Friday, April 29, 2011

Dessert Wars. Part 1 Of 4. Rosie Makes Vanilla Biscotti.

Rosie is making Vanilla Biscotti as part of her April entry into an ongoing dessert competition - Dessert Wars. The theme this month is Vanilla Dreams.
This is the first of four posts - four different vanilla dreams - which I will be entering tomorrow in the Dessert Wars contest. I don't like to do four posts in one evening, but I need to link to these recipes in my official Dessert Wars entry tomorrow.
Ingredients for Vanilla Biscotti: 6 TB butter 2/3 cup sugar 1/4 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp vanilla extract the seeds from 1 vanilla bean 2 eggs 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 TB of water) Beat butter, sugar, salt, vanillas, and baking powder until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. At low speed of mixer, add in flour, stirring until smooth. Shape dough on a greased pan into a log about 14 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Smooth top and sides with a wet spatula. Brush with egg wash. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes. Spritz the top and sides of the log with room-temperature water. This will soften the crust and make slicing a bit easier. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Wait five minutes, then cut the log crosswise into 1/2 - 3/4-inch slices. Set the biscotti on edge in the baking sheet. Return to oven and bake for about 25 minutes. You want them slightly moist in the center. If you press with a finger, the center should "give" a bit. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
I whupped my softened butter first then beat in the sugar ...
... the salt ...
... the vanilla seeds ...
... and vanilla extract for good measure ...
... baking powder ...
... and the eggs.
At this point, the batter will look slightly curdled.
At low speed, gradually add in flour.
And yes, you will have a sticky dough.
I plopped the dough on a buttered pan ...
... and carefully shaped it into a log.
I made an egg wash - 1 egg and a tablespoon of water - and brushed the top and sides of the log.
Here it is after the first 25 minutes of baking.
Here, I'm spritzing with a spray bottle.
Wait a few minutes for the crust to soften before slicing.
These went back into a 325 degree oven for another 25 minutes ...
... or until nicely golden. You want them slightly soft in the center.
Cool on racks.
Next, I'm making a Vanilla Chocolate Dip for the Vanilla Biscotti. Ingredients for Vanilla Chocolate Dip: 3 oz. dark chocolate 1 tsp Crisco seeds of one vanilla bean
Scrape out the seeds from one bean.
Combine chocolate, vanilla seeds, and Crisco.
Nuke and whisk until smooth.
Dip ends of biscotti in the vanilla/chocolate mixture.
Such vanilla goodness!
Stay tuned for Dessert Wars Part 2 - Vanilla Pots de Creme. Coming soon.

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