Yep. It’s holiday baking time!
While I’m something of a Grinch when it comes most of the holiday traditions like exchanging gifts, singing carols, sending out cards, watching It’s a Wonderful Life on TV and the rest of that shmoopy sentimental crap that comes along with Christmas, I’m a sucker for the delicious sweets that the holidays bring along (yes, even fruitcake). There’s nothing like the smell of cloves and cinnamon wafting through the house to drive away a cold blustery winter’s day.
So, in the spirit of the season, here’s the first of many recipes I’ll be whipping up to share with friends and family over the next week or so. These biscotti are everything that a Christmas cookie should be – gently scented with festive ginger, cloves and cinnamon, spiked with flecks of minced candied ginger, and best enjoyed with a mug of hot mulled cider or spiced tea.
As an added bonus, this recipe makes enough to give as a gift and still keep a few for yourself… just pack them up in a pretty tin or bundle up in a festive mug, and you’re good to go.
1/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp each ground cloves and allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup crystallised ginger, finely minced
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until mixture is smooth; add molasses and vanilla.
In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and spices; stir in the minced ginger. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until the dough begins to come together. Turn out dough onto a clean surface and knead gently until combined.
Divide dough in half and shape into two 12″ long rolls. Place the rolls on the prepared cookie sheet, and then pat each one down into a flat log, which should be roughly 3 inches wide and 3/4 inches thick, leaving at least 2 inches of space between the logs.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, place the logs on a cutting board and cut with a serrated knife held slightly at an angle into 3/4 inch wide slices.
Arrange the slices on the baking sheet, placing them cut side down, and return to the oven for 5-7 minutes per side or until crisp. Set on a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, drizzle biscotti with melted white chocolate, or serve as-is.