Culinary Delights

Botched Biscotti

In the spirit of truth and honesty, I would like to admit that I made a mistake in the kitchen this past week. I managed to royally botch a batch of biscotti.  My grandma loves to have biscotti with her coffee and I love baking it for her.  Traditionally, I use a chocolate chip version but this week I wanted to try using Heath toffee bits instead.  I set to work on a batch the other night.  Apparently, I was just a wee bit distracted because I did not follow the recipe as I should have.  The botched biscotti is pictured above.

Here is the biscotti recipe from Giada de Laurentiis that I usually follow:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground anise seed (I never use the anise seed)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Add the ground anise seed and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Form the dough into a 16-inch-long, 3-inch-wide log. Transfer the log to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.

Place the log on the cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake the cookies until pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.  (The biscotti can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

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For my accidental version, I put the sugar in with the dry ingredients (oops!) and then decided to add an additional 1/2 cup of sugar to cream with the butter.  I baked it for 30 minutes as per usual.  It spread out.  It flattened out.  It looked dreadful.  It looked awful.  As far as the first round of biscotti baking goes, it was a total goner.  I thought it was absolutely ruined but decided to take a nibble and see what it tasted like.  Lo and behold, it was an accidental sweet treat success.  It became the hit of our household.  My husband and son gobbled it up to the point of belly aches.  My husband asked if I could repeat the ‘mistake’.  Oh, you bet I could!  My sweet son asked for pancakes the next morning and ‘some of those’ with his cute little smile that tells me he’s in love with the sweet.  The end result was a sort of chewy, yummy, cookie-like treat.  As is such with the life span of most sweet treats at our home, the botched biscotti did not last more than 24 hours.

I know a few of you who have an aversion to chocolate (gasp!) and these would be a great treat for you to try.  The toffee bits were melty just like I would prefer my chocolate to be.  Based on my addiction to the cacao bean and its descendants, I can only imagine that these would make a good substitute.

Here is my version, also known as Our Happy Accident, adapted from Giada’s.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar (for flour mixture)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (to cream with butter)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • I do not use the anise seeds
  • 1 bag Heath Toffee Bits

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, 3/4 cup sugar and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup sugar and butter in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the toffee bits.

Form the dough into a 16-inch-long, 3-inch-wide log. Transfer the log to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.  Cut into bars and devour.

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Have you ever made a mistake in the kitchen?  I would love to hear your botched recipe story and hope that you were able to turn it into some sort of success.  As for me, I think I just got lucky!

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