Thursday, June 24, 2010

Don't Judge Me: Biscotti for Dinner


Last night, I had biscotti for dinner.  Not a biscotti after dinner.  Nope, biscotti for dinner.  I think I ate about five of 'em, gently dunking each one into an espresso.  I'm not proud of it but I am strangely content about it.  See, yesterday was another one of those court days.  Court for immigration attorneys generally consists of two types of hearings- masters and individuals.  Masters are basically a fast and painless check-in.  On any given afternoon, there can easily be forty people in court for masters.  Individual hearings are the real deal where the judge listens to the merits of your client's case.

I've always felt that masters are more relaxed than individual hearings.  But after yesterday's masters, I may have changed my mind.  See, yesterday I had eight master hearings.  Eight!  On average, an attorney will have one, maybe two, and maaaaaybe three masters if things are particularly busy.  Eight is just nutty.  I now know what Jon and Kate on Jon & Kate Plus 8 must feel like (minus the hundreds of helpful cast people, of course).  This particular judge does a roll call for attorneys to ensure they are present with all of their clients.  He (and the entire court) got a good laugh when I stood up and indicated that I was present with my eight clients.

So by the time I got home, I pretty much felt like a bus had rolled over me.  Eight times.  Oh, and don't worry, I looked it too.  Somewhere between client four and five, my eyeliner started smudging so I was sporting the glamorous racoon-eye look.  By client seven, my hair decided to rebel and do a Vanilla Ice thing on my head.  And when I got back to the car and looked in the mirror, I noticed a giant yellow highlighter line on the side of my face (likely because I tend to wave my hands around crazily when I talk and sometimes, I forget that I'm holding a highlighter).


Simply put, it was a dessert for dinner night.  Not the kind of night where you eat a healthy dinner and then have a delicate biscotti as dessert.  Oh no, drastic times call for drastic measures.  This was the kind of night where you build dinner around biscotti.  Thankfully, I'd made some biscotti over the weekend and some were still around (partially, or mostly, because the hubster is still on his healthy kick).  I did what any rational girl would do.  First, put on pajamas.  All the better if the pajamas all plastered with your favorite cartoon character (I am partial to SpongeBob SquarePants).  Second, make espresso.  You want it strong (unless coffee keeps you up at night.  After years of drinking copious amounts of coffee, I'm essentially immune to all caffeine.  If you're not, milk is a sufficient substitute).  Third, take the container of biscotti and the espresso to your computer.  Plates are merely superfluous at this point.  Fourth, type http://www.perezhilton.com/ into your browser.  Fifth, revel in the latest celebrity gossip while eating your biscotti. 


Now that I have feeling in my brain again, I can talk about the intricacies behind the biscotti.  Truth is, there are none.  It's a rather simple recipe that will give you a giant batch of biscotti perfectly tailored to your preferences.  Like the classic Italian anise flavor in your biscotti?  Ground some anise seeds and throw them in the batter.  Dream of a sophisticated biscotti perfect for the summer?  Dump some grated lemon zest into the batter (save some zest for the topping).  Want your biscotti to be a bit more cakey and not as crunchy?  Bake for a shorter period of time after the biscotti are cut in pieces. Like different textures in your biscotti? Add chopped nuts or dried cranberries to your dough.  Want to cover the entire biscotti in chocolate as opposed to just one half?  Do it.  You will be glad you did.




Biscotti

Yields: 2 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
dark or semi-sweet chocolate, for melting
almonds, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended.

Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.

Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip a portion of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Sprinkle with chopped almonds. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.

The biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.


Adapted from The Food Network

48 comments :

5 Star Foodie said...

I've done desserts for dinner too after a stressful day! Those biscotti look terrific!

taiyyaba said...

looks great! props on keeping it simple.

Ameena said...

I can't imagine how you do it...8 clients? That must have been 100X harder than dealing with one kid and I can barely pull it together when it comes to her.

There is nothing wrong with biscotti for dinner but I have to say that if I'd been in court all day you better believe I'd get into my pajamas and eat store-bought biscotti. There is no way I'd have the energy to make homemade ones! But they look worth the effort.

Hope today is a less stressful day!

Monet said...

Your biscotti looks beautiful...I would want to eat it for dinner too. I'm enjoying hearing about your experiences as a lawyer. I've considered going to law school, and it has been so informative to hear about your days. Thanks for sharing!

Az said...

I remember those days during busy season as well as studying for CPA exam... Your biscotti looks yummy... nice clicks too...

Cooking with Kait said...

I'm not judging you because biscotti and coffee would be a most enjoyable dinner for me!

An Open Book said...

i cud easily have dessert for dinner...almost everyday..so i def am on ur side:)

Baking Barrister said...

