By Lauren Furey
Biscotti, the twice-baked cookies originally from Italy, sometimes have a negative feeling attached to them, as people recall their dry texture and bland flavor. Growing up, my Nana used to give me chocolate and almond biscotti, which, to me, redefined them. My soft-baked spiced pumpkin biscotti have a crackly sugar coating and soft inside. They pair nicely with a cup of coffee, or even crumbled atop yogurt or ice cream. Freezable, these biscotti will grace you with warm spice flavors whenever you need them.
4 tablespoons softened butter, unsalted
2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus some for sprinkling
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or line with parchment paper one large (roughly 18" x 13") baking sheet. In a large bowl, beat the softened butter, sugar, spices, baking powder and salt until the mixture is smooth. Beat in the egg and pumpkin purée. Lower the speed and gradually add the flour, mixing until smooth. The dough is meant to be sticky. Spoon the dough onto the baking sheet, forming two equally sixed logs about 10" x 2” each. Shape them into pretty rectangles and keep in mind that the wider the logs are the longer the biscotti will be. The taller the logs are the thicker they will be. Shape according to the amount you’d like to yield. A wet spatula can help you smooth the edges though you’ll probably end up "taste-testing" the ends once the biscotti are baked. Sprinkle with sugar and press it into the dough. Bake the dough for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch in the center. Remove it from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. After five minutes, use a sharp chef's knife or serrated knife to cut the log diagonally into 1/2" to 3/4" slices.
Set the biscotti on its side on the baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven and bake them for 40 to 45 minutes flipping them and rotating the tray halfway through. You'll want to bake them until they are golden brown around the edges but soft in the middle.
Remove the biscotti from the oven and place on a wire rack until completely cool. Store airtight at room temperature for several days or freeze, well-wrapped, for longer storage.