This week, Jaime from Good Eats ‘n Sweet Treats chose the famous Bee Stings for our bake. They’re similar to miniature Boston Cream donuts, I think, but baked and with a slivered almond topping. Unfortunately, from the looks of the recipe and the comments of the other bakers, it seemed that if you don’t have a stand mixer with a dough hook, you were going to be hosed with this recipe. The dough is super sticky, and a lot of people who added extra flour to make it more workable ended up with “hockey pucks” (their words, not mine). Since I don’t have a stand mixer down at school, I opted to sit this one out. Instead, I decided to go back to the beginning of SMS, since I missed the first few challenges, and make the Honey Beescotti, which is probably one of the cutest names I’ve seen in a while. It was originally chosen by our “fearless leader”, Lorelai at Mermaid Sweets.
The first step of this, for me, was to make candied orange peel. I decided to just bite the bullet and do it myself, using Giada’s recipe from the Food Network website. It only uses one orange, so it made almost the perfect amount of peel for this recipe. I only had two little strips left over. Unfortunately, I had to make the orange peel twice, because it burnt really badly the first time. I kept thinking “This seems like it could go south really quickly, this boiling sugar water thing”, and then I left the kitchen for a couple minutes and it did. And I started swearing. I hate cleaning burnt sugar. The second time, I kept the heat lower and didn’t leave the kitchen the whole time, and it turned out just fine. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the second time, because I was a tiny bit terrified that I was going to have to deal with burnt sugar yet again.
The dough for this came together really well. And, lucky me, since I was doing this bake after the fact, I had the comments of everyone who’s already baked it, so I knew the dough was going to be super sticky and would need to be chilled really well. I also added an extra (roughly) 1/4 cup of flour to counteract some of the stickiness. To be honest, I don’t really know how much it helped, since the dough still stuck to every possible surface like mad! Several bakers had also commented that the “beescotti” spread a lot when baked, so I made sure to keep them as cold as possible until I got them into the oven. They turned out very well, if I do say so myself.
My only complaint about this recipe was that the caraway seeds were overpowering. The only time I can think of that I’ve had caraway seeds recently is in Irish Soda Bread, where the flavor didn’t seem quite as strong. I felt like it was the dominant flavor in the biscotti, and I had really been looking forward to the orange/almond flavors. I’m a freakish fan of almond extract, so I was hoping that flavor would shine through. I would definitely be willing to make this again, but I would seriously reduce, or maybe even alltogether omit, the caraway seeds. To my surprise, Mike really liked these- go figure, boys always surprise you!
Anyway, pretty please check out the SMS blogroll to see what everyone thought of the Bee Stings- I’m really jealous I couldn’t participate this week! And I’ll be posting later this week about my mini-trip I’m taking tomorrow to the happiest place on Earth- no, not Disney World. Ok, the happiest place on Earth if you like Wilton products 😀