Tuesday, 14 October 2008

When the Cookie Crumbles . . .

Welcome to the Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 Edition of Tuesdays With Dorie. Yes, it's that fantastic online baking group who get together once a week and all bake the same recipe from that same glorious book . . . Baking, from my home to yours . . . by the creme de la creme baker of all time, Ms Dorie Greenspan. Whew! (that was a mouthful!)

This weeks recipe was Lenox Almond Biscotti on page 141-143 as chosen by Gretchen of Canela & Comino . Thanks so much Gretchen! I was so excited when I saw that you had chosen this recipe!!

I love, Love, LOVE biscotti! Back in the old days, when I lived in Canada, and was married to my ex, we often used to go to Toronto to visit his sister at her luxury apartment on Young Street right in the downtown area. It was exciting and in a very classy building. They had their own private gym and pool and it was the same building that the famous Canadian Newscaster Keith Morrison lived in. (Yes, I was easily impressed!) One weekend, we even got to stay there by ourselves, which was quite special and almost like a honeymoon, which was somethng we had never had.

Right on the first floor of the apartment building was a coffee shop and they had the most wonderful cakes and cookies on offer, all at a very premium price of course! One time when we were there, my ex told me to choose one of the cookies to have with my coffee. I was so excited!!! There were so many kinds to choose from, and I almost could not make up my mind. I finally chose a biscotti and let me tell you I fell in love right then and there. It was wonderful . . . all crunchy and sweet, full of toasted almonds and a beautiful anise flavour, and, well, just delicious!

Since then, I have made biscotti at home many times, but, for all the different recipes and varieties I have made, not one of them has ever come up to the memory of that very first one I had at that Toronto Coffee shop all those years ago . . .

When I looked at Dorie's recipe and saw her ideas for variety I got really excited. From the outset I thought to myself . . . Hermit Biscotti . . . slender crisp biscotti full of the lovely flavours of hermit cookies . . . all spicy and studded with raisins and nuts . . . Sounds pretty wonderful eh?

Todd and I both love Hermit cookies and this was something I knew we would both enjoy, or so I thought . . .

Well . . . if you are thinking that this doesn't look like biscotti, you are correct. This is what I got instead. A huge pile of crumbs. It's my fault, really. I had run out of baking parchment and so thought that if I greased the pan really, really well there would be no problem. That was my first mistake. I must have also made a mistake with the dough though, because . . . when I took them out of the oven . . . the dough had spread out to completely fill the pan . . . with both logs touching each other in the middle. I tried to lift them off of the cookie sheet to cool and they started to crack, so I thought I better wait until they cooled completely to move them. Once cooled, when I did try to remove them . . . they crumbled into a mass of crumbs. Gretchen and Dorie . . . the birds thank you!!!

I was so disappointed. Todd was so disappointed. These had smelled so gorgeous when they were baking, we had both been drooling in anticipation. I decided to make some Hermit Cookies then and there to help make up for it, and s,o here today, instead of biscotti you are getting Hermit Cookies. I hope y'all don't mind. I will make the biscotti recipe again one day, and properly the next time, using parchment paper, but for now, we are eating Hermit Cookies . . . to help sooth the disappointment, you know how it goes.

If you want to see some really delicious looking examples of Dorie's biscotti, please feel free to hop on over to the Tuesdays With Dorie Blog Roll and of course the recipe can be found on Gretchen's page!

In the meantime, here's my Hermit Cookie Recipe . . . Enjoy!

*Hermit Cookies*

Makes approx. 2 dozen

This version of the traditional Hermit Cookie is a bit different. These are rolled in sugar before baking. Crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside and chock full of spice, raisins and nuts, these please on many levels. It's Todd's favourite cookie!

2 1/4 cups self rising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts
(pecans or walnuts. I like to toast them first)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
more sugar for rolling

Pre-heat the oven to 160*C/325*F. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Place about 1/4 cup of sugar into a small bowl and set aside.

Sift the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Beat in the molasses. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing it in well. Stir in the raisins and walnuts.

