Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Rosiethon. Day 1 of Rosie's Christmas Baking. Cookie #2: Almond And Apricot Biscotti.

Welcome back to Day 1 of the Rosiethon.
Number 2 goodie today is Almond and Apricot Biscotti. Do you have any idea how hard it is to bake and blog about FIVE different items in one day? I'm writing this on my Second Day of Christmas Baking, and I did FIVE more items today. I cannot keep up this routine. And I've barely begun to blog. The cooking isn't the hard part. The hard part is blogging my efforts.
Ah ... Where was I? Oh yes. Almond and Apricot Biscotti
Almond and Apricot Biscotti 2 cups King Arthur flour (Yes. King Arthur. It makes the difference.) 3/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1 egg, lightly beaten 1/2 cup whole milk 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp almond extract 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted 1 cup dried apricots, chopped 1 yolk beaten with 1 TB water for egg wash Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder4, and salt. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or finger tips. until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, stirring with a fork until a soft dough forms. Knead in almonds. Divide dough and form into mounds. Flatten each mound into a 5-inch disk. Put 1/2 of apricots on each disk. Fold dough over apricots to enclose. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Form into 2 2 1/2 x 14 inch logs, spreading dough with wet hands. Brush logs with egg wash and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 300 degrees. Carefully transfer baked logs to cutting board and cut logs int 1/2-inch wide slices. Stand slices on a parchment and bake 20 minutes. Turn slices over and bake an additional 20 minutes. Transfer biscotti to rack to cool.
I whisked together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
I added a half stick of butter nuggets and worked it with a pastry blender first. Then I went hands in. You're aiming for a coarse meal.
Lightly beaten egg yolk going in.
Milk in. Recipe called for whole milk. I never have whole milk. I have skim and heavy cream, at all times. I used 1 TB skim and 2 TB cream.
I'm into vanilla. Probably put in 1 TB.
1/4 tsp Jergens ... err... almond extract.
Sliced toasted almonds in.
Form into cohesive ball.
Divide and conquer. Halve it and press into 5-inch disks.
Add in the cup of chopped dried apricots.
Roll dough from front to back and press down. Seal the apricot pieces. You want this dough very cohesive. No air pockets, but tight pushed-in dough around the almond and apricot pieces.
Start pressing the 2 pieces out on a buttered pan. Take your time doing this. Use wet fingers to form the logs. 2 1/2 x 14 inches
Brush loaves with egg wash.
Ready for the 350 degree oven. 20 minutes.
Cool for 20 minutes
and reduce oven temp to 300 degrees.
Cut logs into 1/2-inch slices.
Turn on sides, bake 20 minutes one side, the turn over, and bake 15 minutes.
Cool on racks.
My thanks go to my friend, Zelda, who told me to use King Arthur flour. To make a proper biscotti, one must use King Arthur flour. Buy some and compare it to your regular all-purpose flour. I found it on sale today at the Teeter for two-dollars and something.

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