French Frdays with Dorie

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lenox Almond Pancakes

Oh, sorry, my bad, I mean Lenox Almond Biscotti! These are the oddest biscotti I have ever made. Okay, I don't make biscotti all that often, I have no idea why not - they are darned easy - but nevertheless - I do not make them frequently. However, when I do make them, I can assure you, they look a boatload better than these flat-ass turkeys!

This recipe was selected by Grethen of Canela & Comino.

Aside from the appearance I found the almond extract too heavy in these. It's not as much as a chef I once had the misfortune to encounter liked to use but it is a lot. I'm fairly confident he purchased his almond extract by the barrel and used a good quart (or rather a bad quart!) in the meal he prepared for my group. He used it in each and every item we ate (make that each and every item we were served) that night and burned out the sinuses of a small group of women in Parkersburg, WV. I think we all still bear the mental scars! But, I digress, Obviously, the amount in this recipe doesn't match his extreme, but still, I found the taste strong enough to jolt me back to that very unpleasant memory.

Unlike several of the other bakers, I do like the use of cornmeal in the dough. I like the bite it gives to the cookie. Mine are so thin that they would have crunch and bite in every piece anyway, but the cornmeal would ensure this even in a cookie that is not as dry as mine. I'm not a wine drinker but for those who do drink wine with their biscotti I am sure the cornmeal would provide an interesting layer of flavor.

I thought the problem was in my execution so I made another batch of the biscotti this evening. Tonight I was very careful to ensure that my logs were the requisite 1.5 inches (or less) in width. They are slightly taller, but still they look more like rolled cookies than they do biscotti. I also decreased the amount of almond extract. They are slightly better looking than the batch above, but are still more pancake than biscotti!

To ensure myself that I could still make a good biscotti, I made a different kind for comparison. Why I thought a recipe I cobbled together would prove anything to me, I do not know. But, nevertheless, these did turn out much more like I expect biscotti to behave.

I'm not sure how they taste. I don't like coconut at all, so I don't find them particularly appealing. They look pretty good, but the coconut taste is too apparent for my taste buds. I tried a few crumbs and decided I would get taste opinions from the folks at work tomorrow!

I think I got carried away with add-ins so they were a bit soft in the middle, but they are drying out nicely. I am calling them Tropical Fruit Biscotti.

My recipe was:

1 stick of butter

1 cup butter

1/2 cup diced dried pineapple

1/2 cup diced dried papaya

1/4 cup rum (I soaked the fruit in this)

3/4 teaspoon lemon extract

2 eggs

3 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup toasted coconut

3/4 cup chopped nuts, toasted

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

I creamed the butter and sugar. Then I added the eggs. Into this I put the soaked fruit and lemon extract. I mixed this until everything was incorporated. Then I added the dry ingredients (which I had tossed together). After I added the dry ingredients I added the chopped nuts and white chocolate chips and mixed until they were just combined. Then I turned the dough out onto parchment paper and formed it into two logs of equal size. I baked these for 20 minutes at 375. I removed them from the oven and allowed them to cool for about 15 minutes. I moved the parchment paper to a rack to facilitate the cooling. I reduced the oven heat to 350. I then cut the logs into diagonal slices and moved them back into the oven for 20 minutes.

In Dorie's book she says she makes the Lenox Almond Biscotti very frequently. Either she has a lot better luck with them retaining their shape than I did, or she really likes a flat thin biscotti. I guess I'll find out when I try her other biscotti recipe. I definitely won't be trying this one again. I will stick with my King Arthur's Flour version. It never lets me down.


Qataria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Qataria said...

ROFL @ Lenox pancakes.

I had a similar experience with this recipe. Try adding a bit more flour. It helped with the spreading problem for me.

And LOL at the almond extract story. You could try as I did and just use 1/2 a teaspoon almond (or half a drop if you hate it that much :) along with 1 tsp vanilla.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Oh well, I am glad you tried - twice even to make these. Too bad they just did not behave as they should have! Thanks for participating!

n.o.e said...

Good job on ALL THOSE BISCOTTI! I chilled my logs for half an hour and that controlled the spreading for me. I like the cornmeal and flavor also. Your KA ones sound really tasty.

Barbara said...

Too bad you didn't like them! A lot of folks had very flat biscotti. Maybe that's how Dorie likes them. You can also try chilling the dough before baking--that seems to help.

Love your tropical fruit variation!