Fuhgeddaboudit Biscotti

Fuhgeddaboudit 1

“Fuhgeddaboudit!” A phrase that is most commonly associated with a dialect spoken by Italians in New Jersey and New York.  According to the Urban Dictionary online, fuhgeddaboudit obviously means to “forget about it – the issue is not worth the time, energy, mental effort, or emotional resources” or “the subject is unequivocally excellent; further thought and analysis are unnecessary.”

The characters in The Sopranos are known for a “fuhgeddaboudit” or two. You can go online to order t-shirts and hats. And there is even a New Jersey Style Deli called Fuhgeddaboudit.

As Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I think if she had inserted a “fuhgeddaboudit” or two in that quote it may have had wider appeal. These Fuhgeddaboudit Biscotti make us feel free to experiment and throw caution to the wind.

Fuhgeddaboudit Biscotti are a tradition in our house. Our son and daughter each pick two ingredients from the Biscotti Bin and then we fuhgeddaboudit! We never really know how they are going to turn out, but that is half the fun. A true experiment in creativity.

For our latest version of our Fuhgeddaboudit Biscotti, our daughter picked peanut butter baking bits and banana chips. Our son choose roasted almonds and sassafras hard candies. Interesting combination right? But that’s the fun of it. No recipe, no set of ingredients, and no inspiration, other than the choices they make themselves. While we enjoy making these, the kids may enjoy practicing “fuhgeddaboudit” in their best Italian accent even more.

While you may not have all the ingredients to make our latest Fuhgeddaboudit Biscotti, create your own! And don’t forget to practice your “fuhgeddaboudit!”

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Fuhgeddaboudit Biscotti

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup granulated sugar

½ packed brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs and 2 egg whites

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

½ cup banana chips, crushed

½ cup whole roasted almonds

10 hard sassafras candies, crushed

¼ cup peanut butter baking chips

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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, and salt.

3.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites and vanilla extract.

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.  Add the banana chips, almonds, sassafras candies, and peanut butter baking chips. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.

6.  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.

7.  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.

8.  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.

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What to do with the ends #82: “Fugeddaboudit!”

 

Peanut Butter and Frito Biscotti

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Do you have a favorite sandwich? Maybe it’s a BLT layered with smoky bacon, salted tomatoes, and crisp lettuce on toasted bread. Maybe it’s a grinder piled high with salty meats and sharp cheeses from your local deli. Maybe you love a turkey club, pulled pork, or grilled cheese with pickles. In Pittsburgh, they love a Primanti’s sandwich stacked with coleslaw and french fries. In Kansas City, smoked brisket sandwiches topped with provolone and onion rings are devoured by the masses. At Pink’s in Los Angles, they boast the first and still famous chili dog. Philadelphians love a good cheese steak, although they can’t agree what kind of cheese should go on top. And in New Orleans, it’s the muffuletta that rises to the top.

As a kid, I LOVED peanut butter and Frito sandwiches. Nothing beats that salty crunch on top of extra chunky peanut butter smothered on soft white bread. I’ll occasionally feed peanut butter and Frito sandwiches to the neighborhood kids or school friends that might be at the house. The kids all love them. Some moms are appalled. We are no longer friends.

My husband and several others we know think Fritos smell like stinky feet. I beg to disagree. I think that is up for debate. Yet everyone, whether fans of Fritos or not, love the abundance of sweet and salty in these golden biscotti topped with crushed dry roasted peanuts and Fritos. The kids love to use their hands to crush the Fritos in a storage bag and are notorious for enjoying a few as well. For a totally indulgent snack, we dip them in homemade peanut butter milkshakes.

 

Peanut Butter and Frito Biscotti

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ¾ cups flour

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup extra crunchy peanut butter

1 cup crushed Fritos, additional for topping

¼ cup roughly chopped dry roasted peanuts, additional for topping

agave

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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, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and peanut butter.

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. Add the Fritos and peanuts, and knead until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.

6. 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.

7. Drizzle the top of the logs with agave and spread with your fingers. Sprinkle the top with a mixture of crushed peanuts and crushed Fritos. Drizzle the tops again with agave and spread with your fingers to cover as you firmly push the peanuts and Fritos into the dough.

8. 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.

9. 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.

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What to do with the ends #27: Trace the ends several times on the same piece of paper and color for abstract art.

Burnt Peanut Biscotti

 

As kids we spent quite a bit of time on the road in the back of my parent’s blue full-size conversion van. It was outfitted with two benches facing each other, that my parents constructed out of plywood, and covered with homemade rust colored velour cushions. A table in the middle would come down and turn the whole thing into a bed. My mother adorned the windows with rust, tan, and dark blue curtains as well. As kids we loved that van! We spent countless hours playing cards and telling ghost stories around that table. While we were driving, we were allowed to dash from the back of the van to the front, only when we were on a straightaway just to be safe, in order to grab snacks from the cooler my parents kept on the floor in the middle of the two front seats.

Mind you seat belts were nowhere to be found in that van. I’m not sure we were actually introduced to seat belts until we were in high school and the driver’s education teacher made us wear one. His foot hovered over the large looming emergency break on the floor of the passenger’s side, which he did actually use a few times. I never truly knew if the insistence on seat belts was for his safety or ours. I think having to wear a seat belt made me think what I was about to embark upon behind the wheel was more dangerous than actually merging onto a freeway full of cars speeding along at a whip roaring 55 mph, which is still the speed limit on most Pennsylvania highways.

Yet every time I think of that van, I am reminded of Chris Farley’s famous Saturday Night Live skit. I see Farley all disheveled warning someone not to be like him, “35 years old, eating a steady diet of government cheese, thrice divorced, and living in a van down by the river!”

On many of our road trips in our unconventional transportation, my father would bring along his favorite snack, burnt peanuts. Now you may be thinking burnt anything doesn’t sound that appealing, but if you never tried burnt peanuts I encourage you to search them out. These peanuts with a bright red crunchy candy shell were a constant on our long drives, coveted by my dad and usually not shared.

Years later when my father-in-law brought us a bag of burnt peanuts, I shared with him my dad’s love of these crunchy and savory treats. Since then, he regularly brings us a bag on his visits. The candy coating on burnt peanuts does not melt.  They never melted in our hot van in the summertime, which while it had many of the comforts of home lacked air conditioning. This also meant we knew they could stand up to the heat of the oven if we incorporated them into biscotti. With a bit of extra peanut butter, these Burnt Peanut Biscotti have an over the top salty peanutty taste.

Burnt Peanut Biscotti

Burnt Peanut Biscotti

YIELD: approximately two dozen

2 ¾ cups flour

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

½ cup extra crunchy peanut butter

1  1/2 cups burnt peanuts

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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, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and peanut butter.

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. Add the burnt peanuts and knead until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.

6. 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.

7. Press sugar firmly on top of the biscotti logs.

8. 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.

9. 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.

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What to do with the ends #24: Slide the ends under the door and use as a doorstop.