The word biscotti comes from a medieval Latin word that can be translated as “twice-baked” and was used to describe baked goods that did go through two periods of baking. That removed quite a bit of moisture and allowed them to be stored for long periods of time.
Such long-lasting