I’m out of town at my parents’ home in Rochester, NY. My dad had a fall earlier this month and fortunately his injuries, while serious, are not as bad as they could have been. Prior to leaving home, I had made a commitment to make several batches of biscotti for a fundraising event on April 16th for Friends of Karen called “Bubbles and Biscotti.” This necessitated working in an unfamiliar kitchen. My parents have small galley kitchen and I used an oven and equipment I’m not familiar with. It was an enlightening experience to say the least. I have an electric oven at home and Mom has a gas oven. I use only light-colored baking sheets and Mom has all dark ones. She only has one spatula; it works quite well, which is surprising given its size and age!
Based on this experience, I would not recommend using the dark pans for baking biscotti. These pans absorb heat quickly and I found that the bottom of the loaf over-baked turning browner than usual and creating a thicker, tougher bottom. I wasn’t able to decrease the overall baking time by more than five minutes because the loaf wasn’t cooked through. I also had to decrease the time on the second bake, the biscotti browned quickly and it’s a little harder than I like. I also lowered the heat the next day, but it made very little difference.
What you should take away from this is that recipes give cooking times that can only be approximate. On the first try, it’s best to check early and be sure to make a note on the recipe page of any differences for the future.
I made the deadline, baking 13 batches of biscotti, with a couple of days to spare for shipping!