Your cup of coffee and these simple almond biscotti make a perfect match
I get enormous satisfaction out of putting a lot of time into a recipe -- especially a baking project -- and having it turn out beautifully. But sometimes the amount of enjoyment I get is (math, sorry) inversely proportional to the amount of effort expended.
Take, for example, these Almond Biscotti, also known as Cantucci di Pratto, from Italian culinary expert and cookbook author Domenica Marchetti. The recipe is an oldie but a goody from The Washington Post archives that is made almost entirely with pantry ingredients you likely already have on hand, save the whole-skinned almonds -- easier to order online than find in store, but once you do, you'll be set for many batches. This version of the classic oblong cookie comes together in a single bowl and barely takes a half-hour of hands-on work. Most of the time they're in progress is during baking and cooling.
That small amount of buy-in yields dividends: Almost four dozen biscotti to accompany any and every cup of tea and coffee you linger over for the next few weeks, whether you decide to dip them into your mug or not. And linger you will want to. First, there's that manageable but pleasant crunch (you won't crack a filling, I promise) thanks to the two rounds of baking. Then a double dose of almonds in the form of the toasted whole nuts and extract, plus vanilla, makes for a fragrant, elegantly flavored treat.
I think writing all that might very well have been more work than actually making them. I'm off to put together another batch.