Let me start by saying: I really liked the recipe this week! Huzzah!
Really, my enjoyment of this week’s recipe comes as such a relief. I was starting to get a complex, because I feel like every week I’m a Bad Attitude Bear. It’s all, “I wanted to like this recipe, buuuut…whine whine whine.” And while most people would agree that no one likes every recipe every time, I really thought I was the exception to this rule. I love sweets! I never knew I was so finicky until I started picking apart every single TWD recipe! Shut up, me!
So, yes, score one for biscotti. Actually, score two. This biscotti deserves double credit because I was so NOT excited about making it and was expecting to dislike it. In my face! First off, we’re not coffee drinkers, so I don’t have much use for dunkable cookies. As a rule I like my cookies underbaked and very soft and chewy…and biscotti, being double-baked and ultra-crispy, is the polar opposite of my Platonic cookie ideal.
Secondly, my first pastry job involved making boatloads of biscotti in huge Hobart mixers. If you have never lifted a Hobart overflowing with biscotti dough, let me tell you, it is heavy. Annoyingly, painfully, throw-your-back-out heavy. I was so sick of making biscotti by the time I left that job, I vowed I would never make it again unless forced to under penalty of death (or employment contract). But as they say, time heals all wounds, and my rabid hatred of biscotti has cooled down to a mild indifference.
I approached this week’s challenge with an attitude of “meh” but ended up really liking the final product! I made a half-batch, and from that I split the dough in half to produce two different flavors: a double-coconut biscotti and an orange biscotti with chocolate chips, rolled in cinnamon-sugar. I’m quite glad I halved it, because as it was, I ended up with quite a lot of biscotti for two people. Both varieties were good, but I think I preferred the orange-chocolate-cinnamon one, just because it was more interesting to eat on its own. (Both paired marvelously with hot chocolate, I am happy to report!)
I wasn’t much impressed with the taste of the unbaked dough, and was also puzzled by how sticky it was–I almost thought there was a mistake in the recipe, because it was so wet. But Dorie did not lead us astray, the dough turned out perfectly. (And I was glad to have followed her instructions to form the dough into very narrow logs, because these puppies spread.)
The final product was delightful–so light and crunchy. At first the cornmeal seemed like a crazy ingredient, but after tasting the ultra-crisp cookies, I have to admit that it’s crazy brilliant.