‘Tis the Season: Gingerbread Biscotti

A few flavors stand out to me during the holiday season – that is to say, I associate them most during this time of year. They would include peppermint, eggnog, and gingerbread (I would also include pumpkin as I will not stop drinking Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes until they are taken off the menu until next season).

This holiday season, I entertained the idea of buying one of those gingerbread house kits (as pictured below), but neither got around to it nor thought it was a particularly good idea.

gingerbread-house-kit-127487-im31

Check out this incredible gingerbread mansion(?)…castle (?) someone built!  (I recently saw a video of a man constructing a replica of the estate in Downton Abbey out of gingerbread… people have so much time on their hands and it makes me jealous!). (Also in other pop culture references, on The Mindy Project, Chris Messina’s character brings a gingerbread house to their work holiday party, noting “the insulsion is made out of cotton candy so it’s winterized”). Can you tell I really want to built a gingerbread house?

Gingerbread-House-Fort-Harrison

BTW, after constructing a gingerbread house, do you just eat it? Do you dismantle it piece by piece, eating as you go? Can a gingerbread house expert/architect/contractor please weigh in? I must know!

But, as I do love gingerbread, I thought the next best thing would be gingerbread cookies or something of the sort. Then… I found a recipe for gingerbread biscotti. Perfect!

I actually made biscotti for the first time last Christmas as homemade gifts. This is a typical biscotti recipe (the usual ingredients) plus those that make it “gingerbread-y” (cloves, molasses, ginger, etc).

As with most recipes, I did a little (wikipedia) research. As many know, biscotti are originally Italian, a product of Prato, a city in Tuscany. What I didn’t know was that Italians refer to these cookies as cantuccini (as opposed to biscotti, which in Italian means cookie). The important factor that differentiates cantuccini from “biscotti” is the fact that they are twice-baked. As you will see in the recipe, you first bake them at a higher temperature in a loaf and then slice them, baking them for a second time at a slightly lower temperature. The end result crunchy, crisp cookies perfect for dunking in tea or coffee.

Dunking biscotti in coffee or tea is like grown-up classy, Italian version of milk and cookies!

(eggnog latte with gingerbread biscotti)

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Gingerbread Biscotti

Adapted from Alexandra Cooks

½ cup unsalted butter

½ cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup molasses

2 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1½ tsp baking powder

2 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cloves

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt

1 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cream the butter with the sugars until well blended.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Add the molasses, blend and then add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, spices and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. Fold in the almonds until just incorporated.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Divide the dough into two halves. Form each piece of dough into a long rectangle onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Bake one at a time on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 30 minutes.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice crosswise.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Lay the cut slices on their sides on the baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 325ºF and bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, flip the biscotti over and return pan to the oven for 5-10 minutes depending on desired crispiness.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Remove pan and let cool before serving.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) /  Gingerbread Biscotti

Gingerbread Biscotti
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Cream the butter with the sugars until well blended.
  3. Add the molasses, blend and then add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, spices and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. Fold in the almonds until just incorporated.
  5. Divide the dough into two halves. Form each piece of dough into a long rectangle onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.
  6. Bake one at a time on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice crosswise.
  8. Lay the cut slices on their sides on the baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 325ºF and bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, flip the biscotti over and return pan to the oven for 5-10 minutes depending on desired crispiness.
 

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