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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TWD: Lenox Almond Biscotti

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I have to admit that I was a bit underwhelmed when I first saw that this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was for an almond biscotti. I've never been a big fan of biscotti, as every one I've ever tried was hard, dry and dusty. But then, I'd never had homemade biscotti before. What a difference!

The original recipe for these biscotti comes from Lenox Restaurant in New York City, and it produces a delightfully crunchy, almond flavored cookie. The dough is made with flour and cornmeal and which, I found, gave the biscotti a little rougher texture with a bit of chewiness, which I liked.

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I ended up making two different kinds of biscotti from this recipe. I kept half the batch as is with sliced almonds and almond flavoring. The rest became a vanilla flavored biscotti with chopped pistachio nuts and dried brandied cherries mixed in. The almond half got dipped in in some melted bittersweet chocolate and the pistachio half got a drizzle of melted white chocolate over them. They were very different, but both were very delicious!

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This recipe was not difficult to put together, but I did have to almost double the first baking time. Even then, the almond ones were very hard to cut cleanly. I don't know why, but I didn't have that problem with the pistachio ones.

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If you've never made homemade biscotti from scratch before, I urge you to try it. These have made a convert out of me. My thanks go out to Gretchen from Canela & Comino for selecting this recipe for us. It was a great choice! You can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, or visit Gretchen's site. If you'd like to see what the rest of the TWD gang have done with biscotti, check out the blogroll here.

49 comments:

Audrey said...

Weren't these good? I'm another biscotti convert. I also liked the cornmeal in these (though I like in almost anything...) Your variations and your drizzles are lovely...I'm looking forward to all the different kinds of biscotti I'll be making from now on!
Audrey

Lori said...

that's so strange, that the pistachios were easier to cut! yours are simply gorgeous, as always.

vibi said...

Of course... I was expecting nothing but perfection, as much for the biscotti, as for their pictures!
I'm glad you liked those and that is contributed to change your views about biscotti! Yay!
Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures with all of us!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I love your chocolate drizzles! I bet this made them even better. Great photos!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I love it when I can get biscotti with a good dessert wine and eat them as they were meant to be eaten. Granted, they're great with tea too. They're the original dunking cookie.

Your combinations sound wonderful. Almonds and pistachios. What's not to like?

Zoe Francois said...

Seriously yummy! I am so in the mood for one of these right now with my coffee.

Choosy Beggar Tina said...

I never liked biscotti because I always felt that they were charging a premium to serve you stale sweet bread.....but I trust YOU Susan, so if you think this is a glaring oversight on my part I'm willing to give it a go.

I really need to get that TWD cookbook!

Nina Timm said...

I will file these with the holycraptheseareamazingcookies that I got from this site.....
OMG this is so amazing!!!! And I am not a biscotti fan either!!!!

Colleen said...

WOW these are gorgeous!!! I just left an award for you on my blog Susan :) xxx

The Food Hunter said...

Your variations sound delicious. Thanks for sharing.

Rachel said...

Your white chocolate drizzles look gorgeous (and delicious!)

Rhiani said...

Your biscotti looks lovely. I had a difficult time with cutting the logs into bars as well. I stopped using the recommended serrated knife after the first couple of cuts.

I noticed that yours seemed a bit higher (a slightly rounder dome on the top) than mine - I'm wondering if you shaped the logs a bit differently or what.

the italian dish said...

Gee, you've inspired me. These are beautiful. Maybe I should make these as party favors for my Christmas party this year? I always give out a bag of some homemade goodie to everyone as they leave. They look so beautiful.

Madam Chow said...

Brandied cherries? White chocolate? I'm swooning!

Manggy said...

Oh, I totally know what you mean by dry and dusty! Couple that with TV chefs making such a cluster#$#@ of the process and I'm totally discouraged! But I do trust your opinion-- maybe I should give in too! (Don't have the book though-- I'm all booked out for this year!)

NĂºria said...

It does look fantastic, Susan! If I ever make biscotti... it will be yours :D

Engineer Baker said...

The white chocolate drizzle definitely makes these into a dessert-ish biscotti - and so pretty too! Brandied cherries sound like a wonderful add as well.

Peggy said...

Perfect biscotti. Great ideas with the variations! Beautiful pics.

