You Say Butter, I Say BOO-tter: Butter Pecan Biscotti

I was at Target the weekend after Halloween and couldn't resist checking out the deals on clearance Halloween candy. I picked up some jumbo packs of fun size chocolates for the office and then noticed an entire endcap display filled with seasonal M&M's. I quickly dismissed the idea of buying candy corn M&M's (candy corn tastes like sweet wax, so I'm not sure what a candy corn M&M would taste like) but took a closer look at the M&M's BOO-tterscotch variety.

As I have mentioned several times before, I really dislike buying butterscotch baking chips because they are generally just hydrogenated oil and artificial flavor. But these butterscotch M&M's were made with real white chocolate -- with cocoa butter! -- and artificial and natural flavors. I'm willing to accept that there is probably no such thing as a completely naturally-flavored butterscotch chip, so this seemed like probably the next best thing I could find to use for butterscotch baking projects. I bought a few bags at a 70% discount and looked for a recipe using butterscotch chips.

I decided to try a King Arthur Flour recipe for Butter Pecan Biscotti. To make the biscotti batter, you beat together butter, shortening and brown sugar; add eggs; mix in vanilla, baking powder, and salt; gradually mix in flour; and add chopped pecans and butterscotch chips. I just substituted an equal weight of BOO-tterscotch M&M's for the chips. The M&M's were quite large -- I thought they would be the same shape and size as regular M&M's, but they were rotund and closer to the size of the peanut variety. The M&M's had a nice subdued fall color scheme that was fairly neutral. I shaped the dough into a single large log and put it in the oven. The log didn't spread much in the oven and I let it cool before cutting.
To slice the baked log, I found that cutting straight down with a very sharp chef's knife worked better than trying to saw back and forth with a serrated knife; I was able to get very clean cuts. I toasted the biscotti on a rack, turning them over halfway through to equally expose both sides.

The cross-sections of the M&M's were ivory blobs in the finished cookies. You can see in the photo above that some of the color from the candy shell bled into the biscotti dough in the cookie on the bottom. I was very happy with the way these cookies looked and tasted. These biscotti had crunch but were slightly tender. The pecans added interesting texture and flavor and I loved the BOO-tterscotch M&M's. They were quite sweet and had the familiar cloying taste of artificial butterscotch flavor, but I have to admit that I really loved them in this application. And so did my tasters.

I liked the biscotti so much that I decided I should stock up on more BOO-tterscotch M&Ms -- but by the time I had an opportunity to go back to Target (the internet tells me that this flavor was a Target exclusive), all of the Halloween merchandise was gone and replaced with Christmas decor. I hope Mars brings BOO-tterscotch back next year!

Recipe: "Butter Pecan Biscotti" from King Arthur Flour.

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