25 Days of Baking: Day 6
Story time. It will explain why I named this blog “If You Give a Blonde a Kitchen.”
Last night I was rummaging through my recipe books and bookmarked websites to decide what to bake for day 6 of the 25 Days of Baking. I settled on gingerbread biscotti, festive and something I’ve never made before. Plus, it gave me an excuse to write about the 4 months I lived in Italy. Scratch that.
Picture this: I’m in the kitchen, I’ve got my ingredients out, Christmas In Connecticut on the TV and I’m ready to go. I’m adding my ingredients, following the instructions and notice the dough is a little dry so I add a few tablespoons of milk. Problem solved. I form the two logs, not so easily, but good enough. What do I know, I’ve never made biscotti before. Put them on the baking sheet into the oven. 30 minutes pass, take them out, cool, cut, put them back in the oven according to the instructions. I take them out, cool and taste. Something isn’t right.
I’m wondering what went wrong. They aren’t very tasty to say the least. So I pull out the bible, Baking Illustrated, which I should have read prior to even starting this adventure. Let me first explain why I love this cookbook. The authors test multiple recipes for one certain baked good, say blueberry muffins, and write up the outcomes according to various ingredients—cake flour vs. all-purpose flour, frozen blueberries vs. fresh blueberries. Then they settle on the best recipe and publish their research and results in the cookbook. I love it. It’s easy to try a recipe you find on the internet, but it’s worth while to know why your using certain ingredients.
Anyway, here I am reading up on biscotti… some recipes call for butter, others for extra egg yolk, and then it hits me. I forgot to add the sugar. I mean, who forgets the sugar? Completely slipped my mind. That, my friends, is what happens If You Give A Blonde A Kitchen.
I continued by telling my dog (no one else was home) how ironic it is that biscotti means twice baked because I will have to attempt to bake this recipe a second time. He was just hoping he would get the first batch that probably tasted like dog biscuits. After carefully adding the ingredients once more, the second attempt was a success. The whole house smelled like gingerbread. So don’t be afraid to try this recipe, just don’t forget the sugar.
The rest of my day was filled with decorating, which is perfectly described by “We Need a Little Christmas”
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger optional
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, stir together eggs, molasses, and vanilla until well combined. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until it forms a doughy ball.*
Flour work surface and transfer dough to the surface.
Divide dough in half and form each half into a log about 10 inches by 2 inches.
Place logs about 4 inches apart on the baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, the surface will spring back when gently touched. Let cool 10-15 minutes.
Once cooled, move log from baking sheet to cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut log into 3/4 inch slices on the diagonal. Place slices back on parchment lined pans, cut sides down. Repeat with second log.
Bake 10-15 minutes, flipping biscotti over half way through. The baking time depends on how dry you like your biscotti. Longer baking time (15 min.) makes a harder, crunchier biscotti.
Let biscotti cool on a wire rack.
Once cooled, use a double boiler or microwave to melt 1 cup white chocolate chips (see melting chocolate tips here).
Either dip biscotti in the chocolate or transfer melted chocolate to a bag and drizzle chocolate over the biscotti. Allow chocolate to harden and enjoy with your coffee!
*If the dough is too wet, like a cookie dough, add some flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it forms a ball. If it is too dry and crumbly, add some water 1 tablespoon at a time.
Adapted from: Baking Illustrated and That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Baking time edited December 14, 2013