Well, I hate to admit it, but it’s that time of year. Fall. Though autumn is one of my favorite seasons, I am so not ready for winter, yet I know it’s just around the corner. The good news is that the temperatures are now more suitable for baking in our air conditioning-free kitchen. Those temperatures—and a briefly hospitalized long-distance friend—initiated a two-day baking frenzy that yielded four new recipes: three for ready-to-ship biscotti and one for granola. One is below; the rest will be shared soon.
These gingerbread cookies epitomize the best aspects of this time of year in Michigan. Warm, cozy, aromatic and comforting, they are a great accompaniment to apple cider, coffee or cinnamon tea. Dried cranberries lend a contrasting tartness and texture along with beneficial antioxidants, though you could leave them out, if you must. (If so, at least try substituting crushed walnuts, a nutritional powerhouse that also happens to be excellent in gingerbread cookies and scones.)
Makes almost 2 dozen biscotti
2 1/2 cups 50/50 flour*
1/4 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
* You can buy this off the shelf, but I use a less-expensive homemade mix of all-purpose and whole wheat flour. If you don’t have a mix ready, use 1 1/4 cups each of all-purpose and whole wheat flour for this recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together first six ingredients: flour, almond meal, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- Combine sugar, eggs, molasses, canola oil and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Blend on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
- Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and blend until dough starts to pull together.
- If you’re using them, add dried cranberries, mixing until they are fully incorporated. Dough will be stiff.
- Turn dough out onto Silpat mat or a work surface dusted with flour.
- Using wet (for Silpat only) or lightly floured hands, shape into a log about 16 inches long, 3 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch thick.
- Bake on prepared pan for 30 minutes at 350° F.
- Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325° F.
- Carefully transfer log to cutting board and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices.
- Place slices upright on the mat or pan, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart.
- Bake 20 minutes at 325° F.
- Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days. To extend storage time, freeze in an airtight container immediately after cooling.
© Liesl K. Bohan | SavvyBaker.com