Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe:
3/4 cup (100 grams) hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (can also use pecans or walnuts)
1 cup (100 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
1 3/4 cups (225 grams) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (160 grams) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (60 ml) unsulphured molasses (such as Grandma's Molasses)
2 tablespoons light olive oil (or corn oil)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (95 grams) dark or golden raisins
1/2 cup (55 grams) confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 - 3 tablespoons milk or light cream
Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until brown and fragrant and the skins are starting to peel. Remove from oven, place the warm hazelnuts in a clean dish towel, roll it up, and let the nuts 'steam' for about five minutes. Then briskly rub the nuts, while still in the towel, to remove most of their skins. Set aside to let the nuts cool and then coarsely chop. (Note: To toast pecans, walnuts, or almonds, bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until brown and fragrant.)
In a food processor, process 1/2 cup (50 grams) of the rolled oats until finely ground.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), combine the 1/2 cup (50 grams) of finely ground oats, the remaining 1/2 cup (50 grams) of rolled oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses, oil, and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the chopped hazelnuts and raisins and beat just until incorporated.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide the dough in half. Take each half of dough and form it into a log, about 12 inches (30 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 3 inches (7.5 cm) apart. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Transfer the logs to a cutting board and cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) slices, on the diagonal. Place the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for about 6-8 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for another 6-8 minutes or until dry and firm. Remove from oven and let cool. Can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks.
Glaze (optional): In a small bowl stir together the sugar, vanilla extract, and enough milk (cream) to make a smooth, thick, yet pourable glaze. Use a small spoon to drizzle several thin lines of the glaze over each biscotti. Let the biscotti sit at room temperature until the glaze has completely dried.
Makes about 30 biscotti.
While I always have a bowl of oatmeal after my morning walk, I like to start my day with a cup of coffee and a biscotti. I particularly enjoy these Gingerbread Biscotti, as they are not overly sweet, have chunks of hazelnuts, lots of sweet and juicy raisins, lovely flecks of rolled oats, just a hint of molasses, and are warmly spiced with ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. While I usually eat them plain, there are times when I like to either dip them in melted white chocolate or drizzle the tops with a confectioners glaze (recipe included).
As with most biscotti, this Gingerbread Biscotti is a great recipe to play around with. For one thing, there many types of nuts you could use in this recipe. Although hazelnuts are my favorite, I know they can be hard to find, so pecans, walnuts, or even almonds can be substituted. I have suggested that you toast the nuts before adding them to the batter as this really brings out the nut's flavor. However, if you are pressed for time you can leave out this step. Now, make sure to leave the nuts in fairly large chunks as you really want to see and taste the nuts in the biscotti. I have always been a big fan of raisins, either dark or golden, which I think goes very well with the flavors of gingerbread. But I know that raisins are a take it or leave it kind of fruit, so if you do not like them, substitute with dried cranberries or cherries, dried apricots, dried figs, or even chocolate chips. Of course, the amounts and types of ground spices can also be adjusted to your own taste. And finally, if you do not have olive oil on hand, you could use corn oil or canola oil.
The second baking of the biscotti determines its' texture. If you like your biscotti quite crisp and crunchy, which is perfect for dunking in your coffee, bake the biscotti the full eight minutes per side. But if you want them slightly softer, reduce the baking time to between 4-5 minutes per side. Gingerbread Biscotti will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.