Ice cream. Or sometimes I come home and just bake and eat raw dough and cake batter for dinner. A long day of legal stuff really requires the dessert to wind down, so no judgment here.

And those are beautiful biscotti ESPECIALLY cause there is no anise--I hate anise.

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said...

You had a tough day indeed! I couldn't imagine 8 cases in one day especially when you compared with Jon and Kate plus 8!

I would have these beautiful biscotti for dinner too! They are so inviting. So no judgement, go for it girl!

Kristen said...

I think it's a big "aha!" moment when we adults realize that it doesn't matter what we eat for dinner. It dawned on me a few years ago that no one will zap me if I choose to eat cereal or ice cream for dinner. I don't make a habit of eating rebellious foods for dinner, but I no longer feel guilty and neither should you!

Ale Marin-Lovo said...

Oh my that sounds like a dream. The perfect ending to an awful day, or a good day, or any day!

baking.serendipity said...

Your biscotti look so good...my mom would love these, so I am definitely bookmarking the recipe. Thanks! :) And, I am all about an indulgent treat after a hectic day.

Lazaro Cooks! said...

The biscotti looks wonderful. Eat what you like, when you like. Makes life less stressful.

Cheers!

aletheia said...

YESS! Hooray for biscotti for dinner!! I've actually always wanted to learn how to make biscotti -- mainly because it's one of my Mom's favourites, and I'd always wanted to make a batch to surprise her one day. Unfortunately my baking skills seem competent enough only to carry me through to the almost effortless no-knead bread. Sigh. One day...!

If you re-attempt no-knead, I'll attempt biscotti. :D

legalstyle said...

no judgement AT ALL. i just had a carrot cake cupcake for dinner. sounds like a stressful day!

Fathima said...

Wow! Perfect biscottis... just like store bought ones.... Awesome clicks too...

lequan@luvtoeat said...

Oh my, eight clients in one day!? You deserve to have all the biscotti you want for dinner plus a couple scoops of ice cream with a cherry on top. Talk about a hectic day.

Those biscotti look perfectly done with just the right amount of almonds too. Now your making me crave for some biscotti :-P

Maren said...

I don't know if you got my reply on coffee- but 3 cups in the morning is the only way to go. Plus all the info on how coffee is bad for you is substantial, there is no proof that drinking more than 1 cup of coffee a day will be detrimental to your health. I fully support the 3 cups at breakfast. It's funny you post about biscotti because just yesterday I was at the coffee shop and asked my mom "Does anyone actually like biscotti?" I've never had it in the correct way (meaning dunked in espresso) so maybe I should stay a little more open?. I'm envious of your pictures!!!

The Housewife said...

You day sounds horrific! My brother in law is a lawyer so I kinda can imagine how crazy things must be for you. It definitely was a dessert-ice cream-bring on the sugar kinda day! The biscotti look amazing and I like the touch of chocolate on the ends!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Beautiful biscotti - a comforting reward for making it successfully through a rough day. I assure you that there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Sam

Hyosun Ro said...

Your biscotti looks great! I love biscotti too. Definitely my favorite!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

5 Star- I'm comforted to know others are proponents of desserts for dinner too :)

Taiyyaba- Thanks! I like simple (and delicious)!

Ameena- Your kid is adorable. Sadly (or thankfully), none of my clients are. But then again, they also (thankfully) don't puke in front of me so I guess we're even :)

Monet- Law school and being a lawyer are nothing like what I imagined they'd be but it's definitely been interesting. What sort of law are you considering?

Az- I've heard about CPA exams. They sound almost as bad as bar exams so I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Kait- It was rather (or very) enjoyable :)

An Open- I could also definitely do dessert for dinner every day. My wardrobe could not :)

BB- I hate anise as well. Must be a lawyer thing.

Tanantha- Thanks for not judging. I could've also gone for some of your coconut banana things but they weren't at the ready like these were :)

Kristen- I feel like I'm still getting used to being an adult. But eating what you want, when you want may be one of the perks of adulthood :)

Ale- I bet you're well acquainted with our awful days. And I know you make biscotti too :)

Baking- My mom loves 'em as well. She's totally taken over the recipe. I think your mom will love them too. Let us know!

Lazaro- I like your stance on things!

Aletheia- I'll definitely re-attempt no knead bread soon. As soon as my ego is ready for another crushing blow. But golly, your bread looked so good with the perfect crevices and crust :)

LegalStyle- A carrot cupcake sounds like a solid choice. Covers a lot of the necessary food groups :)

Fathima- Thanks for stopping by! Some desserts look best when they look homemade but unfortunately, biscotti just looks wonky so I'm glad you think this looks store bought!

