My mind is still on Paris. If anything, I think that last week’s scone adventure only exacerbated my outdoor cafe fixation. I don’t think that my most recent read helped the situation any: last weekend, a friend loaned me her copy of Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange. It’s all about Parisian style, and not just clothes! Ines also discusses home decor, beauty tips (when it comes to make-up, less is more!), and all manner of lesser-known Parisian destinations. I love it. I finished the book in two days. It made me feel terrible for having ever worn a hoodie in public. (Nonetheless, my Boundary Bay Brewery “Save the Ales” sweatshirt is still one of my most treasured possessions.) I’m not all about Parisian styles, and I don’t think it’s such a bad thing.
I think that one may do very well to apply Parisian style to other areas of one’s life, such as cooking, relationships and living in general. Often times, it’s better just to keep things simple. Don’t over-complicate matters. Don’t add additional drama for drama’s sake (I’m referring to both social drama and make-up drama- every day doesn’t need to be a wingtip eyeliner day). Are we really better off with all the bells and whistles? Will another piece of jewelry really do anything to enhance the way that you and another person interact and relate to each other? Keep it simple. You’re friends with your friend because you like each other and enjoy spending time together, right? So do just that! Quit making excuses for why you can’t do this or don’t have time to do that. Make the effort to be a good friend. You’ll both appreciate it in the long run, and it’s absolutely worth it.
It’s good food for thought, isn’t it? Pondering what you really enjoy? For the sake of keeping things simple, I thoroughly enjoy cherries. One of my friend’s mom and I share a special connection in that we’re both die-hard Cherry Garcia fans. My love of cherry dishes is trumped almost exclusively by my infatuation with all things pistachio. I mean it. Oh, your bakery sells pistachio macarons. I must make them mine. It’s even worse with pistachio gelato. Fortunately (unfortunately?) for me, I very seldom come across these two items, allowing me plenty of time to ponder a decent substitute. That said, here we are. In continuing with the espresso-sipping/outdoor cafe theme, biscotti seems like the next logical step. Not just any biscotti- pistachio cherry biscotti. What could one enjoy more?
Pistachio Cherry Biscotti
Adapted from The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup turbinado (raw) sugar
2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
3 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract
1/2 cup pistachios (unsalted)
1/4 cup finely chopped dried cherries
food processor or pastry blender
To Make the Biscotti:
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Put 1/4 cup of the pistachios in a food processor and blend until they are very finely ground. Next, add both flours, baking powder, turbinado sugar, and brown sugar. Run the food processor on low for about 10 seconds, until all of the dry ingredients are well-combined. Add the butter. Run the food processor on low for about 7 seconds, then stop and scrape the sides of the container with a spatula. Run the food processor for about 10 seconds more. The mixture should resemble a very coarse meal. Now, add the egg whites, vanilla extract, and coconut extract. Run the food processor on low again to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then run for another ten seconds, until everything is well incorporated. Finally, add the chopped cherries and remaining 1/4 cup pistachios. Pulse the processor a few times to get them all good and mixed in.
Turn the mixture out onto the cookie sheet. Shape the dough into a rectangle, about 1-1/2″ thick, 4″ wide, and 10″ long. Bake the biscotti loaf until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Using a serrated knife, slice the loaf at an angle, creating slices about 1″ thick. Arrange the slices on the cookie sheet with one of the sliced sides up. Return the cut biscotti to the oven, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, turning the biscotti over halfway through. I like my biscotti a bit less crisp, so I baked them for only 16 minutes.
Store your biscotti in an airtight container. They will last for about a week. I recommend serving your biscotti with a cup of warm coffee and a good friend. Enjoy!