Mother’s Day is almost here! I don’t know why, but I love this holiday. I’d like to say it’s because I adore my mother so, so much and I just want to shower her with love and gifts. And it is that, but it’s also that I. Love. Brunch.
Mother’s Day is basically synonymous with brunch, right? Is that how it works in everyone else’s family? I hope so. I feel bad for your mamas if you don’t make them some French toast on a nice spring morning.
Actually, no French toast this year. My older sister is grasping for the reins of this brunch-wagon that I’ve been driving so long and making monkey bread. So I am relegated to the world of the non-sweet: the breakfast casserole. Doesn’t mean I’m not sneaking in some sweet treats as gifts.
My husband and I took a walk the other day, and I was spewing on and on about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and all the different foods I wanted to make for them this year. He said, “Do we have to celebrate those when we have kids?” I looked at him in horror.
Yes! Y-E-S. I want the crappy half-cooked bacon and runny pancakes in bed, the stupid crayon-and-macaroni cards, the cheap jewelry with pink rhinestones and “M♥M” etched into the pendant. I will endure all of it because how adorable is all that crap? Enough to risk food-poisoning over, apparently.
My elementary school used to open up a “shop” near holidays for the students, so we could go in and buy gifts for our parents, our pockets filled with their money. I bought my mom several “MOM” emblazoned pieces of jewelry by the time I was 10.
Eventually, I realized she never wore them and asked her why, and she admitted that they made her feel old. For a while, she had this sad graveyard of MOM necklaces under her sink, reminders of the years she silently suffered through our terrible Mother’s Day gifts. Maybe they are still there?
This year, there will be no cheapo jewelry, and I will express my mommy-love the best way I know how: with food. Pistachios were, of course, at the top of her request list. She sent me home with her favorite biscotti recipe, which included neither pistachios nor any other nut. And maybe I could add apricots, too, she added.
My husband added that I should double the recipe because his mom also loves biscotti and coffee. Double-Duty Mother’s Day Hack! Errbody loves biscotti!
So here is my mom’s favorite biscotti recipe that is not actually her favorite biscotti recipe because it has pistachios and apricots and none of the original add-ins. What?
- ¼ cup (30 grams) raw pistachios, shelled
- ¼ cup (45 grams) dried apricots, chopped
- 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pistachios in an even layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 5-10 minutes, until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool, then chop and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
- With mixer on the lowest speed, add flour mixture and beat until just a little bit of flour is visible. Mix in pistachios and apricots on low speed until combined.
- Lightly flour your hands to prevent sticking and divide dough in half. Form each half into a 7x2-inch loaf. Place loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Sprinkle the top of each loaf with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove to a wire cooling rack to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- Using a large spatula, transfer loaves to a cutting board. Cut ½-inch slices on the diagonal; each log should produce about 12 slices. Some pieces will be longer than others! Stand slices upright on the baking sheet and return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes, until cookies are crispy. Cool completely on a wire rack.