Almond Biscotti

Biscotti is a delicious accompaniment to a perfectly brewed pot of coffee or espresso. One of my favorite ways to enjoy biscotti is as an addition to my espresso affogato (I will be doing an Instagram post later this week, but you get to see it first if you keep scrolling!). Unlike store-bought biscotti, which is frequently hard as a rock, my biscotti is dense and dry (deliberately designed for dipping into coffee to soak up the liquid), yet tender enough to not risk cracking a tooth. Biscotti can be made with many different dried fruits, nuts, and spices. I prefer mine to be rather simple so that each bite is mostly espresso-drenched cookie, with a subtle hint of complimentary flavor…. I use mine mostly as a vehicle for coffee, not as a cookie to be eaten on its own. Below is my favorite way to enjoy these crusty cookies.20180911_121139

Talk about a great start to the morning, right? Espresso affogato is simply vanilla ice cream with espresso poured over. I’ve been using this moka pot for years to brew my espresso and I highly recommend it. The ice cream I’m using is homemade (of course… what else did you expect?) and I followed the recipe for “Vanilla Bean Ice Cream” (in my opinion, it is more of a custard due to the use of eggs) that is in the booklet that came with my ice cream maker, which I have also used for years and highly recommend. Since I’m already making recommendations, I will add that I’m thoroughly enjoying my subscription to Victoria Magazine and am planning on renewing. Now for the biscotti recipe…


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon sea salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (half a stick), room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons heavy cream

¾ cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

Put the butter and sugar in a mixer (or use a hand-held mixer) and beat until pale and fluffy, about a minute or so. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and carefully add the eggs, extracts, and cream. Mix slowly and carefully until completely combined. Slowly add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Gently mix in the sliced almonds.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Carefully turn out the dough onto the baking sheet, and flatten into a rectangle that is about a half inch thick.

Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway during baking time. When you remove from the oven, allow it to cool enough to handle without burning yourself, but leave the oven on.

Once cool enough to handle, cut into desired shapes (biscotti is usually cut into strips that are between a half-inch to one inch wide) and lengths. Arrange the cut pieces on their sides (so a cut side will be facing up), and return to the oven for about 8-10 minutes. Carefully turn the cookies so the opposite cute site is now up, and return to oven for another 8-10 minutes. If you prefer softer biscotti, bake for 8 minutes per side. If you prefer really dry and crisp, then bake for 10 minutes per side.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before storing. Biscotti can last for several weeks if stored in an airtight container. Dry biscotti will store longer than soft biscotti, so keep that in mind when decided how long to bake the slices.


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$30 at an estate sale

Estate sales are notoriously hit-or-miss. For some, it’s not worth the hassle. For others, it is a thrilling hunt for rare finds and good bargains. Yesterday, I was fortunate to experience the very best that an estate sale can be. I walked away with a trunk bursting with treasures… totaling less than $30!! The bulk of it is shown in the photo below, but in addition to this, my older two girls used their own money to purchase a plastic wagon (to use for later mischief, no doubt), and several books. I photographed these immediately after unpacking them, so I haven’t cleaned them yet. I hope you are able to appreciate their beauty despite the coat of grime. If you find yourself  admiring my table as well, please know that I got my entire Duncan Phyfe dining set for $600 from a consignment store in Delaware called Delmarva Furniture Consignment. You can view their inventory online.


What we dream of when we see a sign for an estate sale nearby!


Three rolls of warm pink upholstery fabric (of unknown yardage) will always be useful in a home with this many girls!


Silver plated bread basket. Shows some age, but in a charming way. I will eventually have it re-plated, but it isn’t strictly necessary.


Silver plated soup tureen (no ladle). The silver needs to be re-plated but it is free from any scratches or dents! I will use my silver-cleaning trick on this and see what can be done.


It is monogrammed with a W… our last name does not start with W. Hubby said, “W stands for ‘Winners’ so we can still use it.” I’m really excited to put this to use on my table, especially with soup weather soon to return.


They look large here because I was zoomed in so closely, but these demitasse cups are destined for permanent residence in my husband’s office, so he can take full advantage of their espresso machine.


Eight water goblets that are simple and will likely go with any table setting.


These were labeled as a set of “dessert glasses”. It is a rather odd assortment, but I couldn’t pass them up for the price, and they will be fun to incorporate into future tea parties, or use at the children’s table during holiday gatherings.


Lots and lots of sandwich glass!! I haven’t yet taken the time to identify them, but if you have more information about these, please leave a comment!!


I’m guessing these were originally champagne glasses. I may use them for that purpose, or perhaps to serve chocolate mousse, sorbet, or ice cream…


These little beauties are sherry glasses! I’ve never tried sherry (but I’d like to). I may use these at the children’s table, or as vodka glasses. Not at the same time, of course… unless they are getting too rowdy and it’s time to go to sleep. But I would never really do that…


There’s only a few of these, and you can see the one on the right is chipped on the bottom. I would like to serve root beer floats in them. What you think?


More water glasses. We are very thirsty, after all.