05 December 2008

Rum Raisin Biscotti

Tonight, I've been invited to a cookie exchange.  I can't tell you how excited I am to be going!  When you are a stay-at-home mom, you don't need anything else to get your kicks than merely going out and talking to other grown-ups.  For this party, I created a biscotti recipe that I was really pleased with.  

The biscotti were my back-up plan after a disastrous attempt at something called Orange Snowballs.  After I threw those in the garbage, I had to come up with something whose ingredients I already had in my pantry.  This was the first time I've attempted biscotti but they turned out really well (if I do say so myself). I have been craving biscotti recently as accompaniments to my afternoon tea so I already had biscotti on the brain.  I always thought biscotti were too fussy to make.  Actually, they are a little fussy with the twice baking and all, but the dough came together quickly, and I waited overnight until the second baking which minimized the fussiness.  
If you've never heard of a biscotti (I mean, really now, where have you been?) it is an Italian cookie that is first baked in a log shape, then cut and baked again until dry and really crunchy.  They are fabulous dunked in a cup of tea or coffee, let to soften slightly in the liquid and then crunched up.  I dipped them in chocolate and put sprinkles on them just to fancy them up a little for the cookie exchange, but they are also wonderful plain.  

I think the ladies at the cookie exchange are going to love these.  I can't wait to see what everyone else makes.  I'll tell you all about it tomorrow and share some of their recipes too!

Rum Raisin Biscotti by Joie de vivre

Yeild:  about 60 biscotti

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
6 large eggs
4 tsp. rum extract
1/3 cup rum
1 1/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup boiling water
1 package of chocolate chips (optional)
sprinkles and other decorations (optional)

1.  Put raisins, rum, and boiling water into a bowl.  Set aside for at least 10 minutes while the raisins plump.
2.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
3.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a large bowl.
4.  In a second large bowl, whisk together the eggs and rum extract.  
5.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon.  At this point, the dough will seem really dry and it may be easier to squish it up with your hands.
6.  Drain the raisins, and add them to the dough.  Squish this up well with your hands.  The dough will be sticky at this point from the residual liquid in the raisins.
7.  Divide the dough in two.  On a parchment lined baking sheet, shape 1/2 of the dough into a log about 12 inches long, and 3 inches wide.  Repeat on another parchment lined baking sheet with the other half of the dough.
8.  Bake for 40 minutes, switching the places of the baking sheets (put the sheet that was on the bottom rack on the top rack and the one that was on the top rack on the bottom rack) halfway through.
9.  The dough should be slightly risen, slightly browned and firm to the touch.  Let the logs cool at least 30 minutes or overnight.
10.  Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees again.
11.  Cut the logs diagonally into 1/4 inch slices.  
12.  Lay the slices on a parchment lined baking sheet.
13.  Bake the biscotti for 16 minutes, switching the places of the pans, and flipping the cookies halfway through the baking time.
14.  Remove the biscotti to a cooling rack and let cool.
15.  If desired, melt the chocolate chips in a saucepan set over a pan of gently simmering water.  Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.
16.  Paint 1/2 of the biscotti with chocolate using your rubber spatula and place on a sheet of waxed paper.  Sprinkle with edible glitter, nonpareils, sprinkles, etc. to decorate and let chocolate harden.
17.  Place in a napkin lined basket for a beautiful presentation!


Wandering Coyote said...

The biscotti look really lovely, and I think cookie exchanges are such a great idea. I hope you have fun!

Lainie Petersen said...

Those look great, and what a nice twist on this cookie!

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

They look great to be eaten with a hot tea! Never tried to make them, but I also really enjoy them.

I tagged you in my blog. I hope you have fun playing.

sowmya said...

they look delicious...love the way you decorated them..

melissa said...

you tried the biscotti! they really look great. have fun at the cookie exchange!

Sheila said...

I love biscotti. Thanks for the recipe!

Chef E said...

These look so delightful...I made biscotti yearsssssss ago with my hubby to take to his family for our first NYC christmas, and had a great appreciation for the time it takes to make these...

Emily said...

I love biscotti! These sound fabulous.

mycookinghut said...

Biscotti!! Rum and Raisin is always my favourite. I love to have biscotti with a Earl Grey, no sugar, please.

Sam said...

I love biscotti especially with a good cup of coffee!

Candy said...

Have a great time! This looks like a wonderful addition.

Reeni said...

Your biscotti sound so delicious! I love the flavors. Hope you had fun at your cookie exchange.

The Peanut Butter Boy said...

Great combo for some biscotti, I've always meant to make some, but the whole bake twice thing sounds like too much labor!

mizzyp said...

How was the cookie party? Is your biscotti more traditional(hard and dry)or more cookie like? They look great. I went to a cookie swap Friday and I had to bake 10 dz. chewy chocolate cherry cookies! I came away with 9 dz. which will be going to my doc, dentist and the staff lounge!

Rico said...

Rum and raisin a classic combination that never fails to impress, last time I had this was in ice cream and I just nearly died of pleasure, and I bet in biscotti that will be just as impressive especially if dipped in chocolate...love it keep 'em coming.

Lori Lynn said...

Sounds like a terrific biscotti, and I really like the light in your photograph.

superfinefeline said...

I love Biscotti and Rum & Raisin! I wish someone would sell some in Singapore as I'm hopeless in baking! :(

Donna-FFW said...

Hey- Just going through your archives and found these, hey anything with rum, Im there:)
These look fabulous. Love your blog!

Talita said...

Gorgeous! Great recipe, lovely presentation... just perfect!

Karen said...

Mmm, these sound so good. I love to make biscotti and I love rum-raisin flavored anything. To me it's so much easier than making cookies for some reason.