{TWD} Lenox Almond Biscotti

Recipe #283

I left home and had a thoroughly relaxing  weekend in the desert. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the company wonderful. My friend D is expecting her first baby in December and we decided to do a girl’s weekend of sun, spa, and relaxation. The final group was smaller than we planned, but it ended up being perfect.

After dinner on Friday and just the right amount of margaritas and virgin margaritas we decided to run to the grocery store (Bristol Farms) and ended up spending $100 on the ingredients for French toast (plus a couple pints of ice cream and other treats). On Saturday, we spent the day at the spa at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Spa Resort. I’ve been to a lot of spas and this one was great. If you are ever in the Palm Springs/Palm Desert/Rancho Mirage area, I strongly encourage you to check it out. Another great discovery was Zin American Bistro, the restaurant where we went out for dinner that night. I had the “very adult macaroni and cheese” and it was exceptional.

My original plan was to make this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe for this weekend. I had a busy week baking two cakes for two different work celebrations and by the time Friday rolled around I was done baking. I decided to make the Lenox Almond Biscotti, chosen by Gretchen of Canela & Comino, when I returned from my weekend. This was my first time making biscotti. They were super-duper easy to make–if I knew how easy I would have gone ahead and made them on Friday. I used whole-wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose and they turned out wonderful. The perfect crunch and flavor. Yum!

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{TWD} Dimply Plum Cake

Recipe #262

Phew! I almost didn’t make it this week. The weekend got away from me. I baked a bunch of other stuff and never got around to making this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe: Dimply Plum Cake selected by Michelle of Bake-En. Instead of the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe, I used whole-wheat pastry flour. I also used golden plums instead of the darker, Italian prune plums.

I made this so-last-minute that I haven’t had a chance to taste the finished product. Based on what others have posted on the TWD site, it should be good. The raw batter was tasty…

{TWD} Chocolate Chunkers

Recipe #249

Cookies composed of mostly mix-ins with a little bit of chocolate dough are this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. The recipe this week was another cookie, Chocolate Chunkers (Page 70, Dorie Greenspan’s Baking : From My Home to Yours).

Four types of chocolate, toased pecans, and dried apricots–how can these not be delicious? Unless, of course, you are my husband. He does not like mix-ins in anything, especially cookies. And the thing about these cookies is they are more mix-in than dough. Because the chunks are so prominent,  I busted out my premium chocolate and made sure to toast the pecans.

Anniversary Ciabatta

Recipe #250

Today is our 6-year wedding anniversary. As I was preparing this post I realized that ciabatta, or bread in general, is a good metaphor for marriage. Bread is a perfect union of ingredients that come together and create something  better than the individual components. Flour, yeast, salt, and water (and in this case a little bit of olive oil) come together and form bread. Not only that, but to create tasty bread with every bit of flavor coaxed out of those simple ingredients you need lots of patience and work. In bread-making, the patience comes in the form of allowing adequate fermentation time and once the dough is formed, allowing time for it to relax. The work is obviously the kneading, but also measuring and weighing the ingredients and creating your mise en place.

I’ve been making Caprese sandwiches, caprese salads all summer long. Looking at the picture above, I’m thinking that perfect union of basil, tomato, and fresh mozzarella is another good metaphor for marriage… 😛

Happy Anniversary, Honey! I love you.

{TWD} Chocolate Whopper Malted Drops

Rachel of Confessions of a Tangerine Tart selected this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe: Chocolate Whopper Malted Drops. Although I had high hopes for these cookies, they didn’t turn out quite right. They are tasty, but ugly. I accidently undercooked them and they are very soft and fragile. I think I may crumble them to use as an ice cream topping.