when I am still not exactly sure what that means–and even still text with one hand to my daughters’ chagrin). Allie is adventuring in New York, and I wanted to try and take something off of her plate–literally! The recipe this week (yes, it is her delicious creation) includes a cookie worthy of dipping and not falling apart–biscotti! Flavored with coconut and almonds, you then get to dip it into a cup of hot chocolate heaven.
Through my family, I have learned to bake–but also to cherish every moment with them. It doesn’t have to be face-to-face and doesn’t need to involve elaborate or expensive planning. We learn from each other–and we are always with each other–my heart reminds me of that every day.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 TBSP sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp coconut extract
2 flax eggs (2 TBSP ground flax plus 6 TBSP water left to sit in fridge for at least 5 min)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix dry ingredients together and wet ingredients together in separate bowls. (leave out almonds and coconut flakes). Add dry to wet and mix til combined. Mix in coconut and almonds.
Roll into log, and press down to about 1⁄2 inch tall. Bake on parchment paper in 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Remove, and cut into strips when cool enough to handle. Reduce oven temp to 325°F. Place biscotti back on baking sheet on their sides.
Reduce oven to 325°F. Bake biscotti for 15 minutes on each side, unless they begin to burn.
● 6 oz. Vegan dark chocolate, chopped
● 3 cups Coconut milk
● 1⁄3 cup Sugar
Heat milk in saucepan on medium heat; stir in sugar until dissolved. Add chocolate, and mix until smooth. Serve with Biscotti.