Kabsa is one of my favorite dishes. This Middle Eastern rice dish is considered the national dish of Saudi cuisine and it has variations throughout the Arab countries. My version is a beautiful and bountiful plate of rice cooked in onions, carrots, tomatoes, and garlic, […]
These pumpkin spice muffins are just the fix you are searching for when the cozy season beckons. Sweet and creamy pumpkin puree that I make from scratch marries the warm, aromatic spices that scent the air with fall deliciousness. The cake of this muffin is […]
These pumpkin spice biscotti are the perfect treat for these dreary cold autumn days. Made with fresh sugar pumpkins and the perfect blend of fragrant spices, these little cookies will make the perfect dunkers for your coffee or tea. The best part of all: they whip up quite quickly and are easy to pour and slice! No shaping perfection is necessary with this recipe.
This has been my ongoing dilemma all through October and these unexpectedly freezing cold November days:
This cold and rainy (er and snowy?!) weather beckons me to turn on the oven and bake something comforting and delicious and curl up on my chair to enjoy some scrumptious fall goodies.
Yet…. I also should not eat dessert all day.
But it’s oh so tempting to have that warm oven baking all kinds of goodies in this weather. My kitchen will smell so good! Of course, I have to taste everything I make!
Then again, I really want to get into shape, and maybe work on my running routine as well…maybe…
Anyone else face this dilemma??
Well, these lovely pumpkin spice biscotti exude all the warmth and aromas of autumn, and you don’t have to feel super guilty about it. They are small-ish bite size portions but full of delicious pumpkin goodness. As always, I use fresh whole ingredients like a whole pie pumpkin that I bake in the oven to puree, the finest and most potent spices, and pure organic, grass fed butter.
Biscotti is the Italian word for these cute little cookies made perfect for dunking into tea or coffee. Biscotto is the singular form, and in Arabic my mother referred to them as “biscot yansoon”. Yansoon is Arabic for the anise seed she would grind and add to the cookie. My mom makes the best biscotti. Of course I may be biased, but it is the perfect texture, right amount of anise, and has the perfect crunch. It is not too hard and crumbly like the ones you may buy pre-packaged. I curl up into nostalgic comfort dipping her biscotti into my tea, and these cookies were my best friends during my first trimester nausea in both my pregnancies. Actually, I think it was my only source of nourishment for a few weeks!
When I decided to make a pumpkin variation of my mother’s biscotti, I could not find a recipe I liked. I experimented again, and again adjusting my mother’s recipe to accommodate the extra moisture from the pumpkin until this was perfect. So here it is, what my taste testers and myself found to be the perfect little cookie!
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Make Fresh Pumpkin Puree
First of all, I use fresh puree. Always. Fresh puree is just better; it has no preservatives or additives, is not processed, and is SO easy to make. Did I mention it will make your house smell AMAZING?! Just cut the pie pumpkin in half, scoop out the pumpkin seeds ( you can toast these little gems with salt and some oil), sprinkle the pumpkin flesh with some cinnamon and nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice, and place flesh side down on a large baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees (f) for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the pumpkin. Your home will smell Ah-MAZING as the toasted spices and roasted pumpkin scents waft through your home. When the pumpkin is soft, remove from oven, let it cool, and scoop it right out of its skin and into a bowl and mash it with a spoon. If it doesn’t soften right up or is more stringy, blend it for 1 minute with a hand blender or in your mixing bowl until smooth.
Pumpkin sounds perfect with warm gooey caramel which will highlight the butterscotch tones the brown sugar imparts to the cookie. So I whipped up a caramel sauce and drizzled over my cooled biscotti after they toasted on each side. This makes for an extra treat when dipped into your coffee or tea and the caramel melts into your drink and in your mouth! However, being a dedicated chocolate fan, I also decided to dress some biscottis with a delicate chocolate drizzle. For this, I just melted some semi-sweet chocolate chips and stirred in a teaspoon of oil, and then drizzled some with a spoon over the cookies. The kids also love doing this step, and they really cannot mess this up!
Biscotti is a twice baked cookie. The first time it is baked to a soft cake like texture, then it is sliced and baked again to toast into a crunchy biscuit ideal for dipping into coffee or tea. I personally like my cookie a little softer so I do not bake it as long as required when it gets its second bake.
Most recipes you will find for biscotti call for rolling the dough out into a log. It was nearly impossible to do so with this mixture; it is far too sticky. Instead we will pour and form the sticky dough into a long, log shape on the pan, and shape it with a spatula dipped in water to smooth the top. When slicing the once baked biscotti, you MUST use a sharp knife, and slice it soon after you take it out of the oven so it does not harden too much and crumble.
Here you see how sticky the batter can be
- 6 cups flour
- 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons of Vietnamese cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of cloves
- 1.5 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
- 1 stick of salted butter
- 1 cup pf dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup of heavy cream
- 10 oz melted chocolate chips
- 1 tsp oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spices together in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, sugars, and vanilla extract. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Pour the melted butter over mixture and stir in gently.
- This step will be the trickiest, but with my tips you will do fine! Grease the baking sheet with butter, or line it with parchment paper. Carefully pour the dough into two long logs on the baking sheet, leaving enough space between the two as they expand in the oven. The length of the log should take the length of the pan and be the same thickness throughout, about 1/2 inch. The width of your log should be about 4 inches, or smaller if you are making mini biscotti. The width of the logs will be the actual length of your biscotti once you cut it. To smooth any peaks from the dough or shape any odd portions, wet your finger or a small spatula, and smooth the dough into a long even slab as much as possible.
- Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, then slice into 2 inch wide biscuits. Turn each biscuit over on its side and bake for 10 minutes on each side.
- While the biscuits are baking, melt 1 stick of unsalted butter over medium heat. Once melted, add 1 cup of brown sugar and cream and stir well. Allow it to boil for about 1 minute then remove from heat. Cool for about 15 minutes then stir in sifted powdered sugar.
- In a heat proof bowl, melt the chocolate chips and stir in the oil. Stir well.
- Once the biscotti have cooled, use a spoon to scoop up the caramel or chocolate and drizzle over the tops of the biscuits while they are still in the pan. Allow the caramel to harden and cookies to completely cool before storing. Store in an airtight container.
- Try adding chopped walnuts or pecans into the batter for some delicious crunch.
- These also make great gifts and are a wonderful seasonal treat easy to dress up with caramel, white chocolate, or chocolate drizzles and wrapped in cellophane!