If there were an award for "coziest cookie," biscotti would probably take it home at least every other year. After all, no other cookie is so perfectly designed for dipping into its accompanying beverage, and few things in this crazy life are cozier than a cookie that comes with a well-paired dunking drink.
These gingerbread biscotti are so cozy that the scent of them baking is almost like a freshly tumble-dried blanket, swaddling your kitchen in its spiced, toasty warmth. Snacking on these at tea time will feel like you’ve been transported to a warm nook of some wintry mountain chalet. Beware of munching on them in an actual winter mountain chalet, especially while dipping them into spiked eggnog or a fresh latte: the whole rest of your life will probably be downhill from there.
The recipe calls for fresh ginger and freshly ground whole spices. Skip these steps and use pre-ground dried spices if you like, but do try it sometime with the extra effort. The effect is worth it.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger (or 1 ½ teaspoons dry ground ginger)
- 3/4 teaspoon whole allspice berries
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
- 1-2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Grind the whole spices — together, if possible — in a mortar and pestle until finely ground, roughly the texture of kosher salt. Grate the ginger into a fine paste using a microplane or grater plate.
In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground spices (except for the ginger, if using fresh). Set aside.
In a different bowl, use an electric mixer, or an equivalent hand implement, to beat together the butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating each egg until well incorporated. Whisk in unsulfured molasses, vanilla and freshly grated ginger. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix to form a dough.
Lightly dust the ball of dough with flour and divide it in half. Use your hands to gently form each half into a flattened log, each approximately 12-inches long and 2-inches wide, bearing in mind that the dough will spread during baking. Dust the logs with confectioners’ sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes, then give the dough a little poke. It should still have some softness, but not too much. If the dough feels at all firm, it’s probably ready. Remove from the oven and cool the cookie on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes.
Move the cookie to a cutting board and slice into individual biscotti, about ¾ inch wide and 5 inches long. Place the biscotti back on the baking sheet, cut side down, and bake again for about 10 minutes, until firm but not hard. Remove from oven and transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.