Do you ever pull out recipes that look interesting and different in such a way that you would really like to try them? Do you ever make them or do they sit in the pile of recipe cut outs for an extended period of time? You wonder if you will *really* like the outcome. You worry that in the end, the flavors may just not combine well. You consider how you may not like the prepared food as much as the idea of it.
I have recipes like that. One of the ones that sticks out in my mind is a recipe for an “appetizer” cheesecake. It had caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes and sat on a cracker or pretzel crust. In theory, it sounds like a flattened cheese ball, right? But, I think the word “cheesecake” in the title always makes me think of things like dessert and sweetness. In theory, it would be good, but I have just never brought myself to actually make it!
If I had run across this recipe of my own accord, the same thing would have happened, I assure you. I would have thought, after reading the ingredients list, that this would be a fun and tasty bite to make and eat. The recipe would have been cut out or copied and it would have been moved to the pile. Then, when going through the pile, I would have set it aside over and over. Anise and black pepper? Together? Biscotti that is not sweet, but spicy? Are you sure?
Instead, this was the recipe chosen to celebrate FOUR years of the Bread Baking Babes baking bread together! I had the privilege of joining the Babes several years back and due to “life” have watched as they have baked. Life has settled and I am happy to be back in my kitchen cooking, baking, inventing, tasting and enjoying! And really, who wants to miss a PARTY?!?!
I expected these to be more like baked bread, something like a bruschetta. Instead I was surprised by their shortbread texture; delighted by the flavorful spices and wowed by the way everything combined together so deliciously! I do admit that I looked at the dough very doubtfully along the way, the texture was not exactly like bread doughs that I am familiar with but as I kept adding the correct amounts of ingredients (namely, the water) the dough became more like a yeast dough instead of a shortbread dough. I did exchange the white sesame seeds for black, just because it was what I had on hand (and am so glad I did – I love all the color!) and I used a hand blender on the correct amount of semolina to grind it into flour — but otherwise, I stuck to the recipe. Would I make them again? Absolutely!!
Make your own Biscotti Picanti!
Biscotti Picanti is being served up as the Bread Baking Babes bread of the month. This month’s bread was hosted by Lien, February’s kitchen of the month.