Early Mornings and Almond Anise Biscotti

by exercisebeforeknitting

For about four weeks, I’ve been getting up just before 5 a.m. to run. Most days I run with a group but sometimes I’m on my own or with a friend. I’ve always struggled with the morning runs. On one hand, I love both being up before the sun and the sense of accomplishment that comes from running hard long before most people get up. On the other hand, until Beatrix came along, I also loved the snooze button. When you intend to get up and run in the morning and don’t, you bear two burdens: you start your day off with a failure and you have all day to look forward to dread your evening run. Since I’ve been up in the morning, my overall mental health has improved dramatically. I know how crazy that sounds. My alarm is set for 4:40 a.m. So I can get up and RUN. Some days it’s hard running too. I think I’m sleeping less. But I have more energy throughout the day. Where is the science, people???

If you had told me a few years ago that I would successfully run in the mornings for more than a week at a time, I would have died laughing. Now there seem to be so many more obstacles (e.g. a baby, a teething baby, a baby who doesn’t sleep through the night anymore) but I find it easier. I’m sure it’s because running time is so much more precious now than it was when I had my life to myself. The other part is that I prefer returning home to a smiley, awake baby rather than waking up to one. Mommy Duty no longer wakes me up, Running does. Somehow, that’s better in my book.

I started this post about getting up early so that I could share with you my daily post-run breakfast: single shot cappuccino and homemade biscotti.

I’ve been making a new batch of biscotti every Sunday night and they’ve been so tasty that I decided to share my experiments recipes with you. This week’s batch was almond anise. The best part is that if you only eat one, they’re not a lot of calories. You could take out the almonds to reduce the calories too.

Almond Anise Biscotti
2 c white flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 1/4 c sugar
1 tsp anise extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp anise seeds
1 c whole almonds
optional: sliced almonds

Pre-heat oven to 300 F. Combine flour and baking powder in one bowl. Set aside.

Combine sugar, eggs, anise extract and salt. Whip until thick. Stir in flour mixture.

Add anise seeds and almonds.

The dough will have the consistency of sticky cookie dough. Spread into a 4″ x 16″ log on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. OPTIONAL: Sprinkle sliced almonds over the top. Bake 1 hour. Reduce oven temperature to 275 F. Cool 10 minutes. Slice into 1/2″ wide slices. Place slices cut-side down on baking sheet. Toast biscotti 10 minutes on each side for a total of 20 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen.*
*Be sure to make a kind that the other members of your household will eat. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with 58934854309859304859034 calories of biscotti. Not that that would necessarily be a bad thing…