As Daddy Bear was drinking his coffee yesterday, he began moaning (as all men do) about the apparent lack of biscuit to accompany said coffee. I offered him some chocolate courgette cakes and he laughed in my face (Baby Bear gets his distaste for vegetables from his father) I offered to bake him some lavender shortbread, and he asked me if he looked like a bumble bee. I gave up and went back to explaining to Baby Bear why throwing remote controls out of the bedroom window was a little bit naughty.
A few minutes later I heard banging and rummaging coming from the kitchen, and my heart leapt into my mouth. On closer inspection I could see Daddy Bear was about to open the avalanche cupboard. (You know the one I mean, the one where you open it to get the baking powder out and every single ingredient jumps out into your half mixed batter secretly willing you to use it!) I stepped in and rescued the situation by volunteering to find everything he needed, and discovered that he had taken it upon himself to bake biscotti. Somewhat generously I offered to help, but was brushed aside with sweeping statements of ‘it’s just following a recipe. I can read.’ and ‘How hard can it be?!’ to which I beat my hasty retreat. I did however manage to grab the recipe he was loosely using (from BBC Good Food).
145g blanched whole almonds (Daddy Bear used 100g of sliced almonds, because this is what I found in the avalanche cupboard)
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt (Daddy Bear just turned the salt mill twice)
260g all-purpose flour (Daddy Bear used regular plain flour, and added an extra 80g whilst trying to ‘roll’ it)
150g granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Preheat the oven to 180C and toast the almonds on a baking tray for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 150C.
In a measuring jug, lightly beat together the eggs vanilla and almond extracts. Daddy Bear used a mixing bowl, and then realised a few steps later that her had run out of mixing bowls for the next steps, hence me suggesting to use a measuring jug!
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder and mix until evenly blended. Gradually add the egg mixture and beat until a dough forms. At this point Daddy Bear was losing his enthusiasm for the task and dumped the whole egg mix into the flour in one go. I can say it made no real difference! As the dough begins to come together, add the toasted almonds and then continue to combine the mixture. It will get to the point where it is too thick for a spoon, and at this point Daddy Bear finished off combining it with his hands.
It then started to go a little wrong for Daddy Bear. I could tell this was happening because the decibel levels from inside the kitchen were increasing at an alarming rate and becoming frequently punctuated with profanity. I went to see what was causing the outburst, and was met by the greeting: ‘Roll???!!! How on earth to they expect me to roll this stuff??’ accompanied by the frantic waving of very sticky dough covered fingers. I suggested he pop a little more flour into the dough and then just shape it onto the greaseproof paper as well as he could. Much muttering under the breath ensued, followed by a cloud of flour. The dough was shaped and in the oven.
The dough should be shaped into a log about 35 cm long, and 10 cm wide. Daddy Bear’s was a bit shorter and fatter, but to be honest, he’s not that great with measuring. More on that later. Bake the dough in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes, and then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
The next step in the recipe advises to cut the baked log into slices 1/2 inch thick diagonally and arrange on a baking tray. Well, after the sticky fingers fiasco and near miss avalanche, I was subtly making excuses to sneak into the kitchen and steal a glance and came across this:
After quietly pointing out that the slices might be a little on the thin side, Daddy Bear insisted I get a ruler to measure them. Turns out I was right, and Daddy Bear has been vastly under estimating the size of an inch. [Insert your own jokes here]
Once arranged on the baking tray, return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes on each side (until they are very firm) and then remove from the oven and cool.
Enjoy on a Lazy Sunday Morning with a good coffee and an even better book. Who am I kidding? I wolfed these down this morning in between retrieving the tv remote from various window ledges and trying to explain to Big Bear where heaven is EXACTLY.
They were good. But Daddy Bear moaned. Turns out he’s ‘not a squirrel’ either.
Mummy Bear x