Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ginger walnut biscotti

I readily admit that I am not a great baker (please note: this isn't the san fran pastry chef posting). I’m not even a halfway decent baker. I love to cook and wouldn’t hesitate to throw down against Bobby Flay (try me, white boy). But on Saturday afternoon, with a foot of snow resting on the ground outside and more falling throughout the day, I decided to hunker down in the kitchen with the warm oven as company and crank out some Christmas cookies.

And I discovered something startling yet wonderful: the slow pace of life resulting from being snowed in makes me calm, methodical and patient. And calm, methodical and patient are qualities found in every great baker. Voila! Recipe for success.

Though I made three types of cookies on Saturday, I’m only including this one (for now): Ginger Walnut Biscotti. Biscotti is the perfect accompaniment for warm beverages, and though found year round, I like ginger as a spicy, seasonal delicacy.

Please note: I adapted this recipe from any standard biscotti recipe you might find online (which is what I did years ago, but didn’t think to properly reference and cite the article at that time).

Ginger Walnut Biscotti

3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup candied ginger, chopped coarsely
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 300° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and extracts together (no need to “whip them into submission”). Set aside.In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until blended (about 30 seconds). Gradually add the egg mixture and beat until a dough forms, adding ginger about halfway through. Do not overbeat the dough.

With floured hands, divide the dough in half. On a floured surface, roll the dough into two logs. Personally, I prefer shorter biscotti, so I don’t make mine very wide. If you like really long biscotti that will reach all the way to the bottom of your coffee mug, have at it. But that’s how you lose biscotti. Just saying.

Transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Note - logs will spread during baking. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

Transfer logs to a cutting board and using a serrated knife, cut log into slices 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal.
Arrange evenly on the baking sheet (just use the same one).

Bake 10 minutes, turn slices over, and bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Store in a Ziploc bag or airtight storage container. Transport them to your office. Arrange on a simple tray and set next to the coffee station. Receive respect and generous accolades from all.

Note: if you would like to give these biscotti away as a gift, make them a little more festive and special by dipping the ends in melted dark or white chocolate.


  1. thanks for the recipe and the pictures! looks delish. You muses are certainly fans of the candied ginger. :)

    I have a question for you to muse over: how does a fashionable girl pack for a trip without bringing 3 suitcases?

  2. MMM. I love ginger! And biscotti is such a nice way to snack while drinking coffee or tea -- and it's hard, so you can't mindlessly eat it (thereby racking up the caloric intake).