Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another Holiday Helping: Fruitcake Biscotti

The holiday deliciousness continues with my recipe for Fruitcake Biscotti. OK, I know that fruitcake is one of the most dreaded "gifts" on the planet, but this recipe will forever change your mind about the brick shaped confection that doubles as a doorstop.

It is an adapted recipe from Martha Stewart's Cherry Almond Biscotti, which I also happened to make this week for a friend of mine.

3 1/2 cups dried fruit
(cherries, plums, cranberries, raisins, currants, figs, apricots, anything you like)
1 cup dark rum, plus more if needed
2 cups granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
8 large eggs (6 whole, 2 lightly beaten)
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 1/2 cups fancy blanched nuts, chopped (cashews, filberts, pecans)
6 tablespoons coarse sugar

Icing ingredients:
1 lb powdered sugar
2 Tbs meringue powder
1 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup dark rum
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp orange juice
2 tsp butter extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat dried fruit and rum in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has absorbed the liquid. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the rum. If there is not 1/4 cup left, then add more rum to equal that amount. You can also use the microwave to quickly macerate the dried fruit.

Sift together flour, baking powder, spices, and salt into a bowl. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip about 2 minutes. Mix in 6 whole eggs, one at a time. Mix in reserved rum and the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir in dried fruit and chopped nuts.

On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into thirds. Shape each into a log, however big you want your biscotti to be. Flatten logs to 1/2 inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper. Brush logs with beaten egg; sprinkle with the coarse sugar.

Bake 35 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Cool completely, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Cut each log on a diagonal. Transfer pieces to racks, laying them on sides. Set racks on baking sheets. Bake 8 minutes; flip. Bake 8 minutes more. Let cool until crisp.

To prepare your icing, sift a 1pound box of powdered sugar into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the icing ingredients. Beat until thoroughly mixed. If icing is too stiff, add more rum. If icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar.

When biscotti pieces have cooled, drizzle each one with the icing and set on a rack to dry.

While waiting on the biscottis to dry, enjoy this Fruitcake horror film!

Fruitcake from stephmcparty on Vimeo.

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