Friday, November 8, 2013

Palm Beach Biscotti

Palm Beach Biscotti
Source: Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies (Random House, 1995 ed.), pg. 31.

This is the third biscotti recipe that I have tried from Maida's book "Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies". The entire first chapter is devoted to biscotti and there are about 10 recipes altogether. The previous recipes I tried (Barbara's Milk Chocolate Biscotti and Macadamia Shortbread Biscotti) were so popular with friends and family that they have been pestering me to make more.

Biscotti is surprisingly easy to make but it does take some time as you have to freeze it and rebake it a second time. The hardest part for me is during the final baking and removing it from the oven before it overbakes. You have to keep a constant eye on it.

The great thing about biscotti is that is will last forever if stored in an airtight container. I made this batch to take on our beach vacation a few weeks ago. I didn't have time to get final photos so I left a some in the kitchen so I could take the photos after we returned. That batch tastes the same as the previous one. 

If you like biscotti (and it is addictive), try and make your own. It is so much better than that purchased in stores.

1 1/2 cups sifted unbleached flour
Scant 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
10 oz. (3 cups) pecan halves (or large pieces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and use the lower 1/3 rack. Butter 2 loaf pans (they need to have a 6 cup capacity) and dust them generously with fine, dry bread crumbs and set aside.

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

Beat the butter until soft and add the vanilla extract.

Add the sugar...

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well.
On low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients until mixed.

Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir in the pecans.

Divide the batter between the 2 loaf pans - smooth the tops. Form a trench down the middle of each loaf - this will prevent them from forming a high mound.
Bake for about 55 minutes, reversing the pans about halfway through to ensure evening baking.

Wet 2 paper towels, fold them in half and place on top of each loaf. This will prevent a crust from forming on top of the loaves that would crumble when cut.

Now cover with aluminum foil. Let the cakes cool.

After cooling, remove the aluminum foil and the paper towels. Carefully removed from the pans. The loaves will be very shallow. Wrap the loaves in plastic wrap and freeze for several hours or longer.

After removing the loaves from the freezer, allow them to sit for about 5 minutes to slightly thaw. Use a long, serrated bread knife (or similar) to slice the cake into thin slices. Preheat your oven to 325 while doing this.
The sliced pieces must now be baked again. Place them on an unlined cookie sheet. Return them to the 325 degree oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes (it may take longer depending on the thickness). Watch them carefully - as soon as they start to change color (to a darker brown), remove them from the oven. You may have to remove them one at a time as they will not all bake at the same time. Place them on paper towels to cool. After cooling, they can be stored in an airtight container.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've made the ginger/pecan version of this recipe for years - it's wonderful. The lemon/pistachio variation is great as well.