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Paid a visit to the family, in Sault Ste. Marie, last month and enjoyed some “home” cooking, including mother’s gnocchi, the Italian dumpling made with potato and flour. She still makes the lightest, melt-in-your mouth gnocchi I’ve ever had... and she’s 91. We also enjoyed some Soo pizza, perogies and cabbage rolls, and came home with 

several jars of my sister’s Italian style tomato preserves that I’ll be using in my spaghetti sauces for the next while. Can’t share the tomatoes with you, but I can share a recipe for biscotti that my sister gave me when I was in the Soo.

Now, let’s get cooking!

Biscotti

What’s interesting about these biscotti is that they are made with Special K. Some call them breakfast biscotti. I’ve made two batches already in the past three weeks.

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups Special K

1 cup whole almonds

2 teaspoon baking powder

Whirl all of the above in a blender.

In a large bowl whisk together

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon (or more) anise extract, to taste

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well. Let sit for 30 minutes covered with plastic wrap. After 30 minutes form dough into four (4) rolls. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325. 

Let rolls cool a few minutes and transfer to a cutting board. Cut diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange on the baking sheet, cut side up, and bake them in the upper third of the 325 degree oven, turning them once, for 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to racks; let them cool for 2 to 3 hours, or until they are crisp; store in airtight containers.

Did you know? In Italian, the word “biscotto” means “biscuit” or “cookie.” (“Biscotti” is the plural.) More specifically, biscotti are named according to their original method of baking. The root words “bis” and “cotto” literally mean “twice” and “baked,” the same as the French word “biscuit.” And if you make a lot of biscotti, there is a one step method available. It’s called the “pipe and bake” system. You can check it out at www.biscottizone.com.

Finally, here’s a Christmas wish for you, dear readers, borrowed from A Christmas Carol by Dickens: “...and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!”

Merry Christmas.

Now, let’s get cooking!

tombutkovich@cogeco.ca

Geographic location: Sault Ste. Marie

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