Salted Caramel Biscotti

My Dad's birthday was just recently, and he is one of the toughest people to shop for.  Rather than sticking with a boring store-bought standard, I decided to let him request anything he wanted for me to make.  He was quite specific--Salted Caramel Biscotti.  I love a good challenge, and since I've been wanting to make Homemade Caramel for a while, I jumped at the opportunity to try two new recipes at once.


I found a biscotti recipe online that sounded perfect--vanilla flavored and not too crunchy.  I had used a King Arthur's flour recipe once before when I made Zweiback Toast for Koliva, so I know they can be trusted for a quality recipe.


First, I beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, almond extract, and baking powder until the mixture became smooth and creamy. I found it interesting that the baking powder was mixed in with the wet ingredients, as usually it goes in with the flour.


Next, I beat in the eggs.  I included a photo of this step because if I didn't realize it should look like this I would have been confused.  The mixture looks slightly curdled with the eggs mixed in.



I gradually added the flour, mixing the dough on the low speed of my mixer until it was well combined.




Next, I split the dough in half and formed it into logs on a parchment-lined tray.  To smooth out the loaves, I used a damp spatula.



I baked the dough for 25 minutes until they were a light brown color on the outside.



To make the loaves easy to slice, I used a pastry brush and spread some water on the outside after removing them from the oven.  I let the bread sit for 5 minutes, then cut them into slices about 1/2"-1" thick.  I set them standing up on the tray and put them back in the oven to toast for another 25-30 minutes, until they were golden brown.




The biscotti was crispy and a darker brown color.



Now at this point you can dip the biscotti slices in whatever you'd like, whether it be chocolate or caramel and nuts, etc. As the specific request I had received was for a salted caramel variety, I got to work on making Homemade Caramel while the biscotti cooled.  I put this in a separate post because this seemed too complicated for one post!



Oh wow, these turned out great! They were crunchy enough to be very cookie-like but not to the point of making me worry about chipping a tooth.  The caramel was delicious, and the combination was perfection.  Now I will say that I should have sprinkled the salt on them rather than dipping them in, as they had quite a bit on there. My Dad LOVED them the way they were, though, and since that was the goal, I'm perfectly happy with how they turned out.  And biscotti has officially been conquered.

Salted Caramel Biscotti Recipe

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons butter , unsalted
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour


Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, almond extract, and baking powder until the mixture is creamy.  Beat in the eggs.  Add the flour, stirring at low speed until smooth. The dough will be sticky.  Divide the dough in half, and shape it into 2 logs, about 10 inches long, 2 inches wide and 2 inches tall and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Smooth the tops and sides of the logs with a wet spatula.  Bake the dough for 25 minutes.  Use a spray bottle or pastry brush to slightly dampen the sides of the loaves to make slicing easier.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.  Cool for 5 minutes, then use a sharp knife or serrated knife to cut the log into 1/2" to 3/4" slices, or cut the biscotti on the diagonal, longer biscotti. Slice straight up and down to create evenly shaped biscotti.  Return the biscotti to the baking pan, setting them up on edge.  Return the to the oven, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until they feel dry and turn golden.  Allow to cool and dip into toppings as desired.

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