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One Last Homemade Gift Idea: Gingerbread Biscotti; Plus A Few Holiday Staples, Namely The Ham Sauce

Posted Dec 19 2012 12:00am

gingerbread biscotti in jar

Biscotti lovers seem to fall into two camps: those who view dipping as essential and those who view dipping as optional. As you can see from the photo above, I fall into the dipping-is-optional camp. I like my biscotti with a chewy center (a texture achieved by butter, which dipping-biscotti recipes generally do not call for) and a crisp crust, and I like them on the larger, meatier size I want to eat one (not ten) and feel satisfied.

While I am partial to classic almond biscotti , these gingerbread biscotti are a treat this time of year. This recipe is just a variation of my favorite recipe with molasses replacing some of the sugar and the addition of traditional gingerbread spices: ginger, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. With coffee or tea, a latte or hot cocoa, this dunking-is-optional treat will put anyone in the holiday spirit.

I hope all of your holiday preparations are going well. Below I’ve compiled some of my favorite recipes for this time of year, namely this mustard sauce (affectionately known as the ham sauce in my family), which is incredibly delicious, a wonderful accompaniment to a ham dinner, and a treat to have on hand for leftover sandwiches … you might want to make a double batch.

Hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday.

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Favorite Holiday Recipes
Note: images link to recipes

On the Side: Mustard Sauce If you’re making a ham, you have to make this sauce seriously, so good; Cheddar Biscuits (perfect for leftover ham/turkey sandwiches); Red Wine Cranberry Sauce
mustard sauce cheddar biscuits, just out of the oven cranberries

Party Starters: Glogg (Warning: This is potent stuff bone-warming, rosy-cheek inducing, party-starting stuff.); Baked Fontina, Cheese Straws

glug ingredients baked fontina with herbs and garlic cheese sticks

Desserts/Treats: Rosemary Shortbread (my favorite), Rum Balls (so easy!), Almond Torte, Orange and Olive Oil Cake, Chocolate Torte, Boozy Chocolate Truffles

rosemary shortbread rum balls Chez Panisse Almond Torte Orange and Olive Oil Cake Jean Georges chocolate cake Boozy Chocolate Truffles

Christmas Morning: Cranberry buttermilk breakfast cake, Bakery Lane’s Honey Whole Wheat Bread, Baked Eggs

buttermilk cranberry breakfast cake Bakery Lane's honey whole wheat bread baked eggs with gruyère and herbs

gingerbread biscotti with coffee

Gingerbread Biscotti

Yield = About 30

Notes: This is just a variation of my favorite almond biscotti recipe . Here, some of the white sugar has been replaced with molasses, and the overall sugar has been reduced by a quarter cup. Traditional gingerbread spices ginger, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg have been added, and the baking method has been altered slightly. With my almond biscotti, I bake the whole loaves for 35 minutes, let them cool for 15 to 20 minutes, slice them and bake them on one side for another 15 minutes. Here, because the bottoms of the biscotti logs brown a little too much after 35 minutes, I’ve reduced the initial bake time to 30 minutes. Be warned: The center of the biscotti is very raw at this point. After 20 minutes of cooling, however, it is able to withstand a knife, and with two additional bakings one on each side of the sliced biscotti it finishes baking nicely without browning too much on any side. As I noted above, I like my biscotti with a chewy center, which makes dipping optional, but you can alter the baking times of the last two bakings to create the desired texture you like.

1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted bu\u001Ftter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
½ cup mola\u001Esses
2 eggs
3 cups (13.5 oz.) all\u001D-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon ci\u001Bnnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup sliced almonds

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butt\u001Fer with the sugars until we\u001D blended. Add the molass\u001Ees and stir to blend. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and blend on low-spee\u001Ad until just combined. Add the almonds and mix again until just incorporated.

3. Remove the dough from the mixer and divide into two halves. Plop one half into the center of a large piece of plastic wrap. Form into a long rectangle about 1 inch high. Wrap with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining log. Chill\u001D for 3 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake one log at a time on a parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place on a coo\u0018ling rack. Let log c\u0018ool for 20 minutes before transferring it to a cutt\u001Fing board. Reduce oven temp to 325ºF or if you like your biscotti on the crisper side, reduce oven temp to 300ºF. Cut the log cross\u001Ewise with a sharp knife. Lay the cut slices on their sides on the baking shee\u001At. Return pan to the oven for 15 min if you like a chewy texture and 20 minutes (at 300ºF) if you like a crisper texture. Remove pan from oven, flip bisco\u001Ftti over, and return pan to the oven for 5 minutes (if you like chewy) and 10 minutes (if you like crispy). Remove pan from the oven and let coo\u0018l on baking shee\u001At before storing. (Note: Use your judgement regarding the time increase or decrease the times based on your preferences for texture.)

log of biscotti, just baked

sliced biscotti

ready for second baking

just-baked biscotti

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