Butter Pecan Biscotti are perfect for holiday cookie exchanges and for sharing! One of my favorite ice cream flavors is butter pecan, so I wanted to turn it into a biscotti for giving away as homemade gifts for friends this holiday season.
Normally, I am too busy to do much baking during the holiday season. This year is different. We just moved to a new city and I am still healing from surgery so my time in the kitchen is limited. Baking loads of Christmas cookies is something that I really enjoy and these biscotti are going to be in the regular rotation. They received rave reviews around here and this house is well versed in cookie consumption. Biscotti are an excellent option if you ship cookies to friends and family, like I do. They hold up well and remain fresh much longer than normal cookies.
Speaking of cookie exchanges, I happened to be on the phone with my mom (like I am almost every day) and the topic of her cookie exchange came up. She was delighted that I will be home to accompany her to the yearly gathering and I am delighted to know that I will be shoving dozens of cookies into my face next week.
Biscotti may be a new cookie for some people. Generally, they are not as sweet as cookies we are used to and they are a smidge drier. This doesn’t make them sound appealing, I know, but hear me out. They are magical when you dunk them into a hot cup of coffee or tea. These butter pecan biscotti have plenty of butter so they are not dry and crumbly. I have a wicked sweet tooth, but I don’t enjoy desserts that are too sweet. These biscotti mimic that buttery, nutty goodness that we love in butter pecan ice cream. There are two things I’d like to address about the recipe. Do you have to brown the butter? Yes. When you brown butter, it takes on a nuttiness that transforms the cookie from good to amazing. Do I have to toast the pecans? Yes. Read the answer to the butter question. While the biscotti will still be good if you skip these two steps, it won’t be amazing. Let’s be honest, we want amazing!
Let’s make some biscotti!
- 3 eggs, room temp
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 cups AP flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (sub vanilla extract if you don't have paste)
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Lay pecans on a sheet pan in a single layer and toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant. Remove and set aside to cool before chopping.
- Put butter in a small sauce pot and melt over medium heat. Continue cooking for 5 or 6 minutes until it is foamy and starts to deepen in color to a light brown. You will smell it's deliciousness. That's your cue. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Do not cook butter past light brown, it burns very quickly.
- In a medium bowl: combine flour, salt and baking powder
- In a separate bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer): Combine browned butter and brown sugar, then add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla bean paste. Continue mixing for 3 or 4 minutes, then add dry ingredients. Mix until barely combined, then add pecans and mix until nuts are incorporated. You may not get them all in, that's ok. You will do it when forming the logs.
- On a parchment lined sheet pan, form 2 loaves of dough roughly 3" wide by 3/4" thick.
- Bake for 22-24 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Slice logs into approximately 1/2" slices and lay them on their sides.
- Reduce heat to 300F and bake for an additional 15 - 20 minutes.
- Optional: Chocolate Drizzle!
- Melt 1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in two 30 second increments. It should only take 1 minute total, the chips will not be completely melted. Stir until chips are melted and chocolate is smooth.
- Using a piping (pastry) bag or zip-top bag with the corner snipped off, drizzle melted chocolate over biscotti. Let chocolate set at room temp for about 30 minutes before moving.