Friday, February 04, 2011

Sweet sweet Friday: Italian Cinnamon Biscuits

In theory, one of the good things about freelancing is that you can work from home, as and when it suits. Mix freelancing with working for someone else (oh, and having a small person to look after) and you quickly realise that working when it suits means working late at night when you'd much rather be in bed.

This week has been all about late nights, which has made me realise two things. Firstly, I've become much better at working when I'd rather be sleeping. Secondly, I'm not much good in the kitchen after hours. Last night, after finally finishing off an urgent (and incredibly boring) job, I decided to celebrate by making a birthday cake for a friend. Overtiredness made me overconfident, which meant that I didn't worry too much when a slightly acrid smell started emanating from the oven. As the smell grew stronger I realised that most of the cake had escaped the tin and was now cooking burning on the oven floor. This is not a relaxing, sleep-inducing discovery to make after 11pm, especially when you have used the last egg and most of the butter. Please, don't try this at home yourselves.

But do join in the fab new challenge from Dom at Belleau Kitchen, in which he asks participants to pick a recipe at random from their cookbook collections. Here's what I chose...


Italian Cinnamon Biscuits - Biscotti alla cannella
I have to confess I wasn't too random about the choice of book - it's our wedding anniversary on Sunday and the Boy Wonder gave me The Silver Spoon as a present some four years ago. I've never made anything from it, despite referring to it regularly. Now, I have no idea if these turned out how they were supposed to. I ended up adding an extra tablespoon of olive oil because I didn't think the mixture was going to come together. They aren't the prettiest biscuit, but the flavour is good. At this point in the week, that's good enough for me!  But I'd love to know if this is what they're supposed to be like. Can you help?

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
5Tbsp olive oil
130g caster sugar
grated zest of a lemon
ground cinnamon, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease a baking sheet with butter and dust with flour.
Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the oil, then add the sugar and lemon zest. Mix well, then leave to stand for 20 minutes. Shape into walnut sized balls, flatten slightly and place on the prepared tray. Dust with cinnamon, then bake for about 20 minutes. Leave to cool slightly on the tray for a few minutes, then cool completely on a rack. Go to bed, exhausted. Pin It

17 comments:

  1. Oh I am so sorry to hear about your terrible baking disaster! I hope you are able to catch up on some sleep this weekend. They do look delicious all the same!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha.

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  2. I've got that cookbook as well. I gaze lovingly through the recipes every so often, but like you don't often use it! I have no idea if the biscuits are supposed to look like that, but if they taste good then...

    Don't you love the smell of batter burning on the bottom of the oven? Has happened to me more than once. In fact, I think I lost a bit of sleep over just that last night as I have to make some birthday cakes today. Ack!

    Michele (www.5amfoodie.com)

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  3. it's nice to hear other's have late night baking disasters!! this recipe looks fab - i always need a "no egg required" recipe on hand as I use up all the eggs far to quickly!!!

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  4. Shame about the cake but today is a new day ;0)
    Great looking cookies, never tried them myself so I don't know what they are supposed to look like either. I wouldn't mind trying this recipe.

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  5. I know that over-confident feeling!... and why is it that the nose / brain path is a little over confident too?... many a time i've smelt that smell thinking ... oh, can't be me!... well done for taking part in the challenge, the biscuits look nice and chunky, which is always a good thing x

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  6. What a shame! You're doing to much. Rest up this weekend and enjoy a fabulous anniversary. Everything will be back on track.

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  7. They look good and sound tasty. I have The Silver Spoon too and have never cooked from it. I considered passing it on to my local charity book shop in case someone else could make good use of it. Have a lovely anniversary.

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  8. Well I'm obviously well out of it, I've not come across the Silver Spoon and now wondering what I've been missing! Sorry to hear about your baking disaster - it's horrible when that happens. Apart from all the mess I SO hate wasting food. Anyway your biscuits sound wonderful and they look sort of Italian - they go in for chunky biscuits ;-) Forget work and go to bed this weekend. Happy Anniversary.

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  9. I can so relate to your late night baking story (and trying to do any work when little ones are about). Have a great Anniversary weekend and make sure you eat all those biscuits - they look delicious.

    BTW I made your Apricot Chewies this week and they were a huge hit. I took half the batch to a friend and kept half at home. By the next day there weren't many left!

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  10. Lucy, I learned a long time ago to not start baking when I'm overly tired, but I still do it sometimes--usually with disastrous results. Even if the food turns out perfectly, the kitchen looks like the aftermath of something awful!

    As long as those biscuits taste good, don't worry about how they look! Wish I had one right now to go with my cup of tea.

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  11. What a beautiful blog you have (came across it via www.crumbsfeedyourfamily.blogspot.com) and absolutely adore biscotti so shall be trying these cinnamon ones. Perfect teatime fare (though Italians would no doubt disapprove of dunking them in English tea...) Thanks :)

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  12. Lucy-These cinnamon biscuits sound and look so yummy...would love to have one right now, with a nice cup of herb tea.

    In answer to your question: regarding what is Cool
    Whip?...it is a nondairy whipped topping, comes frozen, and all you do is defrost, and it's just like whipped cream, except without all the cholesterol. Used by itself to top desserts, or mixed with melted chocolate, to make a low calorie, low carb chocolate, and other dessert uses. It really is so delicious! Very popular in the U.S.
    BTW- Your name is on the list for the award I have paid forward, just stop by my blog, to check it out, it is listed in about 3 previous posts. Sorry you did not get a chance to see it before.
    It's for you...Congratulations! Just grab the award, copy, paste, and pass it to other bloggers if you like!

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  13. Thanks everyone - in hindsight I think the extra spoonful of oil may have been a mistake as these are toothbreakingly hard (but not a dunkable sort of texture like 'normal' biscotti - they're just too crumbly. The Small Girl likes them, but oh, you should see our floors!

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  14. I have the Silver Spoon too... and I've not cooked from it either! Oh I really do have to start using my books. I think I might try the Cinnamon Biscuits as I adore cinnamon... I shall let you know what happens! :-)

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  15. Sorry to hear about your baking disappointments ... at least you'll have a clear run for a while!!!

    Happy Anniversary.

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  16. Happy Anniversary.
    I gave the Silver Spoon to my Mother In Law for Christmas a few years back but I don't know if she has used it.

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Hello - thanks for stopping by. If this was real life I'd make you a cup of tea and open the biscuit tin, but in lieu of those things, let's have a chat anyway...

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