“That’s not necessary,” said my mother, referring to my brunch proposal to celebrate the upcoming Mother’s Day.
Immediately, I felt relieved. Not that we do everything together or we are inseparable, my mother and I do enjoy a healthy mother-daughter relationship. Still, I wouldn’t say meeting my mother for brunch is the most exciting calendar event I look forward to on my weekend.
But! Wait a second… What did just happen? Did I just get a rejection from my own mother? We, the grown children of our mothers’, are the ones who turn down our mothers’ invitations because we have busy work commitments to keep and need to observe our colorful social calendars. Not the other way round. Our mothers should and would always jump at the chance to see us, shouldn’t and why wouldn't they? They are not supposed to turn us down; we do actually expect a positive yes every time. Because, that's how nature works.
“Are you sure?” I asked, somewhat in disbelief.
“Yes, just bake me those biscotti I love, dear. That would be perfect for the Mother’s Day”, suggested my always understanding mom, knowing I was and would be very busy the week before and after.
Every Mother’s Day, we rack our brains to figure out what desirable gift ideas we could come up with to surprise our mothers. No doubt this exercise gets tougher as more Mother’s Days have been celebrated. So I’m actually very grateful that my mother has saved me the trouble of figuring out what to give her this year. Yet my mind couldn’t get past the rejection. Is this how my mom feels when I tell her I couldn’t stay for dinner? Wouldn't this be the same emotion she goes through when I’m too busy to return her calls?
Some new perspective to reflect on.
I don’t know how, but even with all those no's I have doled out through the years, my mom still happily clings to that top spot of being my #1 supporter, with ardent enthusiasm and not anything less. Naturally, she finds utmost deliciousness in everything I cook or bake for her.
It is a known fact, though, that these chocolate and almond biscotti are her favorite. Let me remind you that she happily forwent having brunch with me in exchange for these home-made beauties. So it’s only appropriate to share this recipe with you on the eve of Mother’s Day, in honor of my mom. It’s incredibly easy to make, with just a little patience and a lot of love. These chocolaty, nutty. crunchy biscotti are delectable whether dipped in coffee or not.
Happy Mother’s Day, My #1 Supporter!
Adapted from Julia Cookenboo’s Pistachio-Colden Raisin Biscotti Recipe from The Baker’s Dozen Cookbook
Makes about 3 dozen
11 oz (300 g) All-Purpose Flour
1 ½ Teaspoons Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
4 oz (110 g) Unsalted Butter, still cool but no longer rock hard
8 oz (225 g) Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1/3 Cup Coarsely Chopped Semisweet or Bittersweet Chocolate (65% to 70%)
2/3 Cup Sliced Almonds
- Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Position racks in the center and top third of the oven. Preheat to 300F (150C).
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until just combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add flour mixture. Mix well. You could use a hand mixer up to this point. Now, switch to a strong spatula, mix in chocolate and almonds until well-distributed.
- Lightly flour your work surface, divide the dough in half. Using your hands, roll each piece of dough into log shape about 14” (35cm) long. Place one log on each cookie sheet.
- Bake, switching the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 45 minutes, until the logs are firm to touch and pale blonde in color, approximately 1 ½ hours. Keep oven on.
- Remove cookie sheets from the oven. Slide the parchment paper with the baked logs onto a cutting board. While still hot, cut the baked logs with a serrated knife into slices of just under 3/4” (2 cm) thick. Slide the parchment paper with the cut cookies back onto the cookie sheets. Arrange and lay the cookies flat.
- Bake until the biscotti turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling racks. They are great at room temperature. Cool completely before storing in airtight container.