Lequan- Ice cream would have also been very good but we didn't have any at the time. We really need to have a better emergency supply plan!

Maren- I'm glad you support the three-a-day habit. The other thing is, it makes me happy and I figure if that's one of my few vices, I'm probably ok. I definitely recommend dunking. Coffee, milk, espresso, all good choices :)

Housewife- I feel for your brother in law (and his significant other, if he has one). In hindsight, the day probably warranted a lot more chocolate on the biscotti!

My Carolina- Thanks, it's so refreshing to read that!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

Hyosun- Thanks for stopping by! I have bookmarked your blog because we LOVE Korean food and I would win big points with the hubster if I could make some Korean food :)

wannafoodie said...

What an INTENSE day... you earned that biscotti! Unapologetically!

Jessie -- The Messie Kitchen said...

Such a coincidence you posted about this. I don't think --stress think-- that I would be a biscotti person. I am, however, a HUGE coffee fan, and lately, as I stand in line at various coffee shops, I wonder... should I get a biscotti? It almost calls my name. You've inspired me! Maybe I'll take the plunge. Thank you!

FrenchPressMemos said...

No judging :) Your day sounds hectic- I have been known to at least do dessert first if not just dessert!

sweetlife said...

what a hectic day, i would have eaten the whole batch..they look great...

sweetlife

Simran said...

That's a beautiful picture!

Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking said...

I think biscotti dinner sounds pretty good :) Last night it was midsummer here in Sweden, lots of food and friends and fun (and drinks!) Happy midsummer form the north!

Lynn said...

I'm partial to popcorn for dinner, followed by ice cream straight from the Ben & Jerry's container after a long day. Your bicotti look like an excellent substitute!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

Big girls eat what they want for dinner! Go girl!!

An Open Book said...

hey lawyer, you asked the wrong person doubts abt sambar...i actually suck at it ;)
all i know is dal is a significant ingredient in sambar

Le said...

Biscotti for dinner? I say that's perfectly acceptable. Between you and me, I eat cookies for dinner sometimes. hhaha

Love the biscotti you made, it looks very filling!

zurin said...

you have every right to eat biscotti for dinner :)I bet it was good.

Jean said...

After a tough day like yours, I don't blame you at all for having dessert for dinner. Think of the calories you saved, too! :-)

Congrats on Top 9!

Eclipse75048 said...

Thanks for the inspiration, Azmina. My 9 year old daughter and I made these tonight. I threw in some anise and lemon zest. Tastes delicious, but mine are far uglier than yours. Maybe I need Nadeem to take the pics? :)

(this is Tacopop btw)

The Cilantropist said...

It is good to know that I am not the only one that comes home from work and eats dessert right away. Sugar always soothes my stress, we are good friends. :) Oh, and putting on the PJs must occur immediately after walking in the door too, yeah, my routine is pretty much the same as yours!

The Cilantropist said...

Oh, and I almost forgot: Congrats on Foodbuzz Top 9! :D

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

Hi there - Thanks for the kind comment on my blog. I've been hitting Coldstone Creamery recently for ice cream for dinner, but your baking looks even better! Highlighter on your face made me laugh. I used to read with pen in hand, leaning one hand on my chin, and would often come home with blue streaks all over me. Work hazard, I suppose.

Wheels and Lollipops said...

After a day like that, dessert for dinner is definitely therapy ! Need to give biscotti a try if only to have them on hand for a day like that :)

Kelly @ Hot Cookin' said...

I love biscotti--if I could get away with it, I too would eat biscotti for dinner after a stressful day like you had. :)

Simply Life said...

wow, sounds like a busy day but those biscotti sound like the perfect bite after a long day!

ajcabuang04 said...

These look great!! There is def. a difference between store bought biscotti and home made ones. Yours def. looks better than any store bought ones!
Would you mind checking out my blog? :D http://ajscookingsecrets.blogspot.com/

Pure Mama said...

These look fabulous! And at least you were dunking them in coffee and not red wine! Then I might have something to say :)

Sophia said...

Wow, this biscotti looks delicious. I really don't make it as much as I should but when I do make biscotti I use this Brownie Biscotti recipe. Thanks for sharing yours!

Dixya said...

If biscotti looks that heavenly, it would be unfair not to eat them!! Loved reading your blog and looking forward for more

Erika said...

This is making me want to eat biscotti for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I had some on hand, that is what I'd be doing for the rest of today. These look so beautiful--they look perfectly dunked in chocolate! I've heard that traditional biscotti recipes don't contain butter, but they're hard to find! Have you ever tried a recipe that doesn't use butter?

Aparna said...

I made these today and LOVED them!! Ate too many though. But thank you and you can see pics here http://cookingisapain.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/perfect-biscotti.html

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