Saturday, January 23, 2016

Biscotti, A Christmas Tradition

My dad loved my Hazelnut Biscotti.  I've hit on a recipe with a couple tweaks that makes a delightful biscotti.  Why hazelnut?  My dad loves hazelnuts.  As a young girl I decided I would crack open a bag of hazelnuts for my dad to eat every Christmas.  You couldn't buy them shelled back then.  I thought a fresh bag of shelled hazelnuts would be a nice treat for him.  45 years later I still do it, well, I can buy them shelled now.  We also encountered a problem about 15 years ago.  My dad ate the whole bag of shelled hazelnuts and got a stomachache from the beyond world.  A 3 day stomachache.  I had that same stomachache when I ate too many homemade macaroons.  3 to be exact.  So coconutty that they sand papered my stomach lining for 3 days and I've never been so miserable.  I didn't want my dad to ever have another stomachache at my expense.

I had nearly a year to decide what to do.  Keep the tradition the same.  He's a big boy and hopefully learned his lesson.  Or try something different, but keep it along the same lines.  I decided I'd make Hazelnut biscotti.  I spread his hazelnuts out over a gallon sized bag of biscotti.  If he ate all the biscotti in one sitting then there's just no help for that gluttony.

I've tried several recipes over the years.  All good, but all not quite right till I found this one.  It takes me about 2 hours to make a double batch.  Fills 2 gallon sized ziploc bags.  I put one bag in his freezer and wrap the other for Christmas day.  Its never put under the tree as we all have dogs and you can guess what would happen.  So, it sits up high on the mantel teasing my dad.  He's a patient man.

When Christmas comes everyone wants a cup of coffee and a biscotti.  My dad is pretty generous, but he keeps control of the bag and doles out one piece per person.  My daughter joked today that he'd use the ole "toddler trick" if any one asked for 2.  You are offered one biscotti and when you ask for two he'll turn his back snap it in two and turn around and give you "2."

This year we decided no gifts as my parents are pushing 80 and I really don't want them out shopping during cold and flu season.  They really don't want to be out doing that either.  I did however still make biscotti.  My dad did say, "Hey, I thought no gifts?"  I replied it's not a gift it's a Christmas tradition.

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