I decided to do a little baking this past weekend. I had a few reasons:
  1. I wanted to thank one of my staff for covering off a shift (on very short notice) for a coworker.
  2. I wanted to make some biscotti so that I could stop eating 2 bowls of cereal every night before bed. I really need carbs.
  3. I had nothing else to do.
So I made two recipes from Baked - Cinnamon Hazelnut (Chocolate) Chip Biscotti and Peanut Butter Bars. I had made the biscotti once already, but - as I don't eat chocolate - this time I altered the recipe. I took out the vanilla, hazelnuts and cinnamon. Rum butter and rum raisin are two of my all time favourite flavours, so I replaced those ingredients with rum (not extract), pecans, and raisins. They turned out well, but I think I should have maybe used some rum extract as I can't really taste any rum.

Rum Raisin Pecan Biscotti
- adapted from Baked

1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 large eggs
2 tsp. rum
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup pecans
2 cups raisins
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together sugar, baking powder, salt. Mix the flours together in another bowl.

Use a stand mixer with the paddle attachement to beat eeggs and sugar mixture together until uniform and thick. Add the rum and beat for 5 more seconds. Add the flour in two batches and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix for 5 seconds more. Add the nuts and raisins and beat until just combined.

Here's where the recipe loses me. It says to turn the dough out onto the baking sheet and shape it into a 16 x 3.5" log, 3/4 inch thick, and then to use a spatula to smooth it out. My log does not resemble that size, and there is no way a spatula is smoothing it out. Mine looked like this:

So, shape it however you think works, I guess. Bake 20-25 minutes until firm, but not browned. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes or so. While it cools, mix the egg white with a little water and brush onto the dough.

Cut into strips - I cut my log in half lengthwise first - and place cut sides up and down on the baking sheet. The recipe is unclear whether to continue to use the parchment paper or not, but I had hacked it up while cutting the dough, so I just placed them straight on the sheet. Cook for 25-30 minutes, let cool, and then move to a wire rack.

So, they taste pretty good. I'm quite pleased that I modified a recipe and it actually worked. I will definitely make these again. I probably won't use pecans, but I'll try to increase the rum flavour.

The Peanut Butter Bars didn't turn out exactly right. They taste wonderful, apparently, but I didn't have a candy thermometer and thought I could get away without using one. A more experienced baker probably could. I think I'll buy one this weekend.


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