Scoop out tablespoons of the dough and shape into 1 inch balls. Drop each ball into the bowl of sugar and roll around to coat. Arrange on the greased cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each one.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom and slightly cracked looking on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat with the remaining dough until it's all gone.

Enjoy with a nice glass of cold milk. Store in a tightly covered container.

Next week, for October 21st, Kelly of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp has chosen, Pumpkin Muffins on page 13. Very seasonal!!!


  1. Ow... too bad it didn't work for you! My first batch was terrible too, but that was my own mistake. I will try again tonight!!

  2. Oh, no, Marie! But you hermits cookies was a good way to save the day! ;o) I've made bisotti lots of time, using various recipe, and with varying results. I keep trying though, for I love crisp biscotti and a fresh cup or tea...mmm...Happy Day, my friend ((HUGS)) Hope to catch you for a chat... :o)

  3. Its too bad it didn't work out, but you have some great looking cookies instead!

  4. one cookie to soothe the loss of another? my kind of woman!! :)

  5. Oh, darn. I love the title! That's just too perfect. So glad you made it better by making a nice batch of hermits.

  6. I think many people had the same problem. At least you got hermit cookies! :)

  7. Marie, I love your cookies, xxxxGloria

  8. Best wishes from Ontario Canada.Its fun o rad your blog (for many reasons) you make my mouth water with your recipes and to think you are from canada living in england is very interesting to me.I live in the border town of Sault Ste. Marie.Its my dream to one day go to visit England as my husband and I are obsessed with most things british.My best child hood friend came over from england at the age of 5 .it was through her the fasination began.You have a gift for writing and cooking.I look forword to reading your blog everyday.Yum yum .The leaves are at their peak and there is a hint of whats to come in the air.My hubby is just gone to Tim Hortons for his coffee and we are still eating turkey. (canada talk) ha ha

  9. Too bad about the biscotti. I need to try some. I have a good Better Homes and Gardens recipe that sounds good.

  10. looks like most of my attempts at baking. :(
    the cookies look really good though!


    (thanks for the award. still trying to find a minute to come up with my 7's. )

  11. The birds were lucky, but so were we, because we got another recipe for a perfect fall cookie! A friend's mother used to bake hermits, but I haven't had them in a long time. I hope you nibbled on some of the biscotti crumbs, though, so you know how good they were.

  12. These biscotti were a kinda hard to deal with! The hermit cookies look delicious and just think, the birds really did get a great treat!

  13. After reading about your first taste of biscotti and your eagerness to taste those baking in the oven, I can only imagine your sad face when they didn't turn out...but if it's any consolation I still remember my first taste of almond biscotti. It was in O'Hare Airport at a Starbuck's. Nothing ever compares to that first tasting when you fall in love with something,does it? Thanks for the memories!

  14. Hopefully the crumbs were tasty? Biscotti flavored like hermit cookies sound wonderful, but I'm okay with just getting hermit cookies :)

  15. What a bummer.

    I am so sorry.

    Your hermits look great though.

  16. Personally, I like the hermit cookies better! At least the birds are happy!

  17. Ohhh, I am sorry that the biscotti did not turn out well. Your birds are lucky to get such a treat. If it had been me I would have probably eaten the crumbs.

    I first tasted biscotti when I was on a Jet Blue flight to NYC to visit our son David and his family. The excitement and joy of the trip made the new cookie experience all the more enjoyable. I had almond biscotti and loved it.
    I've never tried to make them at home....after reading of my dear friend's, who is a chef, experience, I don't think I will.

    The hermit cookies do look great. I can smell them from here.

    I must get busy. Austin has had me awake since 6:00, but other than fix breakfast I've not gotten one thing done....and I can't make this a great day just thinking about it can I?

    Hope all is well with you.
    (((hugs)))) Love, Lura

  18. I am so sorry that they didn't work out! But you can always try again! Maybe if you refrigerating the dough that will help the spread! But WOW do those Hermit cookies look SO good!

  19. Mine turned out horrible, too! The hermit cookies look great. I'm going to bookmark this recipe. My husband will love those hermit cookies!

  20. oh, no! sorry about the crumbly disaster. but your cookies look delish, thanks for the recipe!

