kruizing with kikukat

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back To Work

I feel like I've been gone for a while so thought I'd post something and tell you why I've been semi-neglecting this blog.  As you know, this is the first REAL summer vacation I've had in nearly a decade, and in spite of nearly 20 years in the DOE, this might be just my 3rd summer where I've really had a vacation.  Vacation has been nice, but part of my time was spent wondering what to do.  Of course, the kids helped answer that question with all my chauffeuring duties.

About a month ago, I got a call from my new boss lady, "asking" me if I was interested in going to Honolulu to attend a Model Schools Conference.  Some of you may remember this conference, as a few years ago, the Hawaii school superintendent got in major kim chee for allowing LOTS of Hawaii teachers to attend this conference in Orlando, Florida.  This year's Model Schools Conference was held in Honolulu@Hilton Hawaiian Village (conference room rate of $149), so I saw it as an opportunity for several things:  ho'olauna w/boss lady, hooking up with some great friends, eating ono food, and, my ultimate favorite, SHOPPING.

The timing of Model Schools Conference coincided with the end of D2's Summer Academy.  I was a little disappointed because I had been on her all summer to complete her work, and I didn't want to let up in the last week.  D2's teacher and I had built a very trusting relationship over the summer, and I wanted to send her the message that I was there to support D2.  But with work calling, I put my trust into my parents' hands.  Not gonna say much about how that went.  If you know my parents, you can pretty much guess what happened there.

Anyway, in the flurry of emails which went back and forth between me and D2's teacher was the request (from the teacher) for me to share my Browned Butter Biscotti recipe with her.  D2 had taken a few pieces to school for her, and she thought her parents would enjoy having some with their coffee.  I assured her that while the recipe seemed complicated, the end product would be well-worth it.

The basic process for making biscotti is to place your dough in a straight line of even thickness.  This is easiest done with a template.  Trace a long rectangle on parchment paper, then turn the paper over and follow your marked rectangle when placing the dough.

Also try to get the dough to an even height.  This ensure a nice, even log after the first bake.

Using a serrated knife, slice the baked logs on the diagonal just as soon as the logs are cool enough for you to handle.  If you let them cool too much, slicing will be more difficult.    Place each piece on its side for the 2nd bake. 

Remove them from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. 
WARNING:  These will disappear in no time.

click on title for printable recipe

1 block butter, heated in a small saucepan until brown, then cooled until thick (do not refrigerate)
1 c sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 c add-ins (chopped nuts, chopped dried fruit)

Cut a piece of parchment paper 16"-17" long.  Cut in half.  On each half, draw a guide rectangle, 14" x 1 1/2".  Turn parchment over and place each sheet on a large, rimmed baking sheet.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar.  Add eggs, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Add flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir until well combined.  Fold in add-ins.  Using 2 rubber spatulas or spoons, place batter on parchment papers, within guide rectangles.  Bake for 26 minutes, rotating sheets midway through baking.  Place logs on cooling racks until comfortable enough to handle.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Using a serrated knife, make 1/2" slices on the diagonal.  Place slices (on a cut surface) in a single layer on baking sheets.  Bake for 20 minutes, rotating sheets midway through baking.  remove to wire rack and cool completely.

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