Pecan Praline Biscotti

30th September 2016

pecan praline biscotti Pralines are a SOUTHERN thing, much in the same way clam chowder is a New England thing – by which I mean there are certain foods that just bring to mind a certain part of the country or even a city. If you’re from The Lou think gooey butter cake, toasted ravioli, square cut cracker thin crust pizza, pork butts, and Ted Drewes (it’s a THANG). Many people think of New Orleans when they think praline, and since I found myself in The Big Easy earlier this month to attend my first ever Bouchercon (!!!), a place where one would rub elbows with mystery writers and pals alike … well, you know: #biscottimode

These biscotti, much like their confection counterparts, are buttery, brown sugary, and pecany — however, these biscotti also feature a kiss of salt to knock them over the edge into “the stuff dreams are made of” territory. Amazing what a little salt can do to a baked good, isn’t it?

Sidenote: clearly the BEST praline is the kind you can snap in half (side eyes the soft chewy kind); shout out to Laura’s Candies in the French Quarter — y’all keep on keeping on and I’ll see you on my next visit, because I might now kinda sorta get the obsession with these little confections of delight.

Pecan Praline Biscotti

Ingredients:

1 stick butter, room temp
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp butter extract
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
2 tsp sugar in the raw
1/2 tsp finishing salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Using the paddle attachment, cream butter and two kinds of sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. Add vanilla and butter extract, 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 pecans until fully incorporated.

Scoop dough out onto a Silpat covered baking sheet and form into a roughly 15×4 inch block. Dust the top of the biscotti with raw sugar and finishing salt mix. 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 15-20 minutes.

Remove biscotti from oven, and place on a cooling rack, they will continue to “crisp” as they cool. Once completely cooled you can store your biscotti in an airtight container.

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Biscotti ai fichi, noci e caramello

31st July 2016

fig walnut and caramel biscottiThis biscotti quest started with a simple snapshot of some gelato posted on Twitter by the ever lovely Melissa Lenhardt (have you read Sawbones yet? No? You really need to, like RIGHT NOW). From there things spiraled a bit, as they tend to do when biscotti is mentioned in my general vicinity, and … well … you know how this story ends:

I did the thing. In fact, I did the thing twice because the first batch – while perfectly fine – wasn’t quite right. Solution: put the caramel IN THE BISCOTTI (because drizzle topped biscotti were gooey and ugh, it’s too humid here for that).

This is probably one of my favorite biscotti conceptions I’ve made in just over the year that I’ve been producing biscotti (at least for this blog). There’s something that happens between the figs and the caramel which I can’t quite explain – but it’s the perfect amount of sweetness – which balances nicely with the earthiness of the walnut (note: these are ENGLISH WALNUTS, not the horrid bitter thing that my state is known for growing. *cough**black walnuts**cough*).

Biscotti ai Fichi, Noci e Caramello (Fig, Walnut, & Caramel Biscotti)

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 TBSP vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup dried black figs, chopped
1/3 cup caramel bits (I used the Kraft)

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 walnuts, figs, and caramel bits; fully incorporating between each addition.

Scoop dough out onto a Silpat covered baking sheet and form into a roughly 15×4 inch block. Dust the top of the biscotti with 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 15-20 minutes.

Remove biscotti from oven, and place on a cooling rack, they will continue to “crisp” as they cool. Once completely cooled you can store your biscotti in an airtight container.

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