Friday, November 12, 2010

52 Cookies - Chapter 45

I have a back-log (still) of cookie recipes I want to try.  And yet, I searched for something new this week.  I have yet to grow tired of baked goods of the pumpkin variety this season.  And being that pumpkin is one of those "super foods" that nutritionists say you can never get too much of...well, then, it's okay for me to be eating all of these cookies and muffins, right?  Right?  Come on, join with me, rationalize with me.  Fool yourself into believing it.

I've been fixing myself a cup of cappuccino in the morning more lately.  It's been chilly and I like to sip it after breakfast while I check email.  Owen's off getting dressed or doing goodness-knows-what up in his bedroom and it's my few minutes to myself, save for a few interruptions such as, "Mommy, can you trim this fingernail?" or "Mommy, can you get my toothbrush ready?" or "Mommy, where's my underwear?"

Sigh.  I really won't know what I'll do with myself when he goes off to kindergarten next year.
(digress, digress, digress)

So, what goes great with coffee or tea for that matter?  Well, I suppose you could answer any number of ways.  Donuts.  Coffee Cake.  Bagels.  But, let's think about my cookie theme here. 

Biscotti!  I love biscotti.  I've never been a hard, crunchy cookie kind of gal.  But I do love biscotti, for that very reason.  I love to dunk my biscotti in a cup of coffee/cappuccino/herbal tea, you name it!

I did a search for pumpkin biscotti and I was directed to a recipe blog/website that has not popped up on my radar before.  I think I will add it to my repertoire of go-to sites when I have something in particular I am looking for.  It looked like a good source.  It's called Simply Recipes.  Pretty self-explanatory, huh?!

Pumpkin Biscotti
Here's What You Need:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ginger
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of salt...I love recipes that call for a "pinch" of something!
2 eggs
1/2 cup pure packed pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla

Here's What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl and whisk lightly to evenly combine.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until all ingredients are combined.  You don't want to over-mix.

Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Flour your hands and form the dough into a large log about 15 inches long and maybe 6 inches wide.  You don't want it to be any thicker than a 1/2 inch.  I decided to form two logs to make for smaller biscotti.  Smaller biscotti = less guilt!
After it has baked
Bake for about 25 minutes or until the center is firm to the touch.  If you decide to make two logs, instead of one, I would suggest cutting your back time to about 17 minutes, or more if needed.  Better to check on it sooner, rather than later!

After it's done baking, let it cool for 15 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board and use a serrated knife to cut the biscotti into 1 inch wide pieces.  I like to do mine on the diagonal for a fancier look.  Whatever toots your horn! 

Turn the oven back to 300 degrees.  Lay the biscotti back on the cookie sheet, cut side facing up.  Bake for 7-8 more minutes, flip the bicotti over and bake another 7-8 minutes.  The purpose of this is to evenly "dry" out the cookie and rid them of their moisture. Cool completely.  If you find these are still a bit soft, leave them out, uncovered, for 24 hours and that should do the trick.

And, because everything is better with chocolate, I melted some and piped it over the top in yummy little zig-zaggy directions.  Perfect.

You'll get about 15 of these cookies, depending on whether you form one log or two.  Just enough to spoil yourself and share some with a friend or two.  Yes, Mom, there are some waiting for you in the freezer.

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