One of the problems of having a food blog is – quite obviously – making sure that you have food to photograph. This problem is particularly acute when making dinner or when otherwise cooking at night. Photography at night is a no-win situation. There is no natural light, leaving only the harsh glow of the incandescents. When it comes to dinner, there is the option of photographing on long exposures while the meal grows cold, or simply hoping for presentable leftovers. When it comes to other recipes, the challenge is saving enough for a future daytime photograph.
And that’s the rub here. I made these chocolate-cranberry biscotti on a cloudy Sunday early in the evening. I was in a hurry at the time and did not photograph the process – as I usually do. That being said, the recipe made about twenty-four biscotti. Enough, I reasoned, for a good photograph later in the week.
Or so I thought. The biscotti were fantastic. I had one or two every day. I brought a few to work to share with my co-workers. My wife had a few. And before I knew it, by Saturday morning – the first chance I had to photograph these biscotti during the natural daylight – there were only four left.
I had pictured a row of biscotti on the wire rack, occupying the entire camera field, stretching into the horizon. But, alas, it was not to be. I had just the four solitary biscotti left to arrange on the rack. Four lonely biscotti: the problem of having a food blog and having a recipe turn out so well (and perhaps a small problem of self-control as well).
*The original recipe called for dried cherries and whole wheat flour. I used dried cranberries and whole wheat pastry flour, which was available in the bulk section of my local Whole Foods.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light: Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: Makes 24 to 36 biscotti
WHAT TO GRAB:
2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt 1 cup sugar 3 eggs 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2/3 cup dried cranberries (or dried cherries) ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the flours and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together until thick and pale (about 5 minutes). Add the oil and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, in batches, until well blended. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips.
3. Divide the dough in half. Turn out onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Shape each half into a 10-inch long roll, and flatten to about a one-inch thickness.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the rolls from the baking sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
5. Reduced the oven to 325 degrees.
6. Cut each roll diagonally into 12 to 16 half-inch slices. Place the slices, cut sides down, on the baking sheet. Bake the first side for 10 minutes, then turn the cookies over, and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.