It’s finally, finally Christmas! After an incredibly difficult holiday season last year, I am so looking forward to truly celebrating and rejoicing in all the glories of the most wonderful time of the year.
As the holiday season ramps up and life becomes increasingly busy, it can be such a luxury to steal a few quiet minutes to snuggle up under a blanket with a cup of hot coffee or tea, a book, and a little treat like this simple gingerbread biscotti. Gingerbread is easily my favorite Christmas flavor, so this biscotti was an obvious choice for me. With crunchy bits of chopped pecans and sweet, chewy bites of dried apricots, it really is something special. It’s most definitely a treat worth sharing in goodie boxes or bags, but you may just want to keep it to yourself for those rare and special quiet holiday moments.
very slightly adapted from Fine Cooking
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. lightly packed dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1 TBSP crystallized ginger, diced
1/4 c. molasses
2 large eggs
2 tsp. finely grated orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, brown sugar, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda on medium-low speed until well blended. Reduce to low speed and mix in pecans, apricots, and crystallized ginger.
3. In a measuring cup, whisk together molasses, eggs, and orange zest. With mixer on low, slowly pour in molasses mixture and continue mixing until dough is well blended and comes together in large moist clumps, 1-2 minutes.
4. Turn dough out onto an unfloured work surface. Divide into two equal pieces and shape each piece into a log that is 10 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. If necessary, flour your hands as you work.
5. Lay logs side by side on the prepared baking sheet with about 4 inches of space in between. Bake until tops crack slightly and dough springs back when pressed, 30-35 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool until dough can be handled, about 10 minutes.
6. Carefully remove biscotti logs from the parchment and transfer to a cutting board. sing a serrated knife, saw each log, diagonally, into 3/4-in. wide slices. Return slices to the same baking sheet, with the cut side down.
7. Bake biscotti 10-20 minutes more depending on how chewy or crispy you want them. (At 10 minutes, biscotti will be like chewy cookies. At 20 minutes, it will be very dry and crunchy.) Transfer baking sheet to a cooling rack to let biscotti cool completely and harden up. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.
Yield: 20-24 biscotti