For years I was the proud owner of a 1980’s flip phone. My life was good, and it was simple. I could make calls and receive calls, and I lived in the moment. I wasn’t distracted by my electronic device like the masses of people around me. Yeah, you know who you are. Sadly, I haven’t had a conversation with either one of my son’s in years because I can’t get them to put down their phones for more than three minutes. I wondered to myself, what was happening on these phones that was so riveting. Was I missing out on something? Was I suddenly becoming obsolete.
I started getting a lot of pressure from my friends regarding my lo-tech device. They were frustrated because I couldn’t text them, or send them photos. And so, much to my dismay, I gave in and recently purchased an iPhone 5 as well as an iPad. These devices, which I had regarded as the downfall of civilization as we know it, have become my new obsession. So, here I am totally detached from the people around me because I’m so busy texting, tweeting and Instagraming because lord knows, the world is dying to see another photo of the burger I’m having for dinner. I want to go back to my old life where I had meaningful conversations with people, but I’m afraid that’s no longer possible. I have an app that helps me convert ounces to grams, and one that tells me which transit to take when I’m in New York City, and honestly that’s a whole lot more interesting than talking to people. Am I right, or what.
However, today, I told myself “Mama, step away from the phone”. I pulled out the cookie sheets and decided to return to my old obsession…baking. I decided to share with you one of my all time favorites, the Lemon Pine Nut Biscotti, which I will undoubtedly enjoy as I tweet a photo of the finished product.
Pine Nut Biscotti
From Great Cookies by Carole Walter
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts, divided
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons of water
- 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- About 1 tablespoon hot water (or a little bit more)
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. Place the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, or if you have a double one, place them in the center rack position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sift all the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and then set aside.
- Place the butter and the lemon zest together in the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed. Then add the sugar in a few increments and beat for 1-2 minutes longer.
- Beat in the egg, then the yolks and vanilla and mix for another minute or two.
- Reduce the mixer to low speed and add the dry ingredients in several additions and mix just until the ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix. Using a spatula, gently fold in 1/4 cup of the toasted pine nuts.
- Spoon half of the dough onto one of the baking sheets, and with lightly floured hands form the dough into two, 2 x 14 inch logs, with one log on each sheet.
- Using a pastry brush, brush each log with the egg wash and sprinkle the pine nuts on top of each log, pressing them into the dough so that they stick to the dough.
- Bake each log for 18-20 minutes until they become browned. Remove the sheets from the oven and let the cookie cool for 15 minutes.
- Lower the oven temp to 325 degrees F. Take each log off the cookies sheet one at a time, and place on a cutting board. Using a good serrated knife begin to slice the log into 1/4 ” slices that you slice on an angle. If you like a thicker cookie, make each slice 1/2 ” instead.
- Lay the cookies down on their flat side back on the sheet and place in the oven for another 9 minutes. Turn the biscotti over and then bake for another 9 minutes.
- While the cookies are baking, in a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, corn syrup and water to make a drizzling consistency glaze. If it’s too thick to drizzle, add a little water in small increments til you get the right consistency.
- Drizzle while the cookies are still warm. Let them cool to room temperature on a cooling rack so that the glaze hardens.
Yielded about 3 dozen biscotti
To toast the pine nuts: Place the nuts in a small, dry frying pan over a low heat, constantly stirring the nuts until they begin to turn light brown in color. Don’t leave them unattended as they will burn quickly. Toasting them will bring out their natural oils and that “nutty” flavor making your biscotti that much better.