Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Lenox (non)Almond Biscotti

Let me start by saying: I really liked the recipe this week! Huzzah!

Really, my enjoyment of this week’s recipe comes as such a relief. I was starting to get a complex, because I feel like every week I’m a Bad Attitude Bear. It’s all, “I wanted to like this recipe, buuuut…whine whine whine.” And while most people would agree that no one likes every recipe every time, I really thought I was the exception to this rule. I love sweets! I never knew I was so finicky until I started picking apart every single TWD recipe! Shut up, me!

So, yes, score one for biscotti. Actually, score two. This biscotti deserves double credit because I was so NOT excited about making it and was expecting to dislike it. In my face! First off, we’re not coffee drinkers, so I don’t have much use for dunkable cookies. As a rule I like my cookies underbaked and very soft and chewy…and biscotti, being double-baked and ultra-crispy, is the polar opposite of my Platonic cookie ideal.

Orange-Chocolate Chip with Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti
Secondly, my first pastry job involved making boatloads of biscotti in huge Hobart mixers. If you have never lifted a Hobart overflowing with biscotti dough, let me tell you, it is heavy. Annoyingly, painfully, throw-your-back-out heavy. I was so sick of making biscotti by the time I left that job, I vowed I would never make it again unless forced to under penalty of death (or employment contract). But as they say, time heals all wounds, and my rabid hatred of biscotti has cooled down to a mild indifference.
Double Coconut Biscotti
I approached this week’s challenge with an attitude of “meh” but ended up really liking the final product! I made a half-batch, and from that I split the dough in half to produce two different flavors: a double-coconut biscotti and an orange biscotti with chocolate chips, rolled in cinnamon-sugar. I’m quite glad I halved it, because as it was, I ended up with quite a lot of biscotti for two people. Both varieties were good, but I think I preferred the orange-chocolate-cinnamon one, just because it was more interesting to eat on its own. (Both paired marvelously with hot chocolate, I am happy to report!)

I wasn’t much impressed with the taste of the unbaked dough, and was also puzzled by how sticky it was--I almost thought there was a mistake in the recipe, because it was so wet. But Dorie did not lead us astray, the dough turned out perfectly. (And I was glad to have followed her instructions to form the dough into very narrow logs, because these puppies spread.)
They start out svelte...
...but soon lose their girlish figures
The final product was delightful--so light and crunchy. At first the cornmeal seemed like a crazy ingredient, but after tasting the ultra-crisp cookies, I have to admit that it’s crazy brilliant.

28 comments:

  1. I feel the same about a lot of the recipes, they just don't do it for me (us). We just figured that it is because we are used to different sweets on this side of the ocean. The ones I really like are most of the time from European origin, like these biscotti.
    Yours look very tasty! And great that you overcame your previous feelings about them and discovered a new treat!

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  2. Your biscotti look amazing! I have to remake mine tonight.... My first batch was way to gritty for my taste: I used bulgur instead of cornmeal... My bad!

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  3. Guess Dorie knows her way arround biscotti! And so do you! That's only half a batch? Not a problem for me, but it still makes a lot of biscotti! Lovely flavours you packed into yours!

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  4. Your biscotti look great!

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  5. orange chocolate cinnamon...that made me swoon. seriously.

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  6. I'm glad you were pleasantly surprised by these and able to get over the flashbacks to the Hobart mixer :) Your logs are so perfectly shaped!

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  7. Your biscotti looks amazing and spread out nicely. Your logs are perfectly shaped everything looks great!

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  8. Looks like another winner from Dorie!

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  9. LOVE the variations, but that double coconut biscotti sounds AMAZING! And they look GORGEOUS!

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  10. Gorgeous photos! I especially love the sound (and look) of the orange chocolate-chip cinnamon sugar cookies. Sounds very complex but very tasty.

    Also, I made two batches out of a half-batch, and I thought maybe that was why my biscotti didn't spread properly, but you've cleared that up for me. Thanks!

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  11. Your biscotti look perfect! I'm so glad you liked them. Mine turned out a bit flat, but tasty!

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  12. Making biscotti was part of my first bakery job, too, so I was going to ditch this one, but I'm glad I didn't. Double coconut? Sign me up.

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  13. Your flavors sound great. Dipping in hot chocolate. Great idea. Great cookie. Great story.

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  14. Both your flavors sound wonderful! Glad you have overcome that lingering distaste for biscotti.

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  15. Isn't TWD great? It makes you try recipes you would have just passed up! Your flavors sound fantastic! Love the cinnamon sugar ones!

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  16. Love your flavor combination...and your biscotti turned out absolutely perfect!! (sounds like you had a ton of practice)

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  17. Those unbaked logs are perfectly formed... your pastry background obviously serves you well. If you can get wet, sticky dough to behave like that, then you're a genius!

    I love your adaptations, too. I'll definitely try the chocolate, orange, and cinnamon next time!

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  18. I had several weeks in a row where I was kind of "good but not great" in my TWD write-ups, while everyone else was raving. But then I was knocked over in surprise by some that I almost didn't make - the Dimply Plum Cake, and now these. That's why I love TWD.
    Nancy

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  19. Oops, pushed the "publish" too soon. I have to add that your flavor variations are really inspired! One of each, please.
    Nancy

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  20. Oh yum. I love that you put cinnamon-sugar on top of the dough before baking! Not sure which variation I would have liked more. They both sound amazing! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!
    Clara @ iheartfood4thought

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  21. Put me down on the chocolate orange lover list. That sounds amazing, yep, truly amazing. And you didn't even have to throw your back out to make some. Hooray!

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  22. Wow, that bowl would be heavy with all the biscotti batter in it. Great job on the biscotti!

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  23. Great combination and two little logs are much more manageable than a giant hobart mixer full...

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  24. Ya the snow was nice while we had it, a tad to early though. Now it's more like fall weather..62 today.
    Ilove your biscotti. It really looks wonderful and tasty!

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  25. I love the coconut variation. It sounds yummy. Your biscotti look perfect. YUM!

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  26. The double coconut one sounds so tasty! Lovely job!

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  27. how did you get the first set o' logs so darn neat?! :)

    I was skeptical as well, but can't wait to make these again! I'm even learning to love the cornmeal (which, at first, I wasn't sold on either!)

    Love your photos!

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  28. Umm Yumm rolled in sugar. Don't know how you accomplished that feat. Hats Off! Love your flavor pairings and can't wait to try more here.
    Yours look delicious.
    AmyRuth

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