On the one hand, holiday baking makes my cookie goal quite seasonable. On the other hand, that means we already have too many sweets around to be baking even more cookies. I had to find a cookie that didn’t really seem like a cookie.
A few weeks ago, the King Arthur blog posted tips for making biscotti, and it instantly clicked. Biscotti definitely count as cookies, but they’re not that sweet. Also, they’re typically eaten as an add-on to a warm beverage, not dessert itself.
Also, I had never made biscotti before. I assumed that it was difficult, but the blog post made the process sound straightforward. Of course, all of that is described below.
The recipe in the post, however, called for malted milk powder, and I wasn’t sure if I could actually buy that anywhere. Instead, I searched on King Arthur and found this recipe for Pumpkin Biscotti. Even better, it didn’t use a whole can since I had frozen the extras from an earlier cookie.
I planned ahead well enough to take out the pumpkin to defrost that morning. By the time I started baking, I pinched the deli container, and it seemed plenty soft.
I like that King Arthur recipes tend to incorporate non-flour dry ingredients into the butter and sugar to cream. It saves the step of mixing dry ingredients together while not completely changing the creaming and mixing process.
The pumpkin went in at the same time as the egg. When I went to pull it out, I noticed that much of the pumpkin liquid had separated. I tried to stir it back in, but the pumpkin texture had completely changed.
I can’t be sure that’s why the dough curdled in this step, but I suspect it’s related. However, other cookies have turned out fine even after this, so I went ahead without trying to fully incorporate everything.
Adding the flour absolutely worked for smoothing it out.
So far, making biscotti looks mostly like making cookies. This diverges at shaping and baking. Next, I split the dough into halves and plopped them on a baking sheet.
Then, I had to shape them into 10″ x 2.5″ rectangular prisms. They suggested using a wetted bench scraper, and although I splashed water everywhere and had to clean my ruler afterwards, it actually went quite well.
Next step is to put them in the oven. Actually, the next step was to cover them completely in sparkling sugar, but I forgot to do that. So, when I looked at the recipe to set the timer, I realized I missed a step, pulled the biscotti out again, covered them in sugar, and then put them in to bake again.
This, of course, doesn’t look like biscotti, but we’re surprisingly close. Although I shaped the logs as rectangles, they almost instantly slump into a more expected, rounded shape. After 25 minutes, I pulled them out to get mostly baked biscotti.
According to King Arthur, biscotti means “twice baked,” which is how these logs turn into biscotti sticks. After a brief cooling, I transferred them to a cutting board to slice into biscotti.
I then transferred them back to the baking sheet and back into the oven to continue to bake and dry out in a low 325F oven.
40 minutes later, the biscotti was done with its second bake. The third bake continues as they cool off in the oven with the heat off and door cracked open. I’m not certain if that’s really the most precise way to finish baking, but I had time, so it worked.
I was quite pleased with how they turned out. The pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavors are present but not too much. I could still enjoy the cup of tea that I otherwise would never drink.
They had a nice crunch to start and certainly beat the stale Costco biscotti I have mostly had in my life. After a few days, these also became a little stale and soft, but it’s unnoticeable after dipped in tea.
If you need a not sweet cookie to snack on, you can find the recipe on King Arthur.