Next week is my big sister’s birthday. Smack dab in the middle of this horrid Corona virus. It affects all of us, however, she had planned a trip to San Francisco to spend Easter with her daughter and son-in-law. Mamas live to see their children and she was really looking forward to a long visit with her girl. As a 13 year cancer survivor, Cynthia’s oncologist has said, in no uncertain terms, she is NOT to travel anywhere. Her immune system is already compromised so no go, chicky. You ain’t goin’ nowhere fast. It’s just one more of life’s little disappointments. I had the bright idea of flying up to New Jersey and surprising her but then I realized what a stupid move it would be for me to get on a plane. Sigh. So from down here in sunny Fort Lauderdale, about all I can do is bake something for her. A few weeks back we were able to spend one day together in Puerto Rico. Our dear, sweet aunt had fallen and broken her hip. After successful surgery and rehab our family scrambled to find help that would keep her safe and comfortable in her own home, my grandparent’s home. Anyway, I covered one week of nursing duty and the day before I was to fly back home Cynthia flew in. We had a marvelous afternoon, evening and early morning sister visit. After a whacking great lunch of pasteles, rice and beans, steamed pumpkin and local avocado, the two of us donned our sun hats and strolled down to our personal landmark, the neighborhood drug store. We’ve been walking down to the “farmacia” since I was about 5 and Cynthia, 7 years old. As little girls we spent all our money, mostly quarters given to us by our “rich” aunts and uncles, on candy, comic books, crayons and coloring books. Barbie coloring books, specifically. Mama didn’t approve of Barbie and since the family in Puerto Rico wasn’t aware of this fact we made the most of it. Oh! And clay. We bought lots of modeling clay. In our teens we saved our money to splurge on yet unseen treasures in Viejo San Juan, Old San Juan. But around the time our children were born, our tastes changed and we double downed on the “farmacia”. We stared in disbelief at tiny, dusty glass bottles of snake oil and shark oil. Our favorite, though, has always been the bottles of garlic oil… for your hair. Same conversation, too. I always ask, “Who uses this sh*t? I mean, come on!” “Shhh!”, she’d hiss at me while cracking up. “Stop it. Just stop it!” This last visit we bought Easter treats and pounds of Puerto Rican coffee. I also bought the seeds of island herbs and spices. We’ll see. That night, after we had said goodnight to our aunt, we cleaned up and got into our jammies. After serving up a quart of coconut ice cream between the two of us, we sat in the living room under a powerful ceiling fan, powered our rocking chairs and and had a most superb, heart to heart convo. We covered all kinds of territory such as how much avocado we eat every morning, how fabulous the window screens downstair are in keeping mosquitos out, how often we work out, my new, soft cotton pajamas, how our family in PR quarantines you when you catch a cold and back to the garlic oil for hair down at the “farmacia”. The best part of the conversation was when we touched on our secret addictions. I confessed mine, that being gummy worms, and waxed on the delights of my favorite brand (Winn Dixie) and how juicy they are. I ended my rave by telling her the flavor of the green gummy worm. It’s not lime. And you know everybody HATES the green one because it’s lime. No. The green gummy worm is watermelon. Watermelon! Is that not perfection? She then divulged her private obsession. Bailey’s Salted Caramel. She’s like me. No off switch. She loves that stuff so much she was sneakin’ it behind her husband’s back. She finally told him, “Don’t you bring that stuff into this house. Just stop!” Haha. We laughed and laughed. Cynthia’s crazy about caramel, toffee and butterscotch. Always has been, always will be. And as I thought about how sad she is that she can’t see her girl it came to me that I could make her some sweet, buttery baked something, wrap it up all pretty, drop it in the mail and put a big smile on her face. After all, it IS her birthday.
Salted Toffee, Caramel, Dark & White Chocolate Biscotti
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs plus the white of one egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup toffee bits
- 1 cup caramel or butterscotch chips
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 4 ounces white chocolate
- 1 tablespoon flaked sea salt, I like Maldon
- Pre-heat oven to 325°. Line a standard rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a stand up mixer or large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until fully incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, add flour baking powder and salt. Mix well and add to creamed butter mixture.
- Mix well, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until flour is all mixed in. The dough will be somewhat stiff.
- Add to dough toffee and caramel bits and stir through.
- Rub a little cooking oil on both hands and divide dough in half.
- Place each half on parchment paper and form each into roughly 12″x4″ logs.
- Bake 25 minutes and remove baking sheet from oven onto cooling rack. Allow to cool.
- One at a time transfer baked log to cutting board. With a serrated knife cut each log into 12 equal pieces. The logs may also be cut diagonally for a pretty biscotti.
- Return biscotti to lined baking sheet, cut side down and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes.
- Remove biscotti from oven, flip each cookie over, again cut side up and bake for another 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from oven, place baking sheet back onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
- Melt both dark chocolate and white chocolate separately according to package directions and drizzle over cooled biscotti. The cookies may also be dipped into the chocolates or the chocolates may be spread on the tops of the cookies, whatever strikes your fancy.
- Sprinkle sea salt flakes over warm chocolate and let stand until chocolate sets up.
- Store in an airtight container separated by either parchment paper or wax paper.
These biscotti look delicious
Oh, honey, they are!😋
Alicia, I don’t have any sea salt. Can I substitute regular or coarse kosher salt? Thanks
Absolutely! If you can grind it over the soft chocolate that would be great but if not go with the table salt. Kosher maybe too coarse