Every so often, I’ll have a burst of energy and a strong desire for something sweet. I’ll start searching my cookbooks or combing the internet for a new recipe to try. Tonight I tried two new recipes: almond biscotti and brown sugar shortbread cookies.
Biscotti are really great, crunchy cookies that are baked twice to get their unique texture. These cookies were very flavorful and crunchy. I’m sure they will be even better tomorrow with my morning coffee! I used a recipe from The Joy of Baking and it was easy to follow and helped me create these cookies in a relatively short time. I think a sprinkle of powdered sugar would be a nice way to turn up the biscotti’s sweetness. Or maybe dipping them in dark chocolate. Here are some shots of the finished products!
As if 2 dozen biscotti weren’t enough, I decided to try my hand at shortbread. That was not so good. The recipe that I used from Recipe Matcher was simple to follow and very straightforward. I had my oven set to 300 degrees F and it was preheated. I put the cookies in for 20 minutes and nothing, they were still dough. So I left then in for 5 more minutes. Again, nada. Another 5 minutes….nada. So, this time I turned up the heat to 350 degrees and waited another 10 minutes. The cookies were golden brown, but they weren’t very tasty. Unfortunately, they were just very dry and crumbly and not even very sweet.
I’ve never made shortbread before, so I don’t know what I did wrong or if I should have left them in longer. I do know that I had issues with my brown sugar. I have yet to find a way to effectively store my brown sugar so that it doesn’t turn into a huge, dry block of sugar. So, while I did start my recipe by beating room temperature butter, I had crumbly, dry brown sugar that I actually had to pound out to pulverize. It wasn’t a pretty or fun task. Maybe my dried out brown sugar was the problem? I dont know. I may try shortbread again another day, but for now, these cookies would probably only be good for crumbling over ice cream. Here’s some shots.
I noticed right away the flecks of the brown sugar that were not properly mixed because they were too big. I also noticed they had an odd consistency. Some of the lessons I’ve learned from this is that I NEED to learn how to store brown sugar properly and I need to find a different recipe for shortbread cookies.