Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Gingersnap Biscotti Experiment

I can sort of justify craving colder weather flavors like ginger and pumpkin. Though in Cleveland the temperatures are still in the mid-70’s and 99% of the trees are still full and green, I’m an Alaskan girl. And in Alaska, fall starts in mid-September and lasts for about 36 hours before all the leaves fall off the trees in one pathetic FLOMP and the temperature drops to the 40’s. Snow is pretty much guaranteed by Halloween, where it will stay til April or so. Therefore, although I wore a miniskirt today, my Alaskan bones are demanding warm, comforting winter-y/fall foods. And I must obey.

Or maybe I just like an excuse to eat gingerbread in September. The world may never know.

So I decided I wanted to make something gingersnap-y or gingerbread-y, but I’ve made gingersnaps. I’ve made gingerbread. I’m over them. Well, not really, but I wanted to make something I’d never made before and I decided a gingersnap biscotti sounded mighty tasty, despite the fact that I’ve never made biscotti and couldn’t find a recipe for a gingerbread-y biscotti. After looking at some recipes, I decided to make my own up to fulfill my current sugar fix.

By some miracle, the biscotti turned out well despite the fact that I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing. One of my biscotti ‘loaves’ was a bit thin and came out a little bit too crispy, next time I'll make them a bit thicker to compensate. However, Joe gobbled them down regardless so I guess they weren’t too bad. Biscotti was not hard at all to make, I was pleasantly surprised.

I thought about making some sort of glaze or dip for them but decided to leave it. The only combination I thought of that would be good with gingersnaps would be a white chocolate lemon glaze but I’m not a big lemon-dessert person. They were plenty good without it, though Joe did whip up a batch of whipped cream to drown a bunch of biscotti in and said it was marvelous. But unless you are unable to gain weight like Joe, this may not be the best practice.

My next experiment will be making pumpkin pie spiced biscotti, which may be more of a challenge. But a delicious one!

Recipe: (adapted from a Cooks Illustrated biscotti recipe and various gingersnap recipes)


2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Sift first eight ingredients together in a small bowl.
2. Whisk sugar and eggs in a large bowl to a light lemon color; stir in vanilla extract and molasses. Sift dry ingredients over egg mixture, then fold in until dough is just combined.
3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Halve dough and turn each portion onto an oiled cookie sheet covered with parchment. Using floured hands, quickly stretch each portion of dough into a rough 13-by-2-inch log, placing them about 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Pat each dough shape to smooth it. Bake, turning pan once, until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes.
4. Cool the loaves for 10 minutes; lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. Cut each loaf diagonally into 3/8-inch slices with a serrated knife. Lay the slices about 1/2-inch apart on the cookie sheet, cut side up, and return them to the oven. Bake, turning over each cookie halfway through baking, until crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer biscotti to wire rack and cool completely. Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for at least 1 month.

1 comment:

kp said...

Hooray for colder-weather-flavors!
Write more Sophie, for Kim is addicted to your blog.