Merry Christmas to all of you out there in Blogville! What a busy time of year for everyone and I truly cannot believe that Christmas was yesterday. As we woke up this morning, it saddened me that each day now will become a little less bright, as far as Christmas lights go. Each day, more folks will begin taking down the tree and the outside lights. January arrives and along with it, more cold weather. BUT….that thought excites me because it means the possibility of some snow or icy days when the roads are closed and we have a reason to stay home and watch movies, without guilt. It is on those days that things like gingerbread just sound so good. If you are like me, you have probably began to collect some of the Santas or Snowmen that adorn your home to put away until next Christmas. Honestly it felt good to get in the kitchen this morning and begin to bring down the Christmas dishes to pack away and clean up before putting out the dishes that we use for Jan and February. (Yes I do have dishes that are simply for Jan and February) What can I say except that I love kitchen dishes). Getting back to my subject of Giving Gingerbread, as I was baking this morning between ridding the kitchen of Santas, I started to think about something. Why do we feel that just because Christmas is over, we don’t need to bake goodies to give away? Wouldn’t it be so wonderful to hear the doorbell ring as I am packing away Christmas; and there at the door is a friend handing me some gingerbread biscotti to enjoy as I sit and rest after a day of packing away all the Christmas decor? So I began to bake this amazing new recipe that I found last night. It is scrumptious and makes enough to give to someone that might come to your mind. It was so simple to make and the flavor is just so wonderful. AND…since Starbucks did away with their gingerbread flavored drinks this year, I have been missing gingerbread everything. So this is my answer to my gingerbread craving. Seriously, it is some of the best biscotti I have had. You are probably going too remind me that I say that about every biscotti I make, but this one is really my favorite (at least until I am craving chocolate and cherry flavored biscotti which will probably happen around Valentines Day).
*Taken from She Wears Many Hats
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teas baking soda
1 teas salt
1 1/2 teas cinnamon (I used 2 teas)
1 1/2 teas ginger
1 heaping teas of pumpkin pie spice (I use this in place of the following:
3/4 teas ground allspice, 1/2 teas cloves, 1/4 teas black pepper)
6 tables softened butter, unsalted
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar,
2 large eggs, room temp
2 teas vanilla
2 tables unsulfured molasses
1 cup finely choppe peans or walnuts
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries, or her recipe called for dried apricots, which I would have used had they been in my pantry, but I had cranberries today, so I used them.
1/2 table powdered sugar (I omitted this and used granulated sugar)
Mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices together in a bowl. In another mixing bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until well combined. Add the eggs, vanilla, molasses and beat until mixture is mixed completely. Add butter mixture with flour mixture and beat until combined. Stir in nuts, cranberries and vanilla chips if desired.
Shape into two football shaped logs on parchment paper on baking sheet. Sprinkle either the powdered sugar or granulated sugar over the top of each log. Bake in preheated 350 oven for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven temp to 300 degrees. Cool biscotti for 5 minutes before Slicing diagonally and then place each piece back on a baking sheet and bake biscotti for about 9 minutes in 300 oven. Turn the oven off.
***(The following instructions are my own, as I have now been successful doing all the biscotti this way instead of baking according to all other instructions.)
Remove from oven and turn each piece over and then place biscotti back in oven which has been turned off. As the oven cools, the biscotti will “dry” and become crispy. After about 30 min, remove from the oven and cool completely. Keep in airtight container and think about who you can share some. IT might be the beginning of a brand new friendship or bless someone who was just needing a little extra kindness.
Am including a picture of what the biscotti log should look like before baking.