Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Alef, bet, gimel...

My life has been consumed in an attempt to learn Hebrew. If you think that sounds hard, you couldn't be more right! When I say I'm bad at languages, that is an understatement. I've attempted French, Spanish and Italian and failed utterly at all three. I know this because teachers have told me I am terrible. But, somewhere in this tiny brain, I thought learning a language comprised of symbols that requires you to read right to left would actually work for me.



Did you look at it right to left? Probably not. The alphabet starts with Alef and ends with Tav. And that's not even including the vowels or accents! 
Ok, thank you for listening to me (or reading) this far. As you can imagine, I have had no life, nor will I have a life for the next week and a half. But after that you can call me Rabbi.

And as your Rabbi, I urge you to make this cranberry-white chocolate almond biscotti. It is winter, and there is nothing better than a cup of coffee and a biscotti as you ponder the Hebrew language. 


 They only thing better would be a cup of coffee, biscotti, and no Hebrew pondering.

Cranberry White Chocolate Almond Biscotti


½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup boiling water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
3 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons almond extract
½ cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place cranberries in a small bowl, and add boiling water. Let stand until plump, about 15 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in the drained cranberries and the white chocolate chips.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each piece into a 16-by-2-inch log, and transfer to prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, flatten logs slightly. Brush beaten egg over the surface of the dough logs, and sprinkle generously with sugar.

Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until logs are slightly firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Transfer logs on parchment paper to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Place logs on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise on the diagonal into ½-inch-thick slices. Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down, on the rack. Bake until firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on the rack. Biscotti can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.





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