Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mangia, Mangia! Italian biscotti from the Walla Walla Italian Heritage Association- repost

Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I bring delicious Italian goodness!! If you've been visiting for 2013 or so, you;ll recognize this recipe. I had planned to do post about the sushi we made but there's a stomach virus going through our family and guess who is the last to get it? That's right... me. So, I promise to type up the sushi post next week. For now, I'll be lazy and cut and paste. Then crawl back into bed. :P
So, here it is!

I was at our homeschool girls' book club last week and spent a few glorious hours in a warm and beautiful kitchen, eating apple crisp with piles of real whipped cream topping! Even though I had eight BAZILLION things to do (like get my hair cut and go to Home Depot- those things are not related) I had a fabulous afternoon chatting and eating. Who cares if our refrigerator is on its last legs? Not me! Or at least, I don't care when I have a plate of warm apple crisp in front of me.
Now, as I was chowing down on that deliciousness, I spied a little cookbook on my friend Terri's shelf. You all know I love a good cookbook.
 But... I had an ulterior motive. See, Terri makes the most AMAZING biscotti. If I could get my hands on that recipe, I could have biscotti every day, as much as I wanted! A devious plan was hatched.
 She so sweetly let me borrow the cookbook. I got it home and started to page through it. You know how you can tell a person's favorite Bible verse by how the page looks? Well, I didn't have to look far for her favorite recipe. Past the braccioli, past the tarduci, past thecardiletti, the latte dulce and the cassata alla siciliana, there it was...
 Behold, the page of the biscotti recipe! Ooooo, I rubbed my hands together in maniacal glee! I was never going to want for biscotti again!

1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
3 eggs
3 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp anise flavoring
1 c chopped nuts
 (The recipe was submitted by Pam Daltoso Hamilton, but there was another underneath by Anna Perfetto, and another by Mary Locati and another Carmy Destito, under that one by Rose Zaro.
Since Terri is a Biagi, I'm assuming she knows her biscotti. And if not, I'll just have to TRY THEM ALL.)

 Small child is having a wonderful time chopping walnuts from our tree. I don't have the heart to tell him that we only need a cup.
 Ooooh, what a pretty bowl! I wonder where I got that? (From Terri, of course!) It smells like... biscotti.
 So, cream the butter, sugar, eggs. In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Add them, mix well. Now add the nuts and the anise flavoring. (Of course, I didn't have anise flavoring. I don't even like anise. When I lived in France they drank anise liqueur and it was DISGUSTING. So, I'm assuming that vanilla will be just as good.)
 The dough will be very sticky. Grease the sheet well. Heat the oven to 350F. Shape the dough into long rolls.
 While the biscotti cooks for 30 minutes, browse the rest of the recipes.

 Edna is murmuring to herself. "Questa sembra delizioso!" A few minutes later, she makes a noise. Apparently, the pork sausage/ cinnamon spice cake was not meeting with her approval, even though it says it's great with a caramel frosting. I peeked over her shoulder and said she should definitely try the pizza-by-the-yard recipe. "Vorrei un piatto con formaggio..." she mutters. And there's even a recipe for making your own cheese that dries in a string in the basement! This book has everything! (Of course, we have no basement, but that's no matter...)
 The oven beeped and I checked the biscotti. They were huge and fluffy. But I'd set the timer for 20 minutes, just in case my oven ran hotter than the recipe needed. I put another ten minutes on. Edna was eyeing my new Pinterest activity. It's a heart cut from a map, and the place is my honeymoon. Edna snickered and said it looked like a broken heart! She's so funny. Now all I can see is a framed broken heart.                
     Che romantico!!
 After 30 minutes, remove the biscotti and let cool for 15 minutes. Slice diagonally. Put them back in the oven for ten minutes. This is what makes them super crispy.
 I couldn't even wait for them to cool. It was BISCOTTI time.
Now, I hear these keep well in tupper ware, but they were GONE by the next morning. It wasn't me, I only had two.
Okay, maybe four.
   ALL RIGHT. I lost count! I admit it! I'm a biscotti glutton!