  21. Sorry the biscotti didn't work out -- but man, those Hermit cookies sure look great! And the biscotti were probably worth it just for the aroma while they were baking!

  22. I just read a post of yours from a while ago... you said that one thing you want to do before you die is to go to the Salt Lake Temple.

    You fly out to Utah, stay at our house (we have several empty guest rooms) and I will be your personal tour guide!

    Doesn't that sound HEAVENLY?? I guarentee my mom would come up and we would have a grand old time!

    It is an open invitation and I am TOTALLY serious... think about it! (smile)

  23. Marie, I LOVE biscotti but have never made it. I was sent some Gingerbread Biscotti from my partner in a cookie swap along with the recipe and thought I'd died and gone to heaven eating them...but I'm too chicken to make them! Dumb I know-one of these days I'll give them a try. Sorry yours didn't turn out so well-I'm sure they'll be great the next time.
    By the way-I LOVE the sound of those hermit cookies-I'll be giving those a try for sure! I could go for one right now!!!! :)

  24. Everyone is sad for you, but the birds, they are sweetly singing "can you believe how great these crumbs are today?" You give gifts to all...even your new cookie recipe to us! Next week's pumpkin muffins sound fabulous! I am going to look them up in my very own copy of the book, and give it a try!

  25. It's good to know that somebody as accomplished as you still has kitchen mishaps sometimes.

  26. You are human after all. I love Biscotti, I have never attempted to make it and not quite sure if I ever will however, I do love how at least the birds got to enjoy the great morsels. Yeah, for cookies to sooth the soul. Take care sweet friend.

  27. aawwww poor biscotti crumbs. At least the birds enjoyed your baking labors. But man those hermit cookies look delish. Its one of those times when I wish someone would invent a way to reach into the computer for a little taste. HAHA. I hope you do get a chance to try the recipe again. I really enjoyed it and so did my hubs.
    Clara @ iheartfood4thought

  28. too bad about your biscotti, but the cookies look terrific. I will have to try those. I've never heard of hermit cookies. You should try the biscotti again since you love them. I used to get biscotti for Christmas as a gift, now I can make my own!

  29. Oh, sorry your biscotti didn't work out...but your hermit cookies look delicious!!

  30. Too bad about the biscotti! Mine spread a lot, too. But at least they didn't turn to crumbs.

    Thank you for the recipe for Hermit cookies! I don't recall ever having had one -- but every time I read a recipe for them, I think "I'd love those!" Must try it some time.

  31. Those are the best looking crumbs I've ever seen! And good save with the Hermit Cookies, it looks like an amazing recipe.

  32. Your cookies look delicious and thank you for the recipe! Sorry the biscotti didn't work out for you, they were very good.

  33. Hi Marie
    Too bad the biscotti didn't turn out but the hermit cookies look delicious. I like biscotti too, especially when the tip is dipped in chocolate!
    Hugs, Rhondi

  34. As the saying goes... all's well that ends well :)

  35. I can't imagine that the biscotti would have looked better than those scrumptious cookies. Mmmm, it's making me hungry!!! Have a happy day!

  36. what a bummer! oh well, at least the birds were happy:) those cookies sure look like they turned out perfect though!

  37. I had some trouble with this recipe, too, but the taste was so amazing that I am definitely giving it another go around. Love the hermit cookie recipe...thanks, they look great.

  38. Oh sorry you ended up with crumble Marie maybe you could have bound them and eaten them with custard as in a crumble LOL!!Take care God Bless Have a lovely Wednesday.Kath xx

  39. oh shoot--that's practically heartbreaking. :( but the hermit's do sound good!

  40. That's too bad!! But I bet the birds were happy!

  41. Great save! Those cookies look fabulous! :) I had never made biscotti before, so this morning was my first time. i was pretty pleased they came out as good as they did and i conquered a fear at the same time. I'm sorry yours didn't work out, but at least the birdies got some yummies and you saved the day with your cookies :)

  42. Too bad thses didn't work out for you. Your cookies look yummy! I hope you try the biscotti again, it was a great recipe.

  43. You got back on the horse immediately so don't worry about the biscotti. Next time they will be successful. Good Hermit Cookies - will try them sometime.


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