While planning our Thanksgiving menu this year, when I got to the dessert course, I wanted to do something a little different than just the traditional pumpkin pie. I already had a very savory flavor profile planned for the turkey using a brown sugar, fennel, cumin and chili pepper rub, so I decided dessert should also be more on the savory-sweet side to finish off the meal. I had never made biscotti before, but that wasn’t going to stop me.
After foraging through the pantry and spice cabinet, I discovered I had everything I needed without having to go out to the store, another bonus since it was the day before Thanksgiving and anyone who knows me well, knows that I avoid the holiday crowds as much as possible.
The only ingredient I was hesitant on using was the package of rye flour on the shelf because traditional biscotti have a combination of all-purpose and wheat flours. But an adventurous chef should always be willing to try something new, right?
If you haven’t used rye flour before, you should consider it. Not only does it add an umami tangy-sweetness to the baked food you prepare, it’s also a healthier option than using whole wheat flour. 100 grams of rye bread provides 6 grams of fiber whereas the same amount of wheat bread only provides 4.2 grams of fiber.
How did the biscotti turn out? The rye flour was a well-played gamble. It paired perfectly with the spicy ground ginger and the caramel-sweet molasses, and the icing not only looked beautiful drizzled over the cookies, it was just the right amount of sweetness.
These biscotti cookies would be another great homemade gift idea for your family or friends for Christmas!
For the Biscotti:
1 1/2 cups rye flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the Icing:
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Biscotti:
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a small mixing bowl, add the sugar, molasses, vanilla extract and two of the eggs. Using a hand mixer, blend the ingredients on high for 5-7 minutes until thoroughly combined and the sugar dissolves.
3) In a larger mixing bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and baking powder together.
4) Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients until a stiff dough forms.
5) Divide the dough in half and using lightly floured hands, shape the halves into two elongated loaves and place the loaves on a parchment-lined baking tray.
6) Beat the yolk of the remaining egg with a tablespoon of water and brush each loaf with the egg wash.
7) Bake the gingerbread in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
8) Remove the pan from the oven and put the loaves on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
9) Reduce the oven to 250 degrees and slice the loaves into diagonal slices, about 1/2 inch thick.
10) Arrange the biscotti cut side down and bake for 10 minutes. Then flip the biscotti over and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
11) Remove the biscotti from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack and cool thoroughly.
For the Icing:
1) Combine the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth.
2) Drizzle the icing over the biscotti and allow the icing to set until firm. Store the biscotti in an airtight container.