This week was my opportunity to select a recipe from the large Baking: From My Home to Yours cookbook. There really were so many things I wanted to choose, but decided on something that hadn’t been done before with TWD – Biscotti! Both the Chocolate Biscotti and Lenox Almond Biscotti sounded absolutely delicious to me, but I could not resist the fun of mixing and matching the spices and add-ins of the almond version. I hoped that many people would not only attempt biscotti for the first time, but would be creative and make some fun new combinations of biscotti – something that suited their tastebuds.
I was terribly intrigued with the black pepper version and was convinced that I was going to make them – no matter what! I hesitated ever so slightly but reassured myself when I sprinkled the pepper in my hand and mixed it with a pinch of dough. I knew I was going to enjoy them – immensely! I used 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper for half a batch of the biscotti.
Since we were on the brink of fall when I chose the recipe, I knew I had to play with pumpkin pie spice. I knew it would be perfect with crystallized ginger since the spice mixture contained ground ginger. The dough was shaded with the spice mixture and the biscotti was studded with ginger. Two problems resulted in this version…first, I was tired and did not feel like chopping the ginger into smaller pieces and secondly, this was the wettest of the four versions (no idea why!) and spread way too much so the ginger chunks became ginger boulders and were not warmly received by the tasters. I used 1/4 cup of crystallized ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice for half a batch of biscotti.
The most obvious combination for me was the cranberry pecan one. How much more fall can you get with those flavors. I could have used the pumpkin pie spice again, but wanted to be a bit more focused so I chose ground cardamom to accompany the cranberries and toasted pecans. These were delicious and had beautiful colors throughout them. I could imagine some white chocolate with these, maybe as chunks throughout or drizzled on top. I used 1/4 cup of dried cranberries, 1/4 cup of finely chopped toasted pecans and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom (although this could have been increased) for half a batch of biscotti.
Finally, the quickest eaten of the bunch were most close to the original version in that they were simply stepped up by the addition of dark chocolate chips. I enjoy almonds, but knew I needed something to make this version just a bit more in the league of the other ones. I knew dark chocolate would do the trick…and that it did…these were eaten before any of the rest and the were already requested again. I used 1/4 cup of sliced almonds and 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips for half a batch of biscotti.
I greatly enjoyed trying out some fun versions of biscotti with this recipe. However, I am not sure I would use the cornmeal again as I found it crunchy in an unappealing way. The baking time was found to be stated as much shorter than required in the cookbook itself. Finally, these biscotti spread in an unfashionable manner – they tasted fine, but the loaves seemed to almost double in width. I see a lot of possibility with these biscotti but would only want to repeat them if they were stopped from spreading!
Lenox Almond Biscotti is being served up for Tuesdays With Dorie. This weeks TWD recipe was chosen by ME! Thanks to all my fellow TWDers who played along with me this week! Enjoy more Lenox Almond Biscotti by visiting the blogroll at the Tuesdays With Dorie website.