 But now I have the secret recipe and an unending supply, BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

  Fino alla prossimo volta, i miei amici!!

(And now from 2016, I hope everyone is well and enjoy the recipe!)


  1. Anise biscotti. Lovely. Grandma Russo made it often. Can you make chocolate dipped with sea salt next? Wait. Aren't you the one who doesn't like the whole chocolate sea salt thing?

    1. ha! You have a great memory for chocolate preferences. :)

  2. Still a daunting recipe for me. so exotic! I hope you feel better soon, Virginia. Very naughty of those children to share that nasty bug with you.

    1. Twice baked cookies. That's all it is!

      And yes. Really, I think if I'm on clean up duty for four days previous, I should get a pass.

  3. Sure hope you feel better soon. Get your kiddos to make you some hot soup. Sending hugs and prayers.

    1. Oh Sandra.... the pain of having children cook when you're sick is never worth what they might produce, at least not until they're grown. That might be different in Oregon, but in upstate NY, I'd have been hiding from whatever they made most likely. Until I felt better!!!!

    2. Thank you! The prayers (and hugs) worked because I feel almost human today. Still not ready to eat, but definitely upright and sipping tea. Huge improvement!

    3. And my kids are sometimes better cooks than I am, but those urchins made it more like party central than anything else. I was lucky anybody checked on me to make sure I wasn't dead. Thirty six hours in bed and I think only one kid came in... and that was to ask if they could rent a movie on Amazon. *sigh*

  4. Norovirus alert!!!!! It's such a wretched thing, and we never get immunity. Dagnabbit, I want immunity! And I totally sympathize, because with six kids here, stomach bugs were a come one, come all kind of party.

    I'm prepping for my Daycare Families Half-a-Superbowl party tomorrow evening, and there are four big chuck roasts slow cooking in my oven. I am in beef overload right now!

    And Ree Drummond's Apple Dumplings, the ones soaked in butter and Mountain Dew, who thinks these things up???

    Looking forward to the food, and the commercials and cute kids. Get well, Fresh Pioneer! But seeing mouth-watering biscotti is never a bad thing!

    1. I've never watched the Superbowl but it was a big thing a few years ago when Seahawks went. It made fans out of people who weren't fans! lol

      Come one, come all. That's exactly how it is. But luckily, it's in shifts. I had janitor duty for the four days previous, then it was my turn, now I'm back on janitor duty. Thankfully, it's older kids now and they can run faster to the bathroom.

  5. Oh gee ... I really shouldn't have looked at today's recipe. I haven't met a biscotti I don't like. Even worse ... I have anise flavoring. Even worse ... it's getting cold outside, which always makes me want to bake. Oh gee ... :-)

    Sending wishes that you feel better soon!

    Nancy C

    1. Yummy! I like these because they last longer than chocolate chip cookies or anything else hot and soft. Those are gone in hours. These are around a few more days because they're nt as popular with the kids.

      And thank you! Today is 100X better than yesterday. I think semi-comatose would be a good description of Friday.

  6. As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short getting over here.

    I'm sorry you're sick, MJ, and hope you're starting to feel a little better. My husband was feeling kinda puney when he went to bed Saturday night, then woke up Sunday with a full blown cold. Praying that nasty cold will stay away from me. I'm popping Airborne and echinacea in hopes of saving myself.

    My mother likes anise stuff. I think I still have some anise oil in the cupboard I'd used to make hard candy for her. Man that stuff is potent. You do. It want your nose anywhere near the steam when you add it to a hot mixture. It'll singe your nose hairs and do who knows what to your brain. Eesh.

  7. I'm late to the tea and biscotti party! But I was out of town. We went to our son's house to celebrate his birthday. :)

    This looks so good!! I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for the info on slicing and then baking longer!

  8. BTW, I LOVE that cup and saucer!! Beautiful!