I recently joined a women’s bible study group, and we’ve been discussing Courageous Women of the Bible by LaTan Roland Murphy. Although I’m only three chapters into the book, I am consistently in awe by how Murphy puts the readers in biblical women’s shoes. I have a much deeper understanding of each woman’s trials and the courage they received from God to move forward.
“Do you have a talent you have been withholding: a beautiful voice, a servant heart, the gift of teaching, speaking, or writing? Whatever God has given you, give all of it back to Him as an act of worship.” This passage really spoke to me. How many of us fail to embrace our talents? I honestly feel that in many ways I’m squandering my gift. My pastries offer a chance for people to indulge in sweet treats; however, once they congregate around the plate of food, something much more important happens- people start conversing with one another. This is the primary reason why I love baking – it brings people together. For this reason, I want to bake regularly to encourage this fellowship among friends and colleagues.
Now onto my latest bake – chocolate almond biscotti. After reading from the aforementioned book, I was inspired to make something new. Assessing what I had in stock, biscotti was the best choice.
I love having the crunchy cookie with a good cup of coffee in cafes, and I thought my colleagues would appreciate a similar experience.
The New York Times has a wonderful selection of recipes, and their chocolate biscotti caught my eye. I modified the recipes slightly to give more texture to the cookie. Instead of adding a teaspoon of espresso I added almond extract. Additionally, I tossed in about 1/2 cup chocolate chips and a little less than a 1/2 cup almond slices.
Since I finished making the dough around 8:30 pm, I stored it in a bowl with saran wrap in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, I formed the dough into two 1.5 inch wide logs and followed the baking instructions. Roughly 1.5 hours later I had beautiful biscotti that tasted similar to brownie brittle.
My colleagues were elated to have the delicious treats! They spent 10 minutes learning about each other’s weekends and joking around while nibbling on biscotti. Although it was just a small portion of their day, I like to think that they felt happier and had a stronger connection to one another afterwards.