Sunday, April 5, 2009
Honey Beescotti -- Sweet Melissa Sundays
A big thank you to my very sweet blogging friend Michelle at Flourchild who let me know about a brand new baking group -- Sweet Melissa Sundays! Sweet Melissa Sundays was started by Lorelei of Mermaid Sweets, another sweet blogger who wanted to bake through Melissa Murphy's book, The Sweet Melissa Baking Book kind of like Tuesdays with Dorie is baking through Baking From My Home To Yours.
I'm so excited to be a part of Sweet Melissa Sundays from the very first Sunday, and I am really looking forward to seeing some of my favorite TWD blogging buddies on Sunday as well as Tuesday and making lots of new friends baking with this group. There are 100 recipes in this book and this will be a 2 year baking and blogging journey, doesn't that sound like a great time?
Lorelei picked our very first recipe from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book, Honey Beescotti, which we are posting about today! Thank you Lorelei, for starting this wonderful group and picking such a delicious first recipe.
Honey Beescotti features an interesting combination of add-ins in a honey sweetened biscotti, the add-ins include caraway seeds, chopped almonds, vanilla and almond extract, and candied orange peel. Candied orange peel is not something I can find around here, so I checked out some of the links to making your own candied orange peel on the Sweet Melissa Sundays site. If we wanted a small yield using only one orange we could try Giada's recipe on the Food Network site here. Perfect! The oranges we ended up picking up at the store were covered in a 'food grade wax or resin' which made me nervous about using them for the candied peel, but after I took one out and really started scrubbing it I could feel the wax coming off and the regular orange peel underneath, so I felt safe using it.
I had such a fun time in the kitchen making this candied peel, it smelled wonderful, it was really easy, and it was such a fun process to watch. You start out peeling the orange...
then slicing the peel...
boiling it...and I promise I did not place these peels into a sunburst shape, they just morphed into it while boiling!
running it under cold water
boiling again, cold water again
and then simmering for 15 minutes in a sugar water. After that you can shake them in a bowl of sugar
and chop them up for this recipe
and you are all set. I have never been a huge fan of candied citron, but tolerate it in the Christmas pannettone so I figured I'd add it. I really wanted to stick to the exact ingredient list for my first Sweet Melissa Sunday and taste how this somewhat unusual ingredient combination comes together. I ended up loving it in these!
I have to admit the caraway seeds had me a little nervous as well, and two whole teaspoons! Yikes! But I added the full ammount, mainly because I had an unopened bottle of caraway seeds on my spice rack and couldn't really remember why I bought them and figured I might as well start using them up :) They were an interesting addition to these biscotti!
For the baking and shaping, I kind of switched around the directions, on purpose. After I added the chopped almonds (above) and my dough was all mixed up I popped the bowl in the freezer for about 20 minutes, at that time the dough was stiff and easy to shape into logs on my baking mat.
After shaping into logs I did not re-chill, but sent those biscotti logs straight into the oven. I baked the entire 30 minutes and the were perfectly done.
Now I know you are going to laugh at me but I only baked once. You usually bake biscotti twice. Even the name "biscotti" originates from the Latin word biscotum, meaning "twice-baked" or "double-cooked" -- but I like my biscotti a little soft. Yes, I know biscotti are supposed to be hard and crunchy and are perfect to dip into tea or cappuccino BUT I like them crispy on the edges and softer and more cookie like in the middle, and they are still great to dunk in tea. I like softie biscotti...is that so wrong?
After baking and cooling and slicing I let them air dry "marching band style" (à la Dorie) on the cooling rack to crisp up just a little more. These were delicious, I really loved them! Husband was a no go because of the almonds but was impressed with the candied orange peel and said the biscotti made the whole house smell like a coffee shop, ha! My two oldest weren't crazy about them but my littlest one happily munched a couple of these, obviously a fan just like his mommy :)