Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Lenox Almond Biscotti

Generally, when I make biscotti, they fail. Usually I would attribute this to a skill set I haven't learned yet, or inferior ingredients, or lack of attention, but in this case it's just not true, something is wrong with biscotti.

How do I know this? Because I am great at making a dessert that is almost identical in every way to biscotti, my great-grandmother's mandelbrot. Here's where Dorie is genius. She's somehow managed to tweak the recipe for the Lenox Almond Biscotti pictured above so that it no longer differs from my great-grandmother's mandelbrot recipe in any meaningful way. Sure, Dorie uses butter instead of oil, and includes cornmeal for crunch, but in all other ways these 'biscotti' are obviously made from my family recipe.

Do I have a problem with this? No. I think mandelbrot is about as good as it gets, easy and delicious and long-keeping. However, I do have a problem with my parents' oven, which is on a spree of burning the bottoms off any innocent food attempting to cook in it. So we had burned 'biscotti.' No problem, still delicious. My mother did mention several times that she could taste the butter, and wasn't sure she liked it that way. I did like the cornmeal, though, and think I'll retain that trick.

Just to show that I'm not heartless and hating when it comes to biscotti, I'll include another family's recipe for biscotti, one which I hope to make very soon, after the jump.

APRICOT ALMOND BISCOTTI, from Eileen Giardina, baker extraordinaire

Ingredients:

2-3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
3-1/2 oz. white chocolate, cut into pieces
1-2/3 cups whole almonds toasted
2 large eggs
1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP apricot flavored brandy
2 tsp almond extract
1 6-ounce package dried apricots, diced

Directions:

Line large cookie sheet with foil. Butter and flour foil. Combine first 6 ingredients in processor. Process until fine meal forms. Add white chocolate and process until finely chopped. Add toasted almonds and chop coarsely, using 6-8 on/off turns. Beat eggs, brandy and extract to blend in large bowl. Add flour mixture and apricots and stir until moist dough forms.

Drop dough by spoonfuls in three 12-inch long strips on prepared sheet. Moisten fingertips and shape each dough strip into 2-inch wide log. Refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350F. Bake until logs are golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer sheet to rack and cool completely.

Reduce heat to 300F. Cut logs from sides of pan if necessary. Transfer to work surface. Using heavy sharp knife, cut each log crosswise into 3/4-inch wide slices. Arrange half of cookies cut side down on cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Gently turn cookies over and bake 10 minutes longer. Transfer cookies to racks. Repeat baking with remaining cookies. Cool cookies completely. (Can be prepared 2 weeks ahead; store in airtight container at room temperature.)

Makes about 40

6 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

Beautiful biscotti - I'm glad these were a success!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Wonderful job! I am glad this seemed to be a simpler recipe for you to enjoy!

bakingwiththeboys said...

Now you have the confidence to conquer the other biscotti!

pinkstripes said...

The tops of your biscotti look good. I'm going to have to try to make these using oil. They must be pretty good that way if your Mom says so. :)

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Thanks for sharing a friend's recipe!

Barbara said...

Glad you liked them!

Dorie's recipe seems to have a fair amount of sugar & butter -- could that have been the difference with the other biscotti recipes?