Marthe said...

OMG, your biscotti look amazing! I absolutely loved the taste of mine!!

kim said...

gorgeous pics... and that white choc drizzle is to die for :) i am also a biscotti convert!

~Kimberly said...

I am lovin' the chocolate drizzle!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Thanks Everyone! I'm so glad you liked my biscotti! We all enjoyed them a lot. I'm looking forward to experimenting with some more add ins too.

Tina- Lol! I always felt the same way until I tried fresh, homemade biscotti. They were nothing like the ones I've had from a box.

Colleen- Thanks! I'll go check it out.

Rhiani- The dough was so sticky, that I wasn't able to shape them too well. My loaves were more rounded that they probably should have been. I also wish I had cut them thinner, but I was afraid that the tops would shatter.

Italian Dish- I'll bet these would make great party favors. They would keep really well and hold their shape too.

Manggy- These would be a snap for you! You can get the recipe on Gretchen's site. I can also send you any of the recipes you want.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

both do sound very delicious! they look beautiful, too!

Maryann said...

That first picture is gorgeous! xox

noble pig said...

I have always wanted to try to make it, not sure why I have been intimidated. Your's is beautiful.

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

Wow Susan - I love those drizzles! I'd eat cardboard with those on them. Luckily they're on some great looking biscotti here, so I think I'm safe for the moment :).

Sandy Smith said...

Just beautiful, as always. I love the pistachio variation . . . what a great idea!

I've heard that an electric knife does a great job on biscotti, but I just use a very quick sawing motion with my serrated knife and never have a problem.

You're right - there's no comparison between the storebought and the homemade versions!

Linda said...

The variety of biscotti sound delish, and it doesn't hurt that they are drizzled with yummy chocolate. Beautiful photos of really beautiful biscotti!

vibi said...

I came back... had to tell you how much I appreciate that you practice your French when leaving comments on my blog!
Not many do that... to me, it's a great mark of open-mindness.

The Food Librarian said...

Love it! The drizzled chocolate is absolutely beautiful.

Peter M said...

These could be the best biscotti ever!

Helen said...

Oh I ADORE biscotti when they have that slight chewiness in the centre - oh!

Heather said...

I have heard that biscotti are easy to make, but I won't be convinced until I get to taste some. I believe you still have my address? :D

Melissa said...

absolutely gorgeous...I can always count on you for such fantastic ideas! Great pictures..

Gretchen Noelle said...

I am so glad you ended up liking these so much! Yeah! They look delicious - both flavors! Thanks for participating Susan!

CookiePie said...

Lovely biscotti! I love your flavor combos (you said the magic words: "brandied cherries"). And you're so right - homemade biscotti are sooooo much better than anything store- or starbucks-bought. Delish!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Love homemade biscotti. Nothing like what you buy!

Piggy said...

Oh my, i love your version of biscotti, with chocolate drizzled on them! They sure look very yummy.

Lori Lynn said...

Beautiful white chocolate icing.
I'm all for the hint of chewiness too.

Sarah said...

So pretty! I agree with your initial assessment of biscotti; it wasn't until I tasted homemade that I saw the biscotti light. Congrats on your Foodie Joust win over at The Leftover Queen's blog!

LyB said...

I think everything is better drizzled with white chocolate. :)

pinkstripes said...

OMG...love the white chocolate drizzled biscotti. They look so scrumptious. Yum!

Morven said...

Nice work! It's always a bonus when you get to experiment with different flavours.

Katrina said...

Homemade Biscotti converts, UNITE! I wasn't thrilled to make them either, but loved them! Can't wait to make them again and try new mix-ins. Yours, as all your food is, looks SO good. Love the white chocolate drizzled ones and the chocolate dipped, too! Yum!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Put the coffee on I'm coming over!!! Am I too late? are their any left???

Maria said...

Gorgeous!! I wish I had one to nibble on right now!

chez us said...

WOW! These are fantastic! I never thought of gooeying them in chocolate - great idea!!!

Passionate About Baking said...

Yes these are fantastic. Just made them yesterday from Gretchens blog, the almond & dark choc version. Very very nice indeed. Yours look ever so pro & inviting! Delicious!

TeaLady said...

These were my first biscotti, also. You two look fabulous. Great job.