Bring on the night. And some mud. And the sky. And chocolate walnut ginger biscotti.

Oh, Tasters, Sweetcakes had a case of insomnia tonight. Might be the volumes of tea I consumed in trying to get rid of my two-a-day habit of Diet Coke. Might be the meteor showers underway. Most likely it’s the lists of lists playing through my head. Much to do. Much to do.

I volunteered to muck up a canvas for an art benefit. It’s already overdue, so tonight, I made biscotti and tried to bring some red rocks to life with acrylic paint.

One of the things I’ve always loved about shifting between genres of writing is that I’ve never felt like I shouldn’t do just that. It’s all word play, and there’s an inherent joy in the experimentation across forms. How they work alone, together. How they influence each other.   

So when I said I would participate in this art project, it’s with the same child-like willingness to just get my hands in the dirt. Whether it’s lovely, or whether it’s dreck, I’m having fun.

Right now, it’s a wee hour, and half this canvas looks like red mud, exactly what I was going for. My daughter discerned between the arch and regular rock I placed in the foreground, so I feel good about that. I’ll let this dry, let my eyes cover over with sleep, then paint the sky tomorrow (later today).

But first…the biscotti. I’ve made biscotti more than any other baked good over the years, except maybe pear and blackberry cobbler. Have to say, this recipe is a good one. The recipe as it is doesn’t give a large yield, just near two dozen, so if you need more than that out of your baking effort, do double the recipe, and use two cookie sheets.

Chocolate Walnut Ginger Biscotti

Adapted from a Martha Stewart Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

¼ cup vegetable oil

4 ounces of baking chocolate, chopped

¼ cup candied ginger

1/3 cup chopped walnuts or other nuts

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, ginger and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Mix together the sugar and egg, beating until fluffy. Then mix in the oil. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Stir in the chocolate, ginger and walnuts. 

Moisten your hands, then shape the dough (which will be stiff) on the cookie sheet in two logs, approximately 8 inches long and 3 inches wide.

Bake 20 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and let cool. Turn the oven to 325 degrees.

 Put the logs on a cutting board, and with a bread knife, cut diagonally into ½ inch thick slices.  Place those on the cookie sheet, and return it to the oven.

Bake 10 minutes, then turn each cookie. Bake another 10 minutes, then remove from the oven to cool.

Make it more decadent:

If you like an even deeper chocolate taste, melt chocolate in a double boiler and dip the end of each cookie into the chocolate. Place on parchment paper to allow the chocolate to harden.

Store in an airtight container.