Happy 2015 everyone! I spent the first few minutes of the New Year on a beach surrounded by friends, which is also how I spent Christmas, which is the great thing about having December in the summer. To be fair we’ve had a lot of rain, too, but the weather has pulled through on the important days.
Speaking of Christmas, I know I promised you croissants, and they are forthcoming. First, though, something a little simpler. I actually made these purely for the purpose of using up leftover ingredients from my gingersnaps, which makes the recipe perfect for this time of year. They take a bit of time – being biscotti, they do need to be baked twice – but they’re not difficult and they’re very worth your while.
I halved the recipe below because my oven is small and again, I was really just making these to use up some leftover ingredients. I would highly recommend making a full batch.
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (265 grams) all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring hands
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground ginger
a generous pinch of ground cloves
a generous pinch of ground cardamom
a few grinds of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 cup (95 grams) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
100 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup candied ginger, coarsely chopped
1 large egg white
1. Preheat oven to 175 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Line two cookie sheets with baking parchment.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, spices, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
3. In a larger bowl, stir together the melted butter, the sugars, the eggs, and the vanilla.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet along with the pecans and candied ginger. Stir everything together until combined. Your dough will be a bit softer and stickier than, say, your average cookie dough.
5. Lightly flour your hands and divide the dough in half. Transfer each half to the center of its own cookie sheet and shape it into a slightly flattened log, about one foot long and 2 1/2 inches wide.
6. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until slightly foamy. Brush over the top and sides of the loaves.
7. Bake until the logs are golden brown all over, about 25 minutes. You’ll probably want to switch the cookie sheets around halfway through to make sure they’re baking evenly. Cool the baked loaves until just lukewarm, another 25 minutes.
8. Transfer the loaves to a cutting board and use a sharp serrated knife to gently saw each into 1/2-inch-wide slices.
9. Arrange slices on the baking sheets with a cut side down. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms are golden. Turn over and bake for 6 to 8 minutes more, until nicely golden brown all over. Let cool.