This is literally my first-ever recipe, from over 20 years ago. It’s easy to make and adapts well to variations, so it’s my go-to when I need to provide a baked goody or to include in a gift basket. Or to eat, which is often what happens to half the first batch. 😊
I was a complete novice in the kitchen at this point, having foolishly refused to learn anything from my Mom for years. I’m fortunate that I finally came to my senses, and this was the recipe that started me on my culinary path.
At the time, I was working in my first office job. Nearing Christmas, I was happily surprised by seeing some gifts left on my desk. Then, of course, I started to panic. I didn’t have the money to reciprocate, but I really liked my coworkers and wanted to share in the season.
I decided to make cookies. Who doesn’t like a little treat at the holidays? So I went to a standby chocolate biscotti recipe from my Mom. I figured it was a safe bet, since how could I go wrong with a cookie that gets baked twice? 😉
Cue the problems:
~ I wasn’t a baker, unless slicing and baking logs of that refrigerated cookie dough counts.
~ I am allergic to chocolate, and didn’t have a taste for it (even just cocoa). But being a kitchen novice, I didn’t understand concepts like ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ ingredients and how they affect things like cookies.
I just took out the cocoa and didn’t add flour to compensate.
Despite this, Mom agreed (warily) to be my taste-tester. The wonderful thing, though, is that the final product worked! The end result didn’t have the same hard texture of traditional biscotti, though, and Mom declared that they were more like a squishy biscotti.
The Bisquishie(c) was born!
INGREDIENTS: Basic Vanilla Biscotti
copyright 1994 by Lauren Bradford (aka The Food Puzzler)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour of choice (see NOTES)
Optional adds: chocolate chips, toasted nuts, sprinkles.
Optional toppings: melted chocolate or candy melt or confectioner’s sugar glaze, same with mini choc chips, toasted nuts, sprinkles.
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, add in the butter and sugar. With a hand mixer, beat on low speed to get the butter and sugar incorporated and smooth.
3. Crack your eggs into a bowl and beat, then add to the butter-sugar mixture and incorporate.
4. Add in the vanilla, salt, and baking powder.
5. Add in the flour and mix until thoroughly combined.
6. If you are adding in optional ingredients, fold them in by hand or they’ll break up and bleed into the batter. (The end result still tastes good, if you prefer not to hand-mix here.)
7. Line a cookie sheet pan with parchment paper (optional if using a non-stick pan, but handy for product release and pan cleanup.) The dough is sticky, so with slightly wet hands, form the dough into one or two logs of 1 inch thickness.
8. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through this time to ensure even baking. They’re ready to come out when an inserted knife or toothpick comes out clean.
9. Remove from the oven and cool at least 15 minutes, then slice to desired thickness. You should get 12-15 from a single log or twice that of smaller pieces from two logs.
10. Lay the slices cut-side down (either side is fine) and return to the oven for another 5 minutes, then flip to the other cut side and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
11. If topping, let the bisquishies cool completely first.
Bisquishies store well in an airtight container and out of direct sunlight for up to a week, or store for months in same containment in a freezer.
For those who aren’t partial to vanilla, here’s my recipe alterations for cocoa-nut and peanut butter.
You use the same ingredients as above, with one change: remove 1/2 cup flour and replace with 1/2 cup cocoa powder of choice.
I recommend an extra step as well, since cocoa powder seems to love flying everywhere. Add it to the bowl after creaming the liquids, salt and baking powder together–and stir by hand–then add in the flour.
INGREDIENTS: Peanut Butter
After adding in the flour, add in between 1/2 and 1 cup peanut butter powder, starting with a 1/2 cup and adding more until the dough has a strong but still workable consistency. Top with chopped or sliced nut of choice and pat down into the dough. This adds nice crunch and also alerts people to the presence of nuts in the batter.
For a PB&J, stir in dehydrated fruits. Don’t laugh (ok, laugh at will): I get these in the baby food section of the grocery store. Other varieties usually have lots of added sugar, which will throw off the texture and taste.
For a spin on that favorite of peanut butter-chocolate treats, stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips or melt the chips and drizzle over the tops of cooled bisquishies.
~ Appreciating that some people require gluten-free flours, I have done a little experimenting over time. 😊
Certain flours will work well, others might not meet your needs. In addition to traditional wheat flour and spelt (a non-hybrid relative of wheat), I have had luck with all-purpose gluten-free flour. Soy flour works, but only if you’re making chocolate variations. Cocoa masks the cheesy smell and taste Soy flour has when cooked.