My kitchen renovation starts tomorrow (today if you include the upgrade of the circuit breaker box) and I had decided that baking biscotti while everything from the kitchen sits in boxes in the living room was not going to happen (I'd already made the next two TWD picks over the weekend). But when I woke up at 4 AM (!) and wasn't able to go back to sleep, I knew I had to make the biscotti.
I'd never made biscotti before, but that's one of the great thing about baking with the other TWD bakers. Many of us are trying techniques for the first time. Check out the P&Q for the questions and tips posted for this recipe by the TWD bakers.
I'm not a fan of almond extract, so I decided to take this recipe in another direction. I kept the almonds but only had slivered almonds, and I added dried cherries (which I cut in half) and chocolate chips. I replaced the almond extract with vanilla extract, and since I was out of granulated sugar, I used light brown sugar. I didn't have cornmeal, so I used polenta instead. The recipe came together quickly, and I spread it in two logs on a Silpat. I didn't measure exactly 12", but I was happy with my dimensions. If I make this again, I will leave a little more space between the two logs because they spread A LOT.
The logs were a little underdone when I pulled them out after 15 minutes, so cutting them after the rest period was challenging. I didn't transfer them to the cutting board because they were, well, still raw in the middle. Brown sugar is wetter than granulated, so if I use brown sugar next time, I will reduce the eggs by one egg white to compensate for the added moisture in the brown sugar.
After baking the sliced biscotti for 15 minutes, they were still soft. Back in for another 5 minutes. Then another 2 minutes. Then another 2 minutes. Finally, they were firm as Dorie said they should be. The finished product was tasty and popular at work. Personally, I didn't like the extra crunch the polenta gave. I would like to make these again and use more of the suggested ingredients (sugar, cornmeal, sliced almonds) and bake them longer (especially the first time). I think it would give me a more consistent result. I think I'll also try other biscotti recipes and play around with some of Dorie's suggested flavor combos. If you're looking for the recipe, you can find it on Gretchen's blog, or even better, check out Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.