Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Great Pumpkin Pie Biscotti Experiment

Pumpkin Pie Biscotti: Round One Results:

I played around with making pumpkin pie biscotti recently and had pretty good results. The recipe needs to be tweaked some but not much. Basically, it wasn't as magically delicious as the gingerbread biscotti experiment. But that was kind of a fluke. The baking gods were shining their delicious light on me that night. But even without being bathed in rays of magical delicousness, I'm pretty happy with the results. I was worried that the pumpkin flavor wouldn't come through but hooray, it did! Mostly, the recipe needs more spice and the biscotti loaves came out way soft and were hard to slice. Still, I was pretty happy with the results: a spicy, pumpkin-y biscotti reminiscent of pumpkin pie.

Here's the recipe based on what I would do NEXT time so make at your own risk. But I'm pretty confident this recipe will turn out than my original.


2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup pumpkin
1 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 pumpkin. 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.

I'll play with the new recipe later on but I want to move on to bigger and better things. Like strawberries. I go on fruit runs to the local farmer's market once a week to restock my fruit supply. I'm obsessed with fruit and am constantly restocking my always dwindling supply of apples, bananas, grapes and whatever else I can find. Luckily, this market is often ridiculously cheap. They were selling quarts of strawberries for .42 cents a box. Is that not delicious craziness?! I think I had some heart palpitations upon seeing the price. So right now I have way too many strawberries in my fridge. But I couldn't pass them up. My plans for them right now are sandwiching the strawberries in a trifle with vanilla brown butter cake and chocolate pudding. BJ has been begging me to make a cassata cake, which I've never had but he insists has strawberries in it. From his rambling, drooling descriptions, he makes it out to be the best thing ever. And hey, I'm never one to turn down a reason to make a cake.

Who knows if I'll actually get this done. Midterms are soon and I really should be locked in a small room for the next week. But everybody needs balance, right? My balance is baking. Sweet, soothing baking. Except for pie. Whenever I bake pie, I am mere seconds away from having a brain aneurysm at all times. But I plan on making an apple pie soon-ish also so I'm sure you'll hear much more about that later. If I survive.

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