As I wrote on Monday, I mostly eat healthfully. However, I do have a sweet tooth, which I keep under control more often than not. Sometimes, though, I just need to give into the cravings. (Although I do try and schedule cravings for the weekends. I am a person of structure.)
These biscotti are indulgent. Filled with caramelized pecans and topped with butterscotch, they have a good amount of sweet to them. The sprinkling of salt, albeit a small part of the recipe, is key. Without the salt, these treats feel like a non-stop sugar explosion. The tiniest amount of salt puts the sugar into check.
One of the things that I love about biscotti is their long shelf life. I’ve been shipping them to faraway family members for a long time. Now that I have a son who is 2,000 miles away, it’s one homemade sweet treat that I know will survive the trip. On the other hand, the batch that I sent to the office was gone within minutes. Yay for treats that are good right away and a week later.
The funny thing about biscotti is that so many people don’t make their own. They’re a treat ordered at a coffee shop or are bought through an online shop. What surprises me about this is that these are simple cookies to make. Shape dough into loaves, and bake. Slice into wedges, and bake again. Maybe it’s a bit more work than a drop cookie, but they’re definitely easier than shaped sugar cookies.
If you have some free time, biscotti are worth making at home. They could be a fabulous part of Sunday brunch, a simple dessert after dinner, or a fine treat with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Plus, as I mentioned, they store incredibly well, so you can make a batch and have it on hand for weeks. (Alternately, you could share them with friends, and devour them right away!)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup butterscotch chips
- 1 Tb. shortening
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350
- Heat large nonstick frying pan over medium heat.
- Add brown sugar, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes, until it starts to melt.
- Add pecans, continuing to stir, for an additional 2 minutes, or until sugar clings to pecans.*
- Transfer to waxed paper.
- Immediately separate pecans, so they don’t end up in clumps.
- Beat butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer on speed 2.
- Add eggs (1 at a time) and vanilla, beating until smooth.
- Add flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing until combined.
- Stir caramelized pecans into dough.
- Divide dough in half.
- Shape each half into 11″ x 2″ rectangle, using floured hands.
- Place loaves 2″ apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the dough is set.
- Leaving the oven on, remove the baking sheet and cool loaves for 15 minutes on cookie sheet.
- Cut the loaves into diagonal slices 1/2″ thick.
- Return slices to cookie sheet with the cut sides down. Bake for 11 minutes.
- Turn over slices, and bake for 11 minutes more.
- Remove biscotti from oven, and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Combine butterscotch chips and shortening in a small bowl.
- Microwave in 10-15 second increments, stirring after each, until fully melted.
- Spoon butterscotch over one side of each biscotti.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Chill until butterscotch sets.
- *Be fully attentive. If you cook too long, the sugar will scorch, and you will have burnt pecans.