Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sweet Melissa Sundays - Honey Beescotti



The first post of the Sweet Melissa Sunday Baking Group! First I want to thank all my fellow SMS bakers - thanks so much for baking with me! Thank you Elyse for the numerous shout-outs, you ROCK! The inagural week started with Honey Beescotti (recipe below). Please check what the other talented SMS bakers made by clicking over to the SMS blogroll here.

These appealed to me because they had unusual ingredients - candied orange peel and caraway seeds, and because my parents are coming to visit today and they love biscotti. Unfortunately, there are not many left! (Guess I am going to have to make them again - and will do so gladly). These were DELICIOUS in my opinion. And, yes, I know because I made them lactose free buy subsituting the butter for lactose free margarine.


So, the recipe called for candied orange peel, and strongly encouraged people not to leave them out because of how amazing they are in this biscotti recipe (no - the book did not say amazing, I am paraphrasing loosely here!). The book suggested buying the peel - but I wasn't sure where I could find it so I took a quick spin on trusy google, and found some great step-by-step instructions and inticing photos and decided to try making it myself for the first time. Check out my roundup of several recipes here.

Candied orange peel is so easy to make. It does take a little work to get the peels ready - but you get to enjoy some fresh squeezed orange juice as your reward. And after that, it is just a matter of watching several pots of boiling watter. Super easy. I tasted the peels a little bit after I set them out on the rack to dry, and thought they tasted a little too much like orange peel for my taste. I was a little disappointed - somehow I thought they would magically transform into orange candy that did not taste like an orange rind. Well, I gave these little peels another shot the next morning - and I must say once they harden and mellow, they are REALLY yummy. The rind taste was no longer overpowering. Yay!

So, armed with my very own homemade candied orange peel and my other ingredients, I went over to a good friend's house on Friday night to make dinner and biscotti. We had a blast (thanks Jaci and Ashley). I had the benefit of the comments from my fellow Sweet Melissa bakers (thank you thank you) and so I knew the dough for the beescotti was going to be SUPER sticky - and yes, it really was. I ended up using A LOT of flour to be able to shape the dough into the logs you see below. And if you look closely, you can see the spatula I had to use to get the dough off the parchment paper (after the refrigeration time) in order to form these logs - super sticky. I wonder if added 1/4 cup of flour to the dough would help? Maybe next time.

I didn't experience the spreading problem like some of my fellow bakers did. I did make sure they were nice and chilled before baking, and maybe that's the reason why.

I also did not bake them the second time brown side down, but on their sides, flipping them over halfway through the second bake time. I think I had done this before, and wanted a nice crisp, but can't be too certain why I chose to ignore the instructions!


The finished product was DELICIOUS. I really liked the subtle almond flavor. I can't really taste any honey flavor. And I love the combination of the candied orange peel and caraway seeds. Anise flavored biscotti is generally my favorite. I do think the the candied orange peel amount could be increased, because there is only a bite or two in each biscotti. But if you are not a huge fan of orange flavored things (as I thought I was before trying these - honestly) then the amount in the recipe is good for the occasional zing.



Thanks again to my fellow bakers. I feel so lucky to have such incredible bakers and bloggers to bake along with and learn from. And if you want to join our little baking group, please check out the Sweet Melissa Sundays Blog.


Honey Beescotti


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons chestnut honey (or any flavor, including clover)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped candied orange peel
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
½ cup whole natural almonds, coarsely chopped

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, honey, and salt until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until combined. Add the candied orange peel and beat on high speed for 20 seconds.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and caraway seeds.

3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the almonds.

4. Turn the dough out onto prepared cookie sheet, flatten, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

5. On a lightly floured board, divide the dough in half. Using a little extra flour if the dough feels sticky, roll each half into a log about 14 inches long. Refrigerate the logs until firm, about 30 minutes.

6. Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the cookie sheet with clean parchment paper.

7. Place the logs 4 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the logs are lightly golden and slightly firm. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Turn down the oven to 275 degrees.

8. As soon as the logs are cool enough to handle but still warm, about 10 minutes, carefully peel them off the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Using a serrated bread knife, gently score the logs at ¾ inch intervals on a 45 degree angle. After scoring, cut through each scored line in one motion with a sharp chef’s knife, slicing the logs into pieces.

9. Carefully transfer the cookies to a freshly lined cookie sheet browned side down and not touching one another. Bake for an additional 25 minutes, rotate the pan and continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool on the pan to room temperature.

39 comments:

  1. Yay! Thanks for including us in on the fun - and a great first recipe. Looking forward to lots more tasty treats!

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  2. Great first recipe! I think I'll leave out the caraway seeds (not my favorite) and add lots more candied orange peel next time I make them. And I had to use a spatula to get them off the parchment too!

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  3. YAYAY!!! Thanks for your shout out! Can we talk about how your biscotti turned out perfectly?! I laid mine on their sides to bake, too. And you were sooo right about the candied orange peel--it may not taste divine by itself, but it's magical in these biscotti. I would definitely add more next time. This was such a great first recipe! I'm still sooo excited that you started this group. So excited that I'm using way too many exclamation points in this single post! Oh, and I can totally tell that you're becoming a camera pro. Your pics of these biscotti are fabulous!

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  4. They look yummy!

    I had such fun baking this weeks treat, I can't wait for more!!

    Katie xox

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  5. Your biscotti looks picture perfect. I'm so jealous I didn't get to make them this weekend but am exited for next week's recipe. Thanks so much for starting this group.

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  6. Beautiful biscotti! I love her book. You will definitely enjoy baking from it. My fav recipe is for the "bee stings".

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  7. Thanks for your leg work on the group, Lorelei. I enjoyed the first recipe, and there are lots more good ones to come. Your biscotti are sooo pretty, and I'm really glad you got to taste them. I know they'll be a hit with your folks, too. I can see how you'd like the caraway if you like anise biscotti.
    Nancy

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  8. Perfect! That's how I wished mine turned out! It was still fun and I enjoyed the candied oranges.

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  9. Your biscotti look amazing Lorelei! I enjoyed these a lot too and I'm not even a huge fan of biscotti. I agree with you that they could have used more candied orange peel but they were terrific anyway.

    Thanks again for starting this group! I was already excited but the success of this first recipe has me so looking forward to trying the next one :)

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  10. Your biscotti look wonderful! Thank you so much for starting the group. It's a blast.

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  11. That is one sweet-looking biscotti! And I love just looking at the orange peel. Mouth watering.

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  12. Your biscotti look just perfect! I loved this recipe too, even the caraway seeds. The candied orange peel was such a neat addition, I didn't really think I'd like it but it adds that special something to these. Thanks for a great first recipe pick and for starting such a fun group :)

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  13. Your biscotti and orange peel both look fantastic, and I agree they are delicious. Thanks for starting this new group and getting us off to a great start with this recipe.

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  14. Your biscotti looks so much prettier than mine! I'm not sure why, but my baking temp seemed way too high since some of the biscottis burned :(

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  15. All I can say is YUM!! I really like the candied orange peel!! I have always wanted to make it but never have. I like having the photos, they are great...

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  16. Wow, those look fantastic. Nice job!

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  17. Nice Job for the Opening of Sweet Melissa Sundays. I missed this one and now I wish i didn't. Cant wait for next weekend.

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  18. What a fun baking group! Your biscotti look perfect. I'm just loving that candied orange peel. Reading all of the accounts of this biscotti has me dying to make them!

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  19. Yum, that biscotti looks wonderful! Great photos.

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  20. Looks wonderful. Great job - especially making your own candied orange peel.

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  21. MMMMMM...I love them!!! Thanks so much!!

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  22. Your biscotti look amazing. I'm lactose intolerant and pre-diabetic, so when I bake (which is often) I give away 90% of my goods to neighbors, friends and sometimes people I meet on the street. My hubby rarely eats desserts.

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  23. i've always like the anis+chocolate biscotti, but this might just replace it! love the candied orange peel. Thanks for sharing it!

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  24. I love biscotti and yours turned out lovely. I would love a slice now to dunk into my coffee ;o)

    Maria
    x

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  25. Wow...they look so good! and your pictures as so pretty!

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  26. This looks absolutely amazing! I've always wanted to try to make my own candied citrus peel, it looks really easy.

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  27. These would be perfect with afternoon tea! YUM!

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  28. These are gorgeous! My favorite biscotti recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's book and has almonds and cornmeal, but I got very excited reading the list of ingredients for these and now must make them!

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  29. They look really good. I will have to try to make them.

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  30. Sounds delicious! I love the addition of the homemade candied orange peel.

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  31. i bought the book last year and still didn't do any recipe! now i'm so excited and encouraged! i'll try to follow your tips! thanks!

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  32. Honey beescotti! How clever! I love it and they look delicious.

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  33. This biscotti sounds fantastic. I love the idea of candied orange peel...I'm bookmarking this!

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  34. I have always wanted to make biscotti. Candied orange peels sound like heaven to me. I think it is a fantastic touch to add caraway seeds in. Nicely done. You made it look easy! Have a good visit with the parents!

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  35. Wow your pictures are gorgeous, and the biscotti looks YUM! ;D

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  36. Delicious - I love the addition of orange peel, being a citrus nut. Congrats on the first post for your new group. I don't have the book, but I will lurk for a while and may buy it.

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  37. Love biscotti, love beescotti!

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