This week I made an almond biscotti , something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time now. Of course, the first thing I had to do was cut the recipe in half, as there’s only so much that’ll be eaten, between me, my friends, and the neighborhood raccoons that hide in the dumpsters. In doing so, it made me realize another reason why many recipes call for grams or ounces, rather than cups – it’s far easier to cut grams in half than 1 and 3/4 cups.
It was easy enough to mix together, though I was frustrated once I reached the kneading section. Rather than a firm dough, it was akin to a cookie dough, and my wife ended up suggesting adding a bit of gluten to the mix. It firmed up quickly after that, but I still switched to a dough hook on the mixer, rather than my hands.
The biscotti puffed up in the middle nicely during the back. I’d been worried when I was shaping the loaves that it’d end up more of a rectangle. After letting it cool for about 20 minutes, it was simple enough to slice up, and let toast in the oven for a bit longer. It was particularly nice the next morning with coffee, as I’m rather indecisive during breakfast. Being able to simply open a bag was far preferable to the usual “coffee with coffee” I have on my days off.
This week I wanted to try something a little more extravagant than I usually make. The cookies I used don’t actually have any extra sugar top them, something I was quite pleased with. They ended up being very dense, and while folding them, felt more like a brownie than a cookie.
They tasted wonderful, and were the perfect pairing top the rather large (for the size of the cookie, anyway) amount of icing I was going top use.
Honestly, this was the first time I’ve ever made icing flowers. I used a #104 tip, and an icing nail that, frankly, I didn’t even know we had.
As you can tell from the photos, the icing got warm fairly quickly. Not so warm that I couldn’t use it, but near the end the flowers were getting sorta wilted. I’m still pleased with how they turned out, though it was a good reminder that a cramped kitchen in 85 degree weather wasn’t the best setting to be doing multiple flowers at a time.
Still, the finished cookie came out just as I’d hoped. The dark chocolate cookie was meant to be mud, essentially, and the blue butter-cream being the water. The flower and leaves on top would complete the lily-pad cookie.
In the future though, I suspect using a cookie cutter to make uniform shapes for the base would be best, rather than simply smashing the cookies flat. Also, the next time I’m curious to see how it would look with “water” fondant, and perhaps a green fondant pad, to really bring the look home.
Truth be told, I was a tad wary of this recipe – I’ve tried making cookies from there before, with disappointing results. This time, however, I was quite pleased.
I’m not a huge fan of tequila, and the thought of the larger salt crystals gave me pause. I’m glad I went through with it though. Aside from being an easy recipe, the final result was quite tasty, even without the icing (though to be fair, the icing, and extra sugar/salt mix sprinkled on after baking really made it a step above the rest). The dough also didn’t spread much, though I’m unsure if that was because I baked them right from the fridge, or just the recipe itself.