Tag Archives: smitten kitchen

A Biscotti By Any Other Name…Would Be Cake Rusk

One of my favorite tea-time snacks as a kid was Indian cake rusk.  Do you know what it is?  Have you had it?

Well, it is delicious.

Since then I’ve grown up.

Since then I’ve also realized that cake rusk is really biscotti.  Since then I’ve made biscotti.  Several times.  And called it cake rusk to my Indian family so they too can understand – and awe at my creation.

And what I mean by “my creation” is that I used the recipe from Smitten Kitchen and changed it up a tad.

This is hands-down my favorite biscotti recipe.

The flavor is outstanding.  The subtle citrus combined with almonds makes this cake rusk biscotti perfect for tea time or any time at all.

Biscotti/Cake Rusk
–  adapted from here

Ingredients:

  • 3  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/3 t salt
  • 1  1/2 cup sugar
  • 1  1/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t almond extract
  • 1 T orange juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Mix sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, and lemon zest in a large bowl.
  4. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  5. By hand, not using an electric mixer, incorporate the flour mixture in three batches into the sugar/butter mixture.
  6. Incorporate until everything is blended and smooth.
  7. Add almonds to cookie dough.
  8. Divide dough in half and shape into two logs onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  9. Make each dough into a 13-inch-long and 2-inch-high log.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven, but do not turn off oven.  Or, if you have to turn off the oven, note that you must have the oven back at 350 F when you re-bake the cookies.
  12. Cool completely.
  13. Once cool, transport the cookies (holding onto the parchment) to a cutting board.
  14. Cut each log into 1/2 wide slices.
  15. Lay each slice back on the cookie sheet with cut sides facing down.
  16. Bake for 12 minutes.
  17. Turn the cookies over and bake for another 8 minutes.
  18. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.

FYI – Currently listening to: Pleasure Songs by The Mary Onettes

Do you like biscotti?  Have you tried the Smitten Kitchen recipe?  Do you drink it with tea? 

19 Comments

Filed under baking, Cookies, Desserts, Italian, Vegetarian

Cake Walk

Now that I’ve proclaimed myself a baker (I can do that right?), I insist that we do not buy cakes for special events.  Why have a beautifully decorated cake, when I can provide an amateur-ly decorated cake for all special occasions?!

Somehow or another, I have convinced my family that it’s a great idea.  Either that or they will do anything to shut me up.

So, when my mom’s birthday comes around, I jumped at the chance to host a pizza party at my house.  A pizza party for my mom?  Her heart wants what it wants.

You know the pizza.  Meet the cake – The Smitten Kitchen’s Best Birthday Cake (another Kitchen List-er).

I’m still working on the decorating.  Hmmm-kay?!

I’ve had my eye on this cake for a while and was waiting for the best opportunity to bake it.  What better occasion than my mom’s birthday?

The process was easy.  The cakes were cooperative.

And I used what I had to create something fun and festive for my mommy.

Because a party cannot live by cake alone – that is when there is pizza involved!

By golly.

I think she liked it.

The cake was delicious.  I have never made yellow cake before and this will forever be my go-to recipe.  The sour cream frosting was not necessarily my favorite but it was delicious.  I think I prefer a chocolate butter cream above all when it comes to yellow cake.

So, to my mom – who will let me be me, put up with me being me, forgive me for when me-being-me is not very nice, and eat whatever concoction I make (in lieu of a nice restaurant with a fancy cake) just to support me on her day – Happy Happy Happy Birthday to the best Mom ever!

Do you bake your own cakes?  Does someone in your family?  How do you celebrate birthdays?  Have you tried the Smitten Kitchen Best Birthday Cake?

46 Comments

Filed under baking, Cake, Desserts