Saturday, December 3, 2011

I Scream You Scream We All Scream for Rustic! Pumpkin White Chocolate Biscotti. Whole wheat style.

When my mom was visiting in November she made pumpkin white chocolate biscotti. They were obviously delicious (everything she makes is delicious) and strikingly beautiful (everything she makes is beautiful). My mom's a much more precise cook and baker than I am. She puts the time into making things as aesthetically appealing as they are tasty, she enjoys that aspect of her kitchen exploits, and she's v. skilled at the task. I never realized how skilled until I tried to do the same thing and ... um ... in making my own pumpkin white chocolate biscotti after she left (I was craving more after we devoured her batch), ended up with biscotti that were obviously delicious and strikingly rustic.

Mom's version:


My version:

sliced and baked

You see what I'm getting at. The good news is this: rustic is still totally in, right? And so my blog continues!

biscotti blockbiscotti close up

We used different recipes. Hers had butter. Mine didn't. I liked the taste of mine better but that's likely because I've developed a palate that favors baked goods with whole grains and heavy doses of spice over the years. So here we are, I'm sharing my version with you in all its rustic, whole wheaty glory.

Maybe the butter in my mom's recipe made the dough more malleable and thus beautiful? Or maybe it's because she is way better at flouring her hands than I am. Regardless, she's my hero.

sliced and plated

Whole Wheat Pumpkin White Chocolate Biscotti
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Yield: ~ 20 biscotti

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or spelt flour)
3/4 cup turbinado or demerara sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon*
1/2 teaspoon ground galangal or ginger*
1/4 teaspoon salt (plus more for sprinkling)
2 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks (the bigger the better - seriously)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the eggs one at a time, then the pumpkin pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. Stir in the white chocolate until incorporated (I used my hands for this because the dough is quite thick and crumbly).

Using flour hands, form the mixture into two logs, about 10" X 7", one to one-and-a-half inches tall. Place the logs on a parchment or Silpat-lined or lightly greased baking sheet, sprinkle with about a tablespoon of extra sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired, and place on upper and lower oven racks. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating pan after 15 minutes, until the logs are dry and their centers are firm to the touch.

Let biscotti cool for 15 minutes and then use a serrated knife to cut each log into about 10 1-inch wide slices. Lower the oven heat to to 275°F and bake the slices for an additional 20 minutes, until slices are golden brown and no longer doughy in the middle. Cool completely. They will continue to crisp up as they sit out. Store on a plate, uncovered, for at least 3 days. (Once they are crisp enough to your liking, you could store them in an airtight container or ziploc bag if you have issues with your food just hanging out in the open. I evidently don't.)

*Galangal is wonderful. Buy some. Seriously. It's like ginger only fascinating. And fruity. You could use pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice or Penzey's cake spice instead to make them even spicier.