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Vol. 112 - Issue 1, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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Vol.6 No.51 - 7/6/1872
Vol.17 No.2 - 7/15/1882
Courtesy of the New York State Historical Association Library, Cooperstown, N.Y (.PDF files)
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Recipes


COOKBOOKIN'
By Sandy Olson
Bravo biscotti! So begins the introduction page of Biscotti by Lou Seibert Pappas (1992, Chronicle Books, San Francisco).  These wonderful twice-baked goodies are often perceived as too complicated or time consuming to make at home. Nothing could be further from the truth. The basic biscotti takes few ingredients, a little mixing time and two baking periods, during which you can be doing something else. And, they keep for a long time in an air-tight container, if you can keep people from eating them all up immediately!

Biscotti Toscani

One-half cup whole raw almonds
One-third cup real butter
Three-quarters cup sugar
Two eggs
One teaspoon real vanilla extract
One-quarter teaspoon almond extract
Two teaspoons grated orange zest
Two and one-quarter cups all-purpose flour
One and one-half teaspoons baking powder
One-eighth teaspoon nutmeg
One-quarter teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Place almonds in a shallow pan and bake until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Let cool.  In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, almond extract and orange zest.  In another bowl combine dry ingredients.  Add to the creamed mixture, mixing until blended. Cut almonds into halves or thirds and fold in. Divide dough in half. Place on a greased and floured baking sheet and form each half into a log, about one-half inch thick, one and one-half inches wide and 12 inches long, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a rack and let cool 5 minutes. Place on a cutting board. With a serrated knife, slice diagonally at a 45-degree angle to make slices about one-half inch thick. Lay these slices flat on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 10 minutes, turning them over once, to dry slightly. Let cool on a rack and store in a tightly covered container. Makes about three and one-half dozen biscotti.

Cioccolato Paradiso

One and one-half cups raw whole almonds
One-half cup real butter
One cup plus two tablespoons sugar
Three eggs, separated
One and one-half teaspoons real vanilla extract
Zest of one orange, finely chopped
Three cups all-purpose flour
Two teaspoons baking powder
One-quarter teaspoon salt
One and one-quarter cups chopped milk chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Toast almonds as in recipe above. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and one-half cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla and orange zest. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add to the creamed mixture, missing just until crumbly.  In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form then beat in remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold meringue into the crumbly dough, mixing until it clings together. Cut toasted almonds into halves or thirds and fold in along with the chocolate. Divide dough in half and form into logs as above, making them 16 inches long. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until set and golden brown. Turn the oven down to 300 degrees F.  Transfer to a rack and cool 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and with a serrated knife, slice diagonally at a 45 degree angle into slices about one-half inch thick. Place the slices upright on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes to dry slightly.  Let cool on a rack and store in a tightly covered container.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

White Chocolate Macadamia Biscotti

One-half cup real butter
One-quarter cup sugar
Two eggs
One teaspoon real vanilla extract
Two tablespoons Amaretto
Two cups plus two tablespoons all-purpose flour
One and one-half teaspoons baking powder
One-quarter teaspoon salt
Two-thirds cup macadamia nuts
Two thirds cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla and Amaretto. In another bowl combine dry ingredients. Add to the creamed mixture, mixing until blended. Fold in nuts and chips. Prepare baking sheet and make two dough logs as in previous recipes, with logs about 14 inches long. Space them 2 inches apart on the pan.  Bake 25 minutes, then cool 5 minutes, slice as above and place upright on the baking sheet for the second baking.  Return to oven for 8 minutes longer to dry slightly. Let cool on rack and store in a tightly covered container. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Biscotti are the perfect cookies to serve with tea or coffee. Since they are dry and crispy, they need to be dunked.  Milk will do nicely, too. The instructions for combining ingredients, baking, slicing and re-baking are similar in most recipes so it doesn’t take much practice to get used to the process. Impress guests and family alike with a plate of these out-of-the-ordinary homemade cookies.  
And...that’s all she wrote.
………………………………

It is with a heavy heart that I write my final Cookbookin’ column for The Mercury. This has been a great gig and I’ve enjoyed every issue of this fine local newspaper. I want to express gratitude to both Jay and Jason Bernhardt for allowing me to express my love of cooking and collecting on their pages.  
I also want to thank the readers who have enjoyed cookbook recipes, have written to me to express their interest or to ask questions, and who have supported The Mercury as well. I grew up in Richfield Springs and look forward to returning next year for the big multi-class reunion.  
I continue to live in a small town; those values and standards are what I like best and why I thrive. So, please don’t ‘give up’ on Richfield or on The Mercury.  
Remember the Phoenix...many things rise from the ashes. I will continue to write Cookbookin’ for the Northwood Anchor in Northwood, IA.  and hopefully for other papers as time goes on.  
It’s been a pleasure to come to so many homes on the pages of The Mercury.
~Sandy Olson

 


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