It seemed appropriate that my first guest blogger should be my lovely and talented critique partner Karen Booth. Aside from having co-written the book Long-Distance Lovers, Karen and I are solo authors in two of the same anthologies. The first anthology to contain both of our short stories is Foreign Affairs. (The other is the upcoming Felt Tips Anthology, due out 12/12/12.) In honor of the smoking hot Italian man who stars in Karen’s Foreign Affairs story she’s agreed to share with us one of her fabulous recipes—Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Biscotti.
Italian Treats by Karen Booth
My story for the Foreign Affairs anthology stars the sigh-worthy Antonio, a sweet and terribly romantic artist living in Florence, Italy. My heroine, Liza, is in Florence forcing herself to relax while trying to decide why her career has left her unfulfilled.
One morning, Liza sees Antonio at a café. From the word go, she can’t bear to pry her eyes off him. In fact, he’s so impossible to forget that she returns to the café the next morning to see her mystery man. She sips cappuccino and watches him, imagining all manner of steamy, sweaty liaisons.
On the third morning, Antonio sits at the table next to her. Although Liza is certain she was quite discreet while spying, he makes a quip about her being there again. This throws a nervous Liza off kilter, but it starts a conversation that ultimately changes the rest of her trip in a very satisfying way.
In honor of Liza and Antonio and Italy, I’m sharing a recipe for Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Biscotti. This one is a real crowd-pleaser in my house. My hubby isn’t a big fan of super sweet desserts, one kid always wants cinnamon, the other always wants chocolate. Whip up a batch of these and cozy up with Foreign Affairs and Antonio!
Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Biscotti
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 C sugar
2 t baking powder
¼ t salt
1 T vegetable oil
2 t vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 t ground cinnamon
6 oz. semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
2 T sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, 1 C sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Combine oil, vanilla and eggs and add to flour mixture, stirring until well-blended. Dough will be dry and crumbly at first. Give it a few minutes for the flour to absorb the moisture from the eggs. Fold in chocolate chips. Knead lightly 7 to 8 times. I knead mine in the bowl.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the dough to the pan. Flatten the dough into two long rolls approximately 1” thick. Most biscotti recipes suggest doing two rolls and I usually follow the rules, but I tried doing one out of laziness and it did not work as well—still yummy, but way too big.
Sprinkle the roll with cinnamon sugar topping and gently press into dough.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove rolls from baking sheet—they should have cracks on top and look cooked through. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Cut rolls diagonally into 1 inch thick slides. Place the slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet.
Bake 10 minutes at 325. Turn cookies over and bake an additional 10 minutes. The cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool. Remove from baking sheet and cool completely on wire rack.
About the author:
Karen Booth is a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on 80s music, Judy Blume, and the films of John Hughes. When she isn’t creating dreamy fictional men, she’s listening to music with her kids, honing her Southern cooking skills, or sweet-talking her astoundingly supportive husband into whipping up a cocktail.
For further information on Karen, visit her website or check out her Amazon author page. You can also chat with Karen at Twitter.