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Something Carla did on Top Chef last week really resonated with me. After Paula Deen voted her fried fish one of the worst Quickfire dishes, she went on to make fried fish again for the Elimination Challenge. If she makes a dish wrong, she said, she makes it again and again until she gets it right.
Over the past few weeks, I've been dreaming of bacon biscotti. But I just couldn't seem to get it right. I wanted to make savory biscotti but my attempts kept coming out too floury or too eggy. The bacon chunks were too big and caused the biscotti logs to crumble when I tried to cut them. And miraculously, despite the bacon filling, they tasted bland and under-salted.
After last Wednesday's episode I woke up with renewed enthusiasm. "You're making biscotti again?" my fiancé asked incredulously. "Yes," I replied. "I'm channeling my inner Carla. I will not be defeated."
The most successful contestants on Top Chef cook what they know and love. In keeping with that notion, I abandoned the idea of savory biscotti. After all, I wrote a dessert cookbook!
If there is one thing I know, it's baked sweets. I decided to make outrageously decadent chocolate chip bacon biscotti. Instead of crumbling the bacon I pulsed it in the food processor, which solved the problem of the too-large chunks, and also helped to infuse every last crumb of biscotti with smoky bacon flavor.
This bacon chocolate biscotti may not be the biscotti I originally envisioned, but it sure is the stuff of dreams. The rich chocolate chunks are the perfect complement to the salty, meaty bacon. Each bite yields layer upon layer of mostly-sweet-but-also-savory flavors. The next time I make them, I'd toss in a handful of chopped toasted pecans for an extra nutty crunch. This recipe yields about three dozen biscotti. They travel well and will keep for about two weeks, stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
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