Every Christmas we make cookies to give away and just about every year we think up a new variation of old favorites. I usually make almond biscotti. Jan suggest doing a ginger biscotti this year.
We found a ginger biscotti recipe at King Arthur, but I, needless to say, took it only as a guideline. Trader Joe’s carries crystallized ginger slices that easily cut into matchsticks. The trick here is to prep your dry ingredients and then to toss the ginger into the mix as you cut it up. The flour coats the cut sides and prevents the ginger from clumping into a solid mass.
Note: Trader Joe’s also sells crystallized ginger in lumps. While it will still work, it is much harder to cut it up as it gets very sticky.
The original recipe called for using a large amount of butter. However, sister Grace’s husband doesn’t eat dairy. My original recipe, which originally came from Joy of Cooking, called for using only eggs. This is a perfect recipe for those who are allergic to both nuts and dairy.
Karl’s Triple Ginger Biscotti
4+ cups A. P. flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
2½ Tbs. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. Kosher salt
12 oz. crystallized ginger coins, sliced into fine matchsticks
7 large eggs
2 Tbs. fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp. vanilla
1. Pre-heat the oven to 300º F.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the 3½ cups of flour, sugars, baking powder, spices, and salt.
Tip: I re-sift the dry ingredients several times to get a good mix. The brown sugar does not actually sift well, so I whisk it in after everything else is thoroughly mixed.
Note: Hold back half a cup of the flour and work it in as you knead the dough. This insures that all of the flour is moistened as you mix the ingredients.
3. Slice and mix in the crystallized ginger.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated ginger, and vanilla.
5. Add the egg mixture to the flour and stir until a dough forms.
6.Turn the dough out onto a clean smooth surface and knead the dough 10-15 times to make sure all of the dry flour is mixed in.
Note: Work in the remaining flour as you are kneading
7. Form the dough into a ball and divide it into quarters.
8. Lightly flour the board and roll each piece of dough into a log 14 inches long and about 1½ inches thick.
9. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer 2 logs to it.
10. Press the logs flat so that each is about half an inch thick and 2½ inches wide.
11. Repeat with the remaining two logs of dough and a second baking sheet.
Tip: Lightly sprits each log with water to moisten any dry flour on the surface of the logs.
12. Bake each pan for about 35minutes, or until the logs are firm to the touch.
Tip: Sometimes the logs may form cracks on the surface. Do not be concerned.
Note: The logs will spread and expand during baking.
13. Remove the logs from oven and let them cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes.
14. Transfer each of the logs to a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut the logs on a step diagonal into half inch slices.
Tip: I find it useful to make my first cut in the middle of the log and to cut each half in the same direction. I am right handed, so it is easiest for me to cut from left to right, pulling towards me. By supporting the near edge with my thumb I prevent the tip of each slice from breaking off as I am cutting. Flipping the second half of the log around allows you to keep cutting in the same direction.
Note: This trick helps keep the biscotti in about the same size, If you start from one end of the log, your tendency will be to slightly change the angle of your cut with each slice. This will leave you with some long biscotti and some short ones.
15. Place the slices of biscotti on the baking sheet and bake, still at 300º F, about 10-15 minutes.
Tip: Do not over crowd the sheet. you do not want the slices touching or they will fuse together.
Note: It may be necessary to use a third small tray for any leftover slices.
16. Turn slices over, and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until firm to the touch.
Tip: The longer you bake the biscotti the more crisp and crunchy they will be, but you do not want them to be rock hard. The biscotti will harden further as they dry out, so do not overcook them.
17. Cool them slightly on a wire rack and serve with tea or coffee