This recipe makes use of a favorite American baking ingredient - chips, in this
case butterscotch. Use this recipe as a jumping off place for variations ranging
from chocolate chips and walnuts; to mint chocolate and white chocolate chips (no
nuts); to butter brickle and almonds - let your imagination be your guide.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 ounces) pecan pieces, toasted*
1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips
* Toast pecans by placing them in a single layer on an ungreased pan and baking
them in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 7 to 9 minutes, or until they smell "toasty"
and are beginning to brown.
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In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar, then
add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the
bowl midway through.
Beat in the vanilla extract, baking powder and salt.
Mix in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until you have a cohesive, well-blended dough.
Add the nuts and butterscotch chips, mixing till they're well-distributed
throughout the dough.
Transfer the dough to a work surface (we don't bother to flour the surface;
the dough is sticky, but is easily scraped up with a bench knife or dough scraper).
Divide it into three fairly equal pieces, and shape each piece into a rough 10-inch
Transfer each log to a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet, leaving
about 3 inches between each log; you may need to use two baking sheets. Wet your
fingers, and pat the logs into smooth-topped rectangles 10 inches long x 2 1/2 inches
wide x 7/8 inch thick.
Bake the logs in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until
they're beginning to brown around the edges.
Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool for 30 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Gently transfer the logs to a cutting surface, and use a serrated knife to cut
them on the diagonal into 1/2-inch wide slices. Because of the nuts and the nature
of the dough, the biscotti at this point are prone to crumbling; just be sure to
use a slow, gentle sawing motion, and accept the fact that some bits and pieces
will break off. (It's the privilege of the cook to eat these warm, tasty bits
and pieces as they're created.)
Carefully transfer the slices, cut sides up (and down) to a parchment-lined (makes
cleanup easier) or ungreased baking sheet. You can crowd them together, as they
won't expand further; about 1/4-inch breathing space is all that's required.
Return the biscotti to the 300 degree F oven, and bake them for 20 minutes.
Remove them from the oven, quickly turn them over, and bake for an additional
20 minutes, or until they're very dry and beginning to brown.
Remove them from the oven, cool completely, and store in an airtight container.