Friday, September 4, 2009

Confections of A Closet Master Baker

Confections of a Closet Master Baker

When I read about a The Edible Word, a foodie book club, on a Blithe Palate, I was all on board. Not because I love to bake, but because I love to read. I especially love to read about people cooking. I do not love to bake, I don't even like to bake a little bit. So, the whole idea that I had to bake something after reading this, was pushed aside, while I reveled in my good fortune at having a delightful book to read.

And delightful it was. Confections of a Closet Master Baker: One Woman's Sweet Journey from Unhappy Hollywood Executive to Contented Country Baker is part memoir, part foodie book, part cookbook. The author, Gesine Bullock-Prado, a former Hollywood film developer and sister to actress Sandra Bullock, follows her dream to open a bake shop. The book tells the story of her setting up and running her shop, the hard work, the lovely customers that she gets to know, and recipes. Recipes that sound good even to me a hopeless baker.


This book made me want to bake. Really. But knowing my limitations, I chose an easy Brown Sugar Almond Biscotti recipe from Off The Shelf: Cooking From the Pantry. A baking recipe with only 6 ingredients is right up my alley. Though, I did have to add a couple of tablespoons of milk to help the dough come together. These were good, not my favorite, but really simple.

Brown Sugar Almond Biscotti

2 cups plain all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup blanched whole almonds (I only slivered)
2 eggs, lightly beatened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350. Place the flour, baking powder, sugar and almonds in a bowl and mix to combine. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until a soft dough forms, this may take awhile. (It didn't happen for me and I added 2 tablespoons of milk). Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface until smooth. Divide into 2 logs and flatten slightly. Place them on a greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool completely. Slice the logs into 1/4 inch thick slices and place back on baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until they are crisp. Store in an air tight container.

Be sure and check for the round up, on Sept 7/8 at A Blithe Palate, of all the lovely baking delights that will have been inspired by this book.


La Table De Nana said...

Thank you for the book recommendation! It looks as good as your baking:)

noble pig said...

I love the title but the biscotti even better!

Anh said...

I like the idea of the brown sugar here. it'll give a deeper flavour, yes?

Marjie said...

I love almonds! These look like wonderful cookies! Hmmm, could I call them "tea biscuits" and not let anyone who doesn't drink tea have any?

Terri and Bob said...

I love to bake! I am going to see if Amazon has this because it sounds totally delightful and up my alley. Did you read Julie and Julia? I am reading it now. I am rather disappointed in the book but I hear the movie is great!

Antoinette said...

I was waiting for a rating! Some stars! Did I miss them? The biscotti look beautiful, as usual.

Amy said...

All right, you are the fourth person that has mentioned this book in the last week or so. I must get a copy.

Kat said...

I used to bake a cake a week as well as cookies for all my sweet tooth family and I love to bake. I just don't like to eat the stuff, especially biscotti. I only bake a few times a year now when some of the kids who do have a sweet tooth come home.
The book sounds good. I used to want to open a bakery!

Paula said...

So, shall I send you my address and you can ship a container, large size please, of these off to me to taste? YUM!

girlichef said...

Well, I'd say you chose right...these sound super yum! :)

Joanne said...

What a great blurb about the book as well as some lovely looking biscotti! I am planning on baking these as holiday gifts and am on the lookout for recipes. I will have to try these out.

a good yarn said...

I wonder how many people write a book about leaving the world of country baker to become a Hollywood film developer.

cath said...

Pam these look wonderful! Thanks so much for joining us!

Debinhawaii said...

Glad you liked the book--it was a fun read wasn't it!? And good you picked something you feel comfortable making--that looks so good too! ;-)

Eve said...

That book sounds like my kinda read. Shall me ordering it tonight! thank you :)

And the biscotti...yum!