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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Honeycomb & Dark Chocolate Biscotti


Revelstoke Templeton-Vane, this biscotti is for you. Honeycomb for your addiction to sweets, and dark chocolate for ... I could say for your luscious locks, as the ever lovely Holly Faur suggested, but really it's 'cause you hit high on my dark-haired, sassy, and broody Englishman-o-meter. I can hear you all out there wondering who in the Holy Ned (ten points to Gryffindor if anyone can tell me what the derivation is for that phrase) Mr. Revelstoke Stoker is. He's the latest and greatest sparring partner for Deanna Rayburn's newest heroine Ms. Veronica Speedwell, both featured in A Curious Beginning (which is quite possibly my most favoritest of Deanna's novels - I want to be Veronica when I grow up), which came out today. It's a glorious ride of a book (I know because I was lucky enough to win an Advanced Reader's Copy), and should make its way onto your reading list if you like mysteries, strong female characters, shenanigans, and fantastic story telling.

Note: I followed this recipe to make honeycomb only I used 2 1/2 TBSP black forrest honey (strong honey flavor) and 2 1/2 TBSP golden syrup, instead of all golden syrup because I figured something called honeycomb needed to have honey in it.

Note: if you want to make the honeycomb sugar take 1/4 cup sugar and a scant fourth of the honeycomb and pulse in a food processor together. It makes WAY more than the 1/4 you'll add to the biscotti and sprinkle over the top before baking. This is just one more way to get more honeycomb flavor into the biscotti, but is not necessary  - the biscotti will turn our just fine without the addition of honeycomb sugar.


Honeycomb & Dark Chocolate Drizzled Biscotti

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 sugar (alternatively 1/4 cup honeycomb sugar + 1/2 sugar -- see note)
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 ounces honeycomb blizted in food processor
3 ounces 72% dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Using the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. Add vanilla, mix to incorporate.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to creamed butter and sugar mixture. Continue to mix until a dough has formed.

Mix in blitzed honeycomb (it's okay if some of the pieces are large).

Scoop dough out onto a Silpat covered baking sheet and form into a roughly 15×4 inch block. (If you have it, dust the top of the block with a bit of honeycomb sugar). Bake until a light golden color (approx. 25 minutes). Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes.

Carefully remove log from baking sheet to cutting board. Using a long knife (serrated if you prefer) slice log into 1/2 inch wide pieces. Return pieces to baking sheets, and return to oven. Bake for additional 15 minutes.

Remove biscotti from oven, and place on a cooling rack, they will continue to “crisp” as they cool. Once completely, drizzle with melted dark chocolate - pop biscotti in the fridge for five to ten minutes to help chocolate set. Store in an airtight container.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rhubarb, Cinnamon & Sour Cream Muffies


Muffies. Do people outside of St. Louis know what muffies are? I guess what I'm asking is what do you call muffin tops in your neck of the woods? They've always been muffies to me. Funny story: first time I recall having a muffie is when my next door neighbor took me to the pool in grade school and she got lunch from what will always be known as Bread Co (cough-Panera-cough) - and our treat was a chocolate chip muffie. Why is this funny, you ask? Well, her dog's name was Muffy and when she asked if I wanted to have a muffie for dessert there was a bit of disconnect. I was suddenly very worried for her dog ... and me.

Maybe this isn't really a haha-funny story. It's more of a, holy crap English is a weird language story.

Muffin top (aka: muffies): the best part of a muffin, hands down. I will often just eat the top of a muffin and be done with it. This usually has something to do with the fact that muffins can be gargantuan, and that's where all the goodies (like streusel) are located.

Let's take a minute to discuss the fact that it is nearing the end of August and my local source of rhubarb is STILL churning out stalks of loveliness. I mean ... holy growing season, Batman. Not that I'm complaining. Far from it. I love me some tart stalks of goodness. And to me, that's the best part of this recipe, the tartness. People tend to feel like they need to squelch the tartness of things by overloading on sugar. I'm the opposite. I really like LOVE that thing that makes your lips pucker.

The cinnamon does a nice job of balancing out the tartness with a bit of cinnamonny heat. The chopped pecans offer some much needed texture. All in all this is a great treat to whip up for breakfast.


Rhubarb, Cinnamon, & Sour Cream Muffies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 - 2 cups rhubarb, diced (fresh or frozen will work)
2 eggs
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter (8 TBSP), softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
pecan halves, chopped
cinnamon-sugar (for topping)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Using the paddle attachment,  cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing completely.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to sugar and butter mixture alternating with sour cream, mixing well after each addition.

Fold in rhubarb. The batter will be thick, do not over mix.

Scoop a heaping 1/4 cup of batter into your muffie tin (if you don't have a muffie pan go ahead and use a muffin tin, these bake up just as nice in muffin form). Sprinkle each muffie with cinnamon-sugar and chopped pecans.

Bake for 19-20 minutes. Muffies will have a nice golden color, and a toothpick should come out clean if stuck into the middle of the muffie.

Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Once cool store in an air tight container or freeze.