June 15, 2007
Wow – you all are amazingly generous. The Loopy Q2 Challenge hats and mitts just keep rolling in and I’m even having a hard time keeping up with it! Look at all of the beautiful knitting you have done! As of today, we have 16 pairs of fingerless mitts and 24 hats for Luba’s girls, and we have 61 hats for the babies in the orphanage. We are taking these donated items until the end of June (or really,
about July 10th) and then I will ship these boxes of love right off to the recipients. I wish I could be there when they open them up. I wish I could see all of the smiling babies with their wonderful hats on, and Luba’s girls with their warm hands and heads next winter, in their cold school setting. Thank you all for what you have done on this challenge. I know there are still more in the works and more in the mail and they will truly be appreciated.
Speaking of truly appreciated, look at what my wonderful coffee swap partner sent me a couple of weeks ago! This box arrived one day and I took it to The Loopy Room to open. College Guy and Susan were in there packing orders. I opened it up and Susan and I took one look at the biscotti and said, “YUM!” and we immediately both ate one. College Guy looked horrified and said, “You don’t even KNOW that person!” and Susan and I said together, “She’s a knitter!” Enough said. And Theresa, being the generous gal that she is, even agreed to share her recipes for the biscotti. So here you go:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cake flour
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
Preheat oven to 300F, with the rack in the lower third of the oven.
Whisk the flours and cocoa powder together into a medium bowl and set aside. In the blow of an electric mixer (with the paddle attachment), beat the butter, sugar, espresso powder, and salt at medium-low speed until welll blended (don’t overbeat). At low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing just until the dough is no longer crumbly.
Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper, cut to fit. Press the dough evenly and firmly into the cake pan. Press the back of the times of a fork all around the edges to make a decorative border. Bake the shortbread for 35 to 40 minutes, until it is no longer shiny and is set. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Using a knife, cut the warm round into wedges.
Makes about 12 large wedges.
Lavender Shortbread (adapted from The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld)
8 ounces unsalted butter, chilled
4 teaspoons fresh lavender buds, or 2 teaspoons dried
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour
Place the lavender buds in a food processor with the sugar. Grind until the lavender is quite fine. Don’t open the lid immediately. There will be lots of powdery sugar dust, so wait at least five minutes for it to settle.
Transfer the sugar mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle, and add the butter. Beat on low speed until the mixture is smooth and there are no detectable lumps of butter. Do not beat until fluffy. Add all the flours at once and continue to mix on low speed, just until it forms a cohesive dough.
Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Press the dough firmly into the pan, making sure to fill it evenly. Place the cookie in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300F. You want to bake the cookie until it is just golden brown. Check it after 30 minutes, but it probably will need longer. If it does, I tend to take a peek through the window every five minutes. Remember, if you are going to be checking often, don’t open the oven door or you will loose all your heat!
When done, allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan and cutting. Do cut them before they cool completely, since they are softer when warm.
Note: If you want just plain butter shortbread, omit the lavender and just use unadulterated sugar.