Biscotti, those twice-baked Italian cookies, have been on my must-make-for-Christmas-list for the past few years. The Holidays wouldn’t be the same without them. I have made a variety of flavors over the years, some of them we really loved, others were just so-so. Some kind of biscotti always ends up in the cookie-gifts I put together for friends and family. This particular recipe is one of our very favorites, and becomes a favorite of everyone who has it. I either get asked for the recipe, or “are you making those spicy biscotti cookies this year?” The answer is Yes, Yes,Yes.
These cookies are just great as a light dessert, with a cup of coffee, on a dessert buffet, or for a cookie swap. I can’t imagine anytime when they wouldn’t be welcome, and not just for the Holidays. They can be made and enjoyed any time of the year. Dipping them in chocolate may be omitted, but the combination of gingerbread and chocolate is so good and a little decadent! I’ve even gone so far as to sprinkle the chocolate end with finely ground nuts or decorative sugar while the chocolate is still moist.
CHOCOLATE-DIPPED GINGERBREAD BISCOTTI
YIELD: Makes about 2 1/2 dozen biscotti
- 3/4 cup crystalized ginger, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup light molasses
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2/3 cup ( 4 ounces ) chopped bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the the spices and the sugars. Sift in the flour and baking powder, and whisk to blend well.
2. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, followed by the molasses, until the mixture is smooth.
3. Add the flour/spice mixture and mix to blend. Add in the chopped ginger. The dough will be thick and slightly sticky. You may need to stir in the last of the flour and the ginger.
4. Divide the dough in half, wrap each half in wax paper or plastic wrap, and chill for 2 to 3 hours. (When tightly sealed, the dough will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.)
5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment paper, set aside.
6. With lightly floured hands, shape each portion of dough into a loaf about 1/2 inch thick, 2 inches wide, and 12 to 14 inches long.
Place the loaves on the prepared sheet at least 2 inches apart. Bake until the loaves are completely set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean—-about 25 minutes. Do not turn off the oven.
7. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and let the loaves cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. With a serrated knife, firmly cut each loaf on the diagonal into slices 1/2 inch thick.
Place the slices upright on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 10 minutes, or longer if you like a crisper cookie. Remove the biscotti from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over boiling water or in the micro-wave. Dip one end of each cookie into the chocolate, and using a knife or spatula, smooth as needed. Do not dip more than half of each cookie. Set the cookies upright on a wire rack until the chocolate has set.
Cookies may be stored in an airtight container, separated by wax or parchment paper between the layers.
Nutrition summary: per cookie: 135 calories, 4 g. fat, 1 g. fiber, 21 mg. cholesterol, 33 mg sodium.
SOURCE: Martha Stewart, Gifts From Your Kitchen