Places aren't made of buildings. Places are made of people. Let me explain. As much as cities are a concoction of streets, houses and crosswalks, the spirit of a city is made out of the people that live in it. I'm sure you agree with that.
Boston area is a complicated place to live in. Winters are hard and snowy, summers can be crazy hot or crazy rainy and you never know what the weather's gonna be like in 5 minutes. This weather makes people sort of cold. Disciplined, organized, efficient and hard working, but cold. I've been lucky. I found myself surrounded by people from very different places, that ended up in the same place (my ex lab) and tried to bond together and be almost family to each other.
I'm leaving this city in less than two months. And my two best buddies and ex-labmates are leaving too. We're all going in different directions and hoping for e-mails and phone calls to keep us close. Our other common friend, L, is staying here. And because we've spent many hours together and shared some of the best moments in these (for me) last two years, it is not easy for her to see us leaving.
I like to see her happy, so I made her these biscotti. They are full of all sorts of goodness. Nuts? you name them, they are here. Pine nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts. Dried fruit? cranberries and apricots. Brown sugar and honey. It can't get much better than this.
I adapted the recipe, with lots of changes from here. You can definitely play around with the nuts or the fruits. I replaced cane sugar for brown sugar + honey and they are not super sweet but have a depth of flavor that only honey can give. Also, I omitted liquors in the recipe and changed them for soy milk. Make sure you add a couple tablespoons of liquid, whether it's water, milk or alcohol, otherwise the dough is to hard to work with when you add the nuts and fruits.
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons soy milk
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pine nuts
Preheat oven to 375 F
In a bowl whisk together flours, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside. In another bowl mix the melted butter, sugar and honey. Stir in the vanilla and add the eggs one at a time while mixing. Add the dry mixture about 1/2 cup at a time. Finish mixing it in with a spoon (dough will be hard). Add the soy milk, this makes the dough softer and easier to work with. Add the nuts and dried fruits and incorporate them into the dough mixing with a wooden spoon. It will take a bit of work but it's totally worth it.
Divide the dough in half and shape it into two logs about half inch thick. Bake them for about 25 minutes or until hard to the touch. Take them out of the oven (don't turn it off), let them cool a bit and cut them into 1/2 inch wide biscotti. Place the biscotti cut side down and bake them for another 15 to 20 minutes until crispy. I like to flip them half way through the baking time so they are equally toasted on both sides.