Friday, August 24, 2012

Fermented Friday: Rosemary Rum Raisin Biscotti

Fermented Friday: recipes featuring yeast, wine, beer or some form of fermentation

By the time you read this, I will likely be on the road for an extended four day weekend trip. I'll be back sometime Monday so there may or may not be a Monday post.  Fortunately for you, I squeezed in some time to bake cookies before I left.

Rather than our ususal beer, yeast or wine recipe, this week's featured fermented ingredient is spiced rum.  Rum is produced by fermenting and distilling sugar byproducts such as molasses.  While rum is often aged for a year or more, you don't have to wait that long to crunch away at these enticing biscotti.

Inspiration for these biscotti came from this Rosemary Rum Raisin Soda Bread.  I love finding a unique flavor combination from one recipe and incorporating it into another.  Seeing as I have this crazy obsession with cookies, I decided to go with rosemary rum raisin biscotti.

Instead of macerating our raisins in oatmeal stout, we'll douse them in spiced rum. I also have a bottle of rum extract in my cupboard so I figured I might as well use a little here.  Vanilla is a nice substitute if you don't want to buy rum extract.

Rosemary adds just the right touch of savory to these sweet, twice-baked cookies.  Crisp edges and a slightly soft center make these ideal for dunking in your beverage of choice.  If you prefer your biscotti extra crispy, increase the second baking time by 5 minutes.

Sweet raisins and a rich, buttery rum flavor are delicately balanced by woody rosemary.  I wonder what else I'll try with this rosemary rum raisin sensation.  Caramel corn, Chex mix, spiced nuts, scones?  Oops, there I go again, I'll just leave it at that.  I really need to pack for that trip and catch up on sleep like I mentioned yesterday.  Funny how I always find time to make cookies, guess it's the one thing I can do in my sleep.

Rosemary Rum Raisin Biscotti

3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup spiced rum
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 cup honey
3 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp rum extract or vanilla extract

* In a small sauce pan combine raisins and spiced rum. Bring to a boil and simmer 1 minute.  Remove from heat; cover and let stand 4 hours or overnight.
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
* In a large bowl combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and rosemary.
* Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add honey, water, rum extract and reserved rum raisin mixture.  Stir to combine, using hands if needed.
* Divide dough in half and turn onto a floured board. Using floured hands, shape each portion into a log  roughly 10 inches long, 2 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick.  Transfer to parchment lined baking sheets and bake 30 minutes. Let stand on baking sheet 10 minutes.
* Place logs on cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Return to baking sheets, placing cut sides down; bake an additional 15 minutes.  Transfer to wire cooling racks and cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Food for Thought: "Don't stumble over something behind you." -unknown

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