In our house, along with the Big Biscotti Debate, about a biscotti’s degree of crunchiness, comes the Mammoth Maple Debate. My husband prefers what I’ve termed “fake syrup.” You know the kind. Made from high fructose corn syrup and artificially flavored, really nothing but sugar-water. He is trying to sway the kids to prefer it too, asking them if they want the “good syrup” as he holds up the see through plastic bottle in front of them. He claims it tastes better. I on the other hand prefer the taste of real maple syrup and thankfully prepare breakfast for the kids more often than he does. I think I am winning them over, but he is still trying.
A friend of ours is from New England and every year brings us a huge jug of pure maple syrup, tapped from trees on her family’s property. Before we had kids, it usually lasted us all year long. After kids, we should apparently be buying stock in the stuff. We go through dozens of bottles a year. Recently she brought us a jar of granulated pure maple sugar. We knew exactly what to do with it.
Growing up in Massachusetts our friend will always side with me and won’t use anything other than the real stuff. These intense maple flavored biscotti are a tribute to her, her New England roots, and her birthday. As a maple aficionado, we are glad she gave them two thumbs up. Actually her exact words were, “I am formally requesting that they be included in all future birthday presents until such time I become a) diabetic or b) die.” I think we can accommodate that request!
Penuchu frosting is a brown sugar frosting made with butter and cream, and simmered on the stove top until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture develops a caramel color. Penuchu frosting is slathered on cookies, cakes, and biscotti while it is warm and hardens as it cools.
Maple Biscotti with Maple Penuche Frosting
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated maple sugar
1 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs and 1 egg white
1 teaspoon imitation maple flavoring
¼ cup real maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, maple flavoring, and maple syrup.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.
5. Separate the dough in half. Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.
6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
7. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
¼ cup butter or 4 tablespoons
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon imitation maple flavoring
1 cup sifted confectioner or powdered sugar
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir constantly for 2 minutes.
2. Add cream and salt. Return mixture to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Whisk in maple flavoring.
4. Whisk in powdered sugar until completely dissolved. Frost the biscotti while the frosting is warm. The frosting will harden as it cools.
What to do with the ends #48: Juggle the ends.