December 9, 2016

It's Biscotti-Baking Battle-Writing Day!!!

My younger boys have no school today.

And it snowed yesterday.

So today has been deemed BISCOTTI BAKING DAY!!!


Because that's happening right now in Between Shadow and Light. Chaos, mayhem, swords flying, claws swiping, curses cursed (silently). And at least one person dies.

Okay, maybe two.

Heh, heh, heh...

And I get to do all this while my biscotti bakes, cools, and bakes again. Then some more while I wait for the melted chocolate I'm going to drizzle on top to set. Not only that, but baking days heat up my kitchen to the point where even I am ditching my cardigan and basking in the delicious warmth.

That's saying something.

Since I also have a blog post scheduled for today, I'm dragging you along for the ride. (This is where you're supposed to cheer wildly.)

We'll start with what greeted me in the kitchen this morning. Overall, not too shabby considering we went grocery shopping last night and I was too tired to take care of more than just the groceries. My boys were kind to me. I've seen worse. Much worse.

I unearthed the special ingredients we bought specifically for biscotti baking. And yes, the diet Pepsi is a must. The 2-liter is my best friend today. The rest have been stowed away for another day.

Counters cleared and wiped down, ready to go. And I had a photo bomber.

At least he's cute.

Don't mind the rolled-out-of-bed-and-threw-my-hair-into-a-messy-bun-and-called-it-good look. I'm also wearing yoga pants. This is my real, unfiltered life.

Okay, so I was lazy and didn't want to get all dolled up today. It happens.

Access to recipes is a good thing. You know, since I don't have them memorized or anything. I did write two of them down, but I like being able to consult the original source.

Both ovens preheating and my mixers at the ready. It just got real, folks.

Since I was mixing two recipes at the same time, I needed a way to keep track of what went into which bowl. See! I can be super smart when I need to be.

Chocolate toffee biscotti formed and ready to go in. The chocolate peppermint already went in. My kitchen smells heavenly, by the way.

Baking break! Hey, look! That's you on my screen. Or rather, the beginning of this blog post. Woohoo!

Holy biscotti, Batman! The chocolate peppermint one spread more than I expected. Is this where I'm supposed to yell, "Plot twist!" and move on?

As I stared at my overload of yumminess trying to formulate a solution that would appease both my "I gotta eat it now!" side and my "But it's not going to be perfectly biscotti shaped!" side, I got a notification that a package had arrived from UPS.

Don't get too excited. It's parts for my car. Handyman Husband is going to fix something on it that he's needed to fix for months, but it wasn't urgent, so he put it off. It's been creeping toward the urgent side this week, so he's finally going to fix my baby.

Can I tell you how much I love having a handy fellow around the house? It's kinda nice. :)

Yes, I am wearing a cardigan here. I went back and forth between being toasty warm and slightly chilled all morning. I'm sure the whole cardigan + apron ensemble is tres chic right now. I'm such a trendsetter, you know.

 I thought this was funny at the time. Me and my mini me.

Maybe I was just hopped up on biscotti sampling. And diet Pepsi. Everything seems funny with that potent combination.

Look at those lovely loaves! Mmmmmmm....

They're cooling and waiting for me to slice them. My solution for the chocolate ones that seemed to spread across the entire baking sheet was to cut each "loaf" in half both lengthwise and widthwise. They came off the baking sheet with minimal casualties and now I have a bazillion little chocolate biscotti slices. All the better for sharing!

I want you to get a good look at this photo. If you ever walk into my house and see this, make any excuse possible to stay because happiness is happening.

"Hey, so I see your floors need a good mopping."

"Can I wash your windows or something?"

"Mmmm...something smells good...."

Odds are, if you're here when food comes out of the oven, you'll go home with a loaf of bread or plate of cookies or something. Because doesn't baking equal love?

Of course it does.

The Snickers biscotti loaves leaked all their caramel goodness out. I should have recognized this as the bad omen it was.

A plate for the rejects. These are the pieces that don't pass muster and are fair game for anyone walking past. Or for begging children who really, really, REALLY want a cookie.

Or for "sampling."

Because I'm not snacking. Honest.

Did you notice my laptop was updating? Again. I swear that thing updates twice a week, if not more. It likes to do it just as I'm sitting down to write. It's like the update knows I'm in the groove and it's sole purpose in life is to prevent that from happening. But today, I fooled it! I had to take care of biscotti while it updated! Muahahaha!

Ready for round two of baking!

I cut the chocolate toffee loaf along a crack that dared to shoot across the loaf when I moved it from the baking pan to the cooling rack. When I pulled the knife away, I gasped in awe. That right there is perfection in all its glory.

The Snickers loaf, however, was anything but perfect. Total bust. As I mentioned before, the caramel bits melted out. Not only that, but the loaves crumbled as I cut them. Not a single salvageable piece. Darn it! That's what I get for trying to be all fancy and stuff. At least I have the other two flavors. 

This is where I am now. Sitting at the kitchen table with my aching feet propped up. The ibuprofen I took this morning has worn off and I'm in desperate need of a nap. The only writing I've accomplished so far is this blog post. I'm not complaining. Biscotti is worth it.

Once my body stops complaining so hard and the next round of ibuprofen kicks in, I'll tackle the toppings. Toffee bits, melted chocolate, chocolate chips, crushed candy canes, and chopped peanuts. Oh, yeah....

Until then, I'm going to grab my laptop and lap desk, get all comfortable on my bed and...

...probably fall asleep.

*shrugs* At least, that's how it went down yesterday. I sure hope my writing bag doesn't have any drool marks where I was leaning against it when I took my unintentional nap.

But people, I have biscotti.

And queso.

So today is a win in my book.

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