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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pumpkin Biscotti with Cranberries and Pecans

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There was a time when the thought of making many things intimidated me. In the 14 or so months that I've been blogging, I've gained a lot of kitchen confidence and willingly tackle most anything. For some reason, biscotti was one of those baked goods that I was still nervous about attempting. Something about molding the dough, baking them twice, and cutting them into perfect biscotti shapes seemed difficult. Now that I've successfully made my first batch of biscotti, I've realized how silly this fear was. Biscotti dough is easy to work with, the twice-baked thing is a cinch, and who cares if your biscotti aren't perfect little sticks?

Pumpkin-flavored biscotti are perfect to eat with your coffee or tea this time of year. Our friend Daniel actually bit into one and said, "What's in this that tastes like Christmas?". Gotta love all those Holiday spices! Wrap up a bunch of these and give them as little gifts with a mug and some coffee or tea. You can make the biscotti several days ahead of time and not worry about them firming up, because they're supposed to be hard! Be sure to save a few for yourself, you deserve some Christmas in your mouth too!

One Year Ago: Chicken Gyros (must remake and take a better picture!)

Pumpkin Biscotti
adapted from Simply Recipes

-2 1/2 cups flour
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-pinch of ginger
-pinch of cloves
-pinch of salt
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup pumpkin puree
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-handful dried cranberries
-handful chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.
2. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and turn the mixer on low until ingredients are combined. Fold in cranberries and pecans.
3. On a lightly greased baking sheet, turn dough onto it and shape into a large log, approximately 15-20 inches by 6-7 inches and 1/2 inch thick. (note: I formed into one large log and then cut into two logs that sat side by side on a baking sheet)
4. Bake at 350F for 22-30 minutes, until the center is firm to the touch (mine was firm after 22 minutes).
5. Allow biscotti to cool for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 300F. With a serrated knife, cut biscotti into one-inch wide pieces. If pieces are too long, cut then in half. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Cool completely. If you want them even crisper, leave out uncovered overnight before storing.