Not-So-Hottie Biscotti

Published January 11, 2012 by jrm17

Baking is one of my favorite things to do (It helps that the end result is usually something with chocolate).  So I thought since we were having a picnic, we would try to make something for dessert.  I’ve been wanting to try to make biscotti for a while now but never wanted to actually take the time to go through all the steps for making it from scratch.  Plus, we needed something that was pretty easy and quick to make so we could make it to where we wanted to go.  I did a little research and found this recipe for Cake Mix Biscotti.

It seemed easy enough.  We just had to add a few things to the cake mix and we were good to go.  The only thing that would take time would be to bake it.  Plus, it was a recipe that could easily be altered to fit our tastes (The original with lemon cake mix and white chocolate doesn’t even sound appealing to me).

I knew things were going to go wrong before I even started putting everything into the mixing bowl (Yes, I can even screw up a recipe that simple).  While I was looking for a good cake mix biscotti recipe, I found that a lot of them said to make sure the mix was not the kind that had the pudding addition in it because that would keep the biscotti from getting their crunchy texture.  Well, of course, the only box of cake mix we had was for super moist cake…and there at the bottom was an exclamatory statement about the pudding in the mix (Any other time I’d be pretty stoked since I like moist cake…it’s just icing I hate). 

Well, I figured that it was the only cake mix we had so I used it anyway.  I had to add more vanilla than the recipe called for (We were using yellow cake mix so we could add in anything we wanted and it would still be yummy) because there wasn’t enough liquid to get all the dry ingredients mixed into the dough.  For me, more vanilla isn’t going to be anything bad and no one said anything.  I guess it didn’t hurt any more than the wrong cake mix.

We separated the dough into three pieces (It wasn’t runny like cake mix is.  The recipe makes it more like cookie dough and easy to work with).  We wanted to add dark chocolate chips to one, cinnamon sugar to another, and cocoa powder to the third.  The issue here was that the pieces of dough were so small and thick that it was difficult to make additions.  The chocolate chips were not evenly spread throughout that piece.  The cinnamon wasn’t either (I added cinnamon sugar on top so that problem was fixed).  And as for the cocoa powder…that was a disaster.  I had to mix it using my hands and it came out with this weird marbled look.  In the end, it looked pretty though.  It just wasn’t chocolate.

Now me being me, I didn’t print the recipe.  I just wrote down the necessary stuff, figuring I know enough about biscotti and baking that I could be fine without too much help from the recipe.  Well, I was stupid.  I didn’t realize that it says to make the dough into a loaf on a cookie sheet.  I put the dough into a loaf pan–half chocolate chip and half cinnamon–and let it bake for the first time (I’m pretty sure one of the recipes I found said to do it that way).  Since the other third needed baked, I actually did just make a loaf and put in on a cookie sheet without thinking about the recipe.

The one not in the loaf pan came out like biscotti.  It got baked enough the whole way through the first time and then got crunchy after slicing it and baking in the second time.  It even looked like biscotti.  The others were a whole different story.  It was too thick to begin with and, therefore, did not want to bake the whole way through (Something I normally have no problem with).  Then because it wasn’t baked completely it didn’t want to come out of the pan easily.  Yeah, the idea to turn it over and just kind of beat it out of the pan was the worst idea ever (It would probably work if it were completely done).  Everything just fell apart.  To try to salvage what we had, we made the crumbs into a kind of biscotti shape and sliced what we had. 

The remainders of our not-so-hottie biscotti. Not pretty but still deelish

In the end, it tasted good.  Not exactly crunchy like biscotti but it was yummy.  We came up with some tips if you want to try this recipe.  Make sure your cake mix isn’t the kind with pudding.  Biscotti can’t be moist (It’s kind of like a cookie if it’s like what we made).  If you want to try multiple kinds, use more dough (For three kinds, two boxes would have probably worked).  Most of all, make the loaf and make sure it isn’t real thick (That’s partially why ours wouldn’t bake completely).  It wasn’t pretty but that didn’t stop us from eating it.  We’ll definitely be using this recipe again…just with the modifications next time.


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