Sunday our little state of Vermont was just one of many hit hard by Irene and she packed quite a wallop! Wet and wild, one only has to glance at the media to see the widespread effects of wind and water.
While my homefront fortunately came through it with just some power outage, fallen branches and a few new rivulets on the hillside, the historic part of my town saw a lot of damage to local buildings and businesses. It’s a tight community and everyone pulled together yesterday to help in the clean-up efforts but it will take some time for these good folks to recover from the structural and emotional upheaval.
As the storm ran it’s course and the rain continued we lost power a couple of times. I toyed with how to pass the time with no electricity. I could read I supposed – it was still daytime – but awfully dark and dreary. I could hear my mother’s voice “you’ll strain your eyes in that light!”. Vacuuming was definitely out of the question. OH. DARN. Then I remembered that my oven is not electric, but gas. Well, jiminy cricket!
And what to bake? Hmmm…there was that biscotti recipe on my fridge I had been wanting to play around with that’s been gathering dust. I made some changes in the flavourings and adjusted the ingredients slightly and I think they came out quite nicely if I do say so.
Perfect for fortifying weary clean-up crew or simply dipped into a cappuccino or some vin santo as you remember what’s truly good in your life, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
HURRICANE IRENE ANISE HAZELNUT BISCOTTI
Preheat your oven to 350F
Combine and set aside:
- 10 oz (2 c) flour
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/8 t salt
Cream until light and fluffy
- 8 oz (1 c) sugar
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 3 T dark rum (cognac or brandy work well too)
Stir in just to combine evenly
- 4 oz (1/2 c) hazelnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
- 2 T anise or fennel seeds
Wrap and chill your dough for at least a half hour, up to several days.
Form 2 long logs on a half-sheet pan lined with parchment or a Silpat, leaving plenty of space between as they will spread a good bit.
Bake until just set and starting to colour slightly.
Remove and let cool, then slice and re-toast in the oven until lightly coloured and just crisp to the touch.
Store in a covered container for up to two weeks. These also freeze remarkably well.