I continued to bake, some more. I’ve been a busy girl! But I wanted to make some treats to bring to a girlfriend for her birthday get together, and some for the neighbors for letting us use their snowblower, and might as well have some for mom and my coworkers too. So I made some peppermint cookie brownies and gingerbread biscotti.
The brownies, well, I was a little disappointed in appearance – though not in taste. I just decided to make my favorite brownie recipe and add some crushed up Candy Cane Jo-Jo’s – Trader Joe’s special holiday edition chocolate sandwich cookies with candy cane creme filling. I was really hoping to see chunks of cookies in the brownies, but I guess I must have crushed them too finely. At least the peppermint taste stuck around!
The biscotti were more satisfying. This was my first time making biscotti, and I think they came out pretty darn well. I looked at a few different recipes for gingerbread biscotti and ended up combining a few to come up with this. What I like about these cookies is that there is no butter or shortening in the dough – so I can pretend they are not so bad for me. The texture was perfect for me – not too hard, but with a nice crunch, and slightly chewy on the inside. The taste was great, with delicious gingerbread spice.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 ounces chopped walnuts
4 ounces dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup molasses
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350. Place a piece of parchment on a large baking sheet. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients (except for nuts and apricots). Stir in the walnuts and apricots. In a small bowl, whisk together molasses and eggs. Turn the mixer on to low and slowly drizzle in egg mixture. Let mix until the dough is evenly combined and comes together.
Divide into two pieces and pat each into a log on the prepared baking sheet, about 4″ apart. Bake until the tops are cracked and spring back slightly when lightly touched in the center, about 30 to 35 minutes.Remove and place the sheet on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Gently remove the biscotti from the parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to cut them into 1/2 to 3/4″ slices. Arrange them back onto the baking sheet. Bake for about 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the biscotti on a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, drizzle with melted white chocolate.