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
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
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.