Tag Archives: nuts

Better biscotti or bust

As mentioned earlier, I recently attempted to make chocolate-pistachio biscotti. I have always been a fan of biscotti since my friends and I would go to our local hot-spot and sip coffee and munch biscotti during high school (remember Bell’s that I mentioned earlier?), and this summer I finally tried my hand at making it. So far everything has been a success. I posted about the lemon-anise biscotti, but forgot to snap pictures of and mention the cherry-hazelnut I also made. It got to the point where the biscotti was delicious, but need a little extra something. What does one do when the usual baked goods need a pick me up? Add chocolate of course.

I searched for a good (erm, actually a ‘quick and easy’ and with ingredients that I had around the house) recipe and finally found one for chocolate-pistachio biscotti. I read other blogs as people raved about the combination of salty nuts and sweet chocolate and couldn’t wait to start my own batch. So I grabbed the recipe and headed to the kitchen.

The dough came together quickly and easily enough, but something was off. It was extremely dry. While I toyed with the idea of adding more liquid to it, I finally settled on this idea: “Kiwi, it’s a Martha Stewart recipe. Let’s trust her this once and make these exactly to her instructions.”

And so I took the very dry dough, made the log to bake for the first go round and pressed all the escaped pistachios into the dough, and there were quite a few. Then baked according to instruction, about 20-25 minutes. Now, for those of you who have made biscotti before you probably know that when the biscotti are baked for the first time they need to be rather firm all the way through so that cutting them into the usual diagonal biscotti shape is easier and the cookies don’t crumble as you cut them. Well, these were way too soft after the first baking, and I knew it, but once again that voice inside my head said “Trust in Martha”. Why, oh, why did I listen?

Oh sure, they look harmless enough, and they do taste rather good, but they are so wrong on so many levels. Notice how insanely thick they are? Yeah, that’s cause they were too soft after the first baking so when I tried to cut them they fell apart. The only way to try to keep them intact? Make them massive. Notice the holes on top where the pistachios fell off because the little buggers didn’t want to stay on? Too many nuts, not enough dough. Then, after the second baking and the cleaning of the crumbly mess in my kitchen from cutting these, the suckers (oh wait, biscotti, not suckers…the…confused cookies?) still were not done in the middle enough. I mean, they were done, it’s not like they were raw, don’t get me wrong, but they were way too soft to be biscotti. So I told the voice in my head to shut up and baked them for longer. But to no real avail. Alas: dry, giant, falling apart, but tasty none-the-less, biscotti.

Smidget attempted to console me as I was rather enraged disappointed at these biscotti, and Martha, for turning out so poorly. She said the wise words of “I’ve tried at least one of her cookie recipes myself, and I found it wasn’t that good.” So all in all, I just have to say, Martha-please take another look at your cookie recipes and make sure everything is set the way it should be.

That being said, I won’t post the recipe until I can find (and or tweak and make my own) recipe that makes the most amazing chocolate-pistachio biscotti around. Although, I’m sure you could find the recipe pretty easily, it is, after all, Martha Stewart’s chocolate-pistachio biscotti. But what to do with the recipe? I’m actually thinking this may make a good tart crust dough. Ya know, chocolate cookie crust with a layer of pistachios and chocolate ganache?

What’s the worst recipe you’ve ever followed? Or, how have your Martha experiences been?