Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Having never made biscotti before, I certainly have no business altering the recipe of the BAKED boys, who apparently both have Italian grandmothers who are opinionated on the subject. But I did. Their recipe is for "Hazelnut Cinnamon Chip Biscotti", and honestly, I'm not a big hazelnut fan. I know. So I reverted to a more traditional version: Almond. All I did was replace the hazelnuts in their recipe with toasted almonds. And yet. FAIL. Witness:
Turns out gooey chocolate and not-all-the-way-cooked dough are not very easy to slice through, as a combination. In fact, in the process, I destroyed the Silpat I've used (and loved) forever. *cry* Never daunted, I decided to try again, making two smaller logs of dough for the first bake and leaving the chocolate chips out (they come into the picture later).
That plan worked out much better. The baked dough was easy to slice through and the individual biscotti crisped up so nicely during the second baking. Once cool, I dipped one long side in melted semi-sweet chocolate. Just a thin coating, but perfect.
And the whole experiment worked out so well, I decided to try the BAKED boys' own variation of Pistachio Cherry Biscotti. I'm partial to those two things: pistachios and dried cherries. And those also worked out beautifully. The cookies are actually incredibly easy to make. You just have to be willing to keep an eye on turning, etc. during the second bake to make sure that all sides get to the level of crispy you like. And whatever recipe you use, you probably shouldn't be married to the baking times that are suggested. Feel for firmness to know the first bake is done. Look for golden brownness and feel for crispiness to know the second bake is done.
Here's the thing about biscotti: they're pretty crispy. They're supposed to be. So you can dunk them in your espresso, or tea, or whatever (Grand Marnier, maybe?!) and they'll take a little liquid, but not get soggy. The concept doesn't work quite as well if you're dunking them in gelato. Unless the gelato is melted. Just a little something to keep in mind when you make these guys yourself. And that was a public service announcement from me--trying to save you tooth breakage.
TGIP Rating--Chocolate-dipped Almond Biscotti AND Pistachio Cherry Biscotti--KEEPER
Next up: I'm finally using the dough that the fabulous Romina of Les Madeleines gave me at the croissant/danish class I took from her in February. (And when I clicked on that link myself I discovered that once again they will be closed for almost the whole month of July--my birthday month. Romina what are you doing to me?! I know you need a vacation. You deserve it more than almost anyone I know. But how will I ever have one of your treats for my birthday?!)