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.