Biscotti

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Butter-Pecan Biscotti by King Arthur Flour

About 15 years ago I ordered a biscotti pan from King Arthur Flour and it came, as a set, with a very nice biscotti baking book.  The pan also had it’s very own recipe included with the set.  I figured since I had never made biscotti before, I would start with the recipe that came with the pan and branch out to the fancier recipes in the book after I knew what I was doing.

That initial recipe was so versatile that I’ve yet to use the book that came with the pan. I’ve made this biscotti recipe at least 6 different ways and I’m still experimenting with other combinations.  Biscotti make lovely teacher gifts, office treats, and nice “thinking of you” gifts for friends and neighbors.  Because it is a hard cookie, they also travel well in the mail.

I can never bake these cookies without thinking of Mrs. Sweeney, Bobby’s junior high school Spanish teacher (her husband , Mr. Sweeney, was Danielle’s 6th grade teacher, too).  Of all the teachers that ever received them, she always appreciated them the most.  So I bake these in honor of Mrs. Sweeney and all the other great teachers that have made an impact on our children’s lives.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

*This recipe calls for butterscotch baking chips.  Let your imagination go and try various combinations of nuts and chips.  For instance; chocolate chips and walnuts, mint and white chocolate chips (no nuts), dark chocolate chips and pistachios, peanut butter chips and peanuts, butter brickle and almonds,etc.  Just go the baking aisle of the grocery store and get inspired.

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

3 Tablespoons vegetable shortening

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (this is the flour I use)

2/3 cups pecan pieces, toasted*(I used slivered almonds for this batch and baked them for about 6 minutes)

2/3 cup butterscotch chips (I used Heath Bar brickle bits for this batch)

*Toast pecans in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 7-9 minutes, or until they smell “toasty” and are beginning to brown.  Allow to cool before using.

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Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar.

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2. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl.

3. Beat in the vanilla, baking powder and salt.  Mix in the flour, one cup at a time, until you have a cohesive, well-blended dough.

4. Add the nuts and chips, mixing until they are well distributed.

5. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined, or lightly greased biscotti pan (If you don’t have a biscotti pan, a baking pan with sides will work just the same as long as it is at least 13 inches long).

6. Wet your fingers and pat the dough into a 12x 4 1/2 inch log (it will spread some during baking).  Shape the dough so that it is slightly mounded in the middle and lower on the sides.

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7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 30 minutes.  Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

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8. Transfer the log to a cutting board and using a serrated knife, slice the log diagonally into 1/2 inch slices (mine end up a little closer to 1 inch wide slices).  Because of the nuts and chips, the biscotti are apt to crumble a little, so saw slowly.

9. Place the slices on their sides on an ungreased baking sheet (parchment lining makes clean-up easier), or use a Silpat.  Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, flip them and bake for another 20 minutes.  The biscotti should be dry and beginning to turn brown.  Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

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