Would you rather be a Princess or a Queen? The young, pretty girl who really doesn’t know what she wants in life but has endless fairytale imagination or the Queen, whose been there, done that and definitely knows what she wants!?? Transitioning from the Princess to the Queen is somewhat of an awakening moment. It’s a time when you realize the years have brought you to a different stage in your life. Or it can be when you realize your daughter has assumed your former Princess title and pushed you into Queendom!
I was pondering this the other day as I snuck into the kitchen to do some baking therapy and refill my biscotti jar. Between purging and packing I was not at all feeling like a Princess or a Queen! But I was thinking how several of you have commented on my being the Queen of Biscotti. Not the Biscotti Girl or Biscotti Princess, but the Queen. I do accept and thank you kindly.
With that, I felt I had to create something different, something special. I’ve always wanted to try out a biscotti recipe using fresh fruit. I assumed it would turn out to be softer biscotti due to the moisture of the fresh fruit versus using dried fruit. Liqueur, of course, would have to be included and a touch of chocolate is always nice.
The royal result was fabulous! So much so, I’m sneaking back in the kitchen to make a repeat batch this week as my son, coworkers and friends just loved them. They were crisp and flavorful, a perfect berry spring biscotti!!
Strawberry and White Chocolate Biscotti
3 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat/white flour)
Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with slipat or parchment paper. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, soda, salt, sugar and cardamom. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, oil and strawberry liqueur. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Add in the diced strawberries, strawberry preserves and white chocolate. The mixture will be dry and crumbly in appearance. Use your hands to knead together the dough; it will be sticky. Divide the dough in half and form two logs on the cookie sheet. This dough will not roll, so you will need to wet your hands to form the logs. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Slice the biscotti logs diagonally, about ½ inch thickness. Place the slices upright on the cookie sheet and return to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees. When done turn the oven off and keep biscotti in the oven for 35 minutes to cool and crisp up nicely. Makes about 36 biscotti. Store in a covered container for up to one month.
2 cups quality vodka 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)
1 pound organic strawberries, chopped
¼ cup agave or ½ cup sugar (plus more depending on your preferred sweetness)
½ vanilla bean, split
Combine all into a 2 quart glass container. Allow to seep in a dark cupboard or closet for about a month, shaking every so often. Strain well into a large bowl, pressing the strawberries to release all their juices. Pour the liquid into a glass bottle, seal and allow to set for 3-5 months. The drunken strawberries can be used as an adult dessert topping to cheesecake or shortcakes!
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.