There are winds around here for sure. It is freezing here. Not literally. This would be nice weather in, say, early March. But on June 1st. No. Not at all. Between the chill and the smell of my chai tea, it feels a little like Christmas…weird.
(The title is a lyric from a song by the Kooks, just so you know.)
Because I was cold and sick of sending emails and staring at my computer all day yesterday, I baked something.
This is the beginning of cinnamon sugar biscotti, found via Joy the Baker. On the left: unsalted butter, eggs, vanilla, sugar. On the right: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt. Dry goes with dry and wet goes with wet until they tell you otherwise. Those are the rules. Baking is like a chemistry experiment. Remember that kid in lab who never followed the directions and then he ended up with noxious fumes coming from the beaker? The same will happen in baking. Well, maybe the fumes won’t be noxious, but you get my point.
Clearly that caption is senseless. But the picture is not. That’s what the dough looks like once you’ve combined the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients. It smells and looks beautiful.
This recipe then asks you to divide the dough in half, place on parchment covered baking sheets, and shape each half into a log. I never have parchment paper on hand, and yet three-quarters of the recipes I make call for parchment paper. Instead, I undo the folds of brown paper bags with scissors and place them on baking sheets. Most of the time, it works just fine.
Actually it’s not that squishy. I just like that word today. From here, you brush it with some beaten egg (since the recipe calls for an egg plus an egg yolk in the dough, just use the egg white) and toss a whole bunch of cinnamon sugar topping on it. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheets and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
Just cut it and you’re done, right? Nope. Right now, that log is about the texture of a good chewy sugar cookie. But that’s not what biscotti is like. Hope you’ve left that oven on! Let those logs cool until you can handle them (probably not completely cooled, though). Cut into diagonal slices. Turn on their sides and dump cinnamon sugar on top. Bake again at the same temp for another 10-15 minutes.
Oh, cinnamon sugar baked goods. Carbs on carbs on carbs. Unfailing flavor, right there. These cookies are hard. Not hard to make, but hard on your teeth. This would be an easy way to pop out a loose tooth (I kinda have one…so I’m avoiding that side at all costs when I eat these). To soften, dip in a beverage like coffee, tea, or milk. Oooohhhh: chai tea and biscotti. Yeah.
This recipe went pretty smoothly, and besides the baking time, it doesn’t take that long to put together. They were the perfect thing to make on a cool, rainy day like we had yesterday. The only thing I would have done differently would be to take the butter out of the freezer the night before instead of the morning of baking. It wasn’t softening quickly, so I put it by our stove, which was nice and warm after running continuously all day. The result was that it didn’t soften evenly, so creaming was difficult. I once again used my hands, but it worked out fine.
More Chile news! I bought my plane ticket to Miami, which is our departure city for Santiago. We’ll be flying out to Miami early in the morning, and arriving far before our Santiago flight, which will hopefully give me enough time to settle in after saying goodbye to my family. I’ve also connected with a few people who are involved with the service site I’m hoping to work at, and I’ve been introduced to a Chilean student who was a friend of my friend’s while she studied there last year. A shopping list is also in progress. And that was all just yesterday! Phew.
We’re just about 5 weeks away from departure. Holy crap. When I got home from school I thought that 8 weeks was a lot of time. Not true. These weeks are flying by. It’s a little scary how every week suddenly gets to Friday, and the week is basically over. Or how every day suddenly it’s 12:30, and I need to eat lunch, and then 1:30, and I still need to eat lunch. And then 4 o’ clock, and it’s like the day is over. We just keep hurtling along, and the weeks add up so fast. It’s June now. When did that happen? We’re less than six months away from my birthday again! Didn’t my friends just through me a surprise party? Wasn’t I just home on spring break? Wasn’t I just locked in the library studying and writing papers? Where on Earth does the time go??
Ramble: off. Later today, I plan on making some red velvet crinkles. I also have those strawberries for strawberry clafoutis sitting in my fridge, and I can tell my mom is this close to taking them out and cutting them up as a snack. I need just one more day and I think the weather will turn around and be more summery and clafoutis-appropriate. I have plans with friends Saturday evening, and I have yet to determine whether or not that involves baking. We shall see.
Random thoughts: I am done with political ads (says the Political Science major…). Done done dunzo, with both sides. Thank goodness I’ll be in Chile this fall and will miss the presidential election ads.
Flossing properly is a hassle.
When I don’t do something I love for a while (like acting, or writing) I kind of forget about it. Then when I get back to it, I fall in love with it all over again. And that is awesome.
That’s all for now, loves! More coming soon. Keep commenting!
This post powered by chai tea; Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Earth Wind and Fire, and The Kooks Pandora stations; a big bathrobe; and a good desk.