Try these delightful Brown Butter Caramel Biscotti with a dark roast coffee for an Italian-style treat!
Being my own boss has been one of the most rewarding and difficult things I’ve ever done. I love having the freedom to make my own hours. Also, I hate having the freedom to make my own hours. I’m really bad at it. I am living in a pressure cooker and it’s a recipe for burnout. From day one I’ve been haunted by words a freelancer once said to me: “If I’m not working, I’m not making money. If I’m not making money, the bills don’t get paid.”
I know I’ve discussed this before and probably sound like a broken record. But I’ve decided to try something new and since this blog kind of functions as my journal, I’m sharing it. After being persuaded by some very intelligent people who have been self employed for years, I’ve decided to create my own work week. Five days on, two days off. I’m even trying to shut down by 6pm (most days). I’ve been at this for exactly one week.
It was kind of fun mapping everything out. I enjoy taking care of errands and appointments while everyone else is working so I started out by assigning Wednesdays and Saturdays as my days off. I immediately discovered a flaw in the plan when I was energetic and bored on a sunny Wednesday and then lethargic and lazy on a gloomy Thursday (I need decent sunlight to photograph food). So clearly this plan needs a bit of flexibility.
I hear freelancers talk about burnout all the time. Right now I never actually enjoy the moments when I’m not working because I feel guilty the entire time. I feel like a slacker. So really, the only difference is that now I’m going to let myself enjoy it. And instead of spacing it out by an hour here or a few hours there, I’m going to consolidate it into two days. And I’m going to work my ass off on those other five days.
I’m speaking like this is already a success but I’ve only been at it one week. I could totally fail. For the past two years I’ve been in a nonstop cycle of workaholism that has isolated me from friends and caused a tremendous amount of stress that has resulted in grey hairs, self loathing and weight gain. It has prevented me from fully enjoying any success I’ve managed to achieve. How is that even a success story? I really hope this works. I know I have a lot to be proud of and I’d like to enjoy it. I need structure because I’ve been drowning in a pressure cooker that actually prevents me from getting it all done. Wish me luck.
If you’ve never prepared brown butter before, here’s a great video tutorial.
Love caramel? Be sure to also check out these recipes!
Brown Butter Caramel Biscotti
- 10 ounces unsalted butter
- 14 ounces all-purpose flour (approximately 2 3/4 cups)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- To prepare the brown butter, melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. As the butter melts, whisk it frequently until foam begins to appear. Once you see the foam, whisk constantly until the butter begins to brown and it smells nutty and fragrant. Butter can go from brown to burnt very quickly so do not leave it unattended. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. After the butter has cooled, gently whisk it so that the brown bits evenly incorporate. Set aside 1/4 cup of the brown butter for the caramel and use the rest in the biscotti dough (approximately 7 fluid ounces).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, vanilla, eggs and brown butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide in quarters. On a lightly floured surface, roll each quarter into logs that are approximately 8x2 inches (two 16x2 logs will also work but I find the smaller logs easier to handle). Place the logs on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Once the logs have cooled, carefully move them to a cutting board and use a serrated knife to slice them on a bias into 3/4 inch slices. Arrange the biscotti on the same baking sheet cut side down and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until golden.
- To prepare the caramel sauce, mix the brown sugar, heavy cream, 1/4 cup browned butter (reserved from above) and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and the cook, whisking frequently, for 5 minutes or until the caramel sauce thickens. Turn off the heat, cool slightly, and then use a spoon or spatula to drizzle the caramel sauce over the biscotti.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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Millie l Add A Little says
This looks amazing and what a wonderful gift it would make!
I would love to give this away for the holiday season!
Bianca Garcia says
I like schedules and structure so I hope you end up liking your new self-imposed schedule. Good luck :)
As for this biscotti, I think brown butter makes everything taste better!
Loved the honesty and transparency in this post. I’ve followed your blog for a while now and have seen it grow to what it is. Small blogs like mine often view extremely successful blogs like yours as perfect and there are no bumps along the way. You make this seem easy when it is anything but. I think it is so great that you are taking two days for yourself. I am a full time student, full time worker, and blog as well and can relate to the constant notion that if you’re not working you won’t make money. In a sense it’s true but it’s crucial to create a balance otherwise you do crash really hard and I’ve been there.
How perfect are these for the holidays?! And good luck with the new schedule, we need to somehow do the same thing!
movita beaucoup says
Brilliant plan! I’ve been self employed since finishing University in 1990. I work from home (writing) these days, and have set a schedule for myself. It really does help me stay on track. There is fluidity, but if I generally stick to it, productivity goes up and happiness does as well. Having a rather rigid schedule allows me to feel relaxed when I’m not working! Everyone needs time off. Those who argue otherwise might now have a good work-life balance, and that’s simply now how I want to spend my days on this planet.
Laura Dembowski says
I actually try to do the same thing. I even take Wednesdays and Saturdays off most of the time. I do leave room for flexibility and I often end up doing some work on my days off, but it is so nice to know I have days to myself.
These biscotti look wonderful. I’ve never made biscotti.
Liz @ FloatingKitchen says
Good for you, Jennifer! I am finding myself falling in the trap of working constantly lately. And I’m starting to feel the burnout coming. I need to dedicated some days as non-working days. But it’s definitely tough. Never thought it would take so much discipline to NOT do something! These biscotti look great. I mean, brown butter. Obviously!
I am so unorganized and because I don’t stick to a routine like that, I get far less done. I need to follow in your footsteps and do the same thing. Also, love this biscotti, I usually do a gift basket with homemade biscotti and coffee for Stevie’s employees. I think I’m trying this recipe out this year! And I love those backlit photos. So pretty.
Alice Choi says
I hear you sister. Plan a work week, take a day off and enjoy it. For me, I have cooking & photography days and then “computer days” where I visit other blogs and do social media stuff but what I also do, is I have “going out days” or “errand days”, where I go out with the kids, take care of stuff and don’t worry about not being online. You’re absolutely right about taking time for you, to relax and recharge. I’m rooting for you. . here’s to a great 2015 for you!
Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says
I know it’s so hard to give yourself permission to take time to yourself but I’m glad you’re forcing yourself to do it! And this biscotti is THE BEST-I loooove browned butter and caramel so yes yes yessss
Tutti Dolci says
Gorgeous biscotti, love the brown butter and caramel combo! I think breaks are a necessity for health, so I hope you start to enjoy your new schedule quickly!
Allie|Baking a Moment says
Wishing you all the luck in the world, my friend. I so relate to this. And I’ve been trying to figure out how to work “normal” hours for months now. Let me know if/when you get it figured out! PS- the biscotti look amazing!
Elizabeth - SugarHero.com says
Please keep us posted on how the new schedule goes! I need to do SOMETHING to bring more balance into my life, but it always feels as if 5 days aren’t enough for all of the work…obviously I need to re-prioritize some things. I’d love to hear how it goes and what works/doesn’t work for you down the road.
Diane Bukatman says
Excuse me, but why can’t biscotti & coffee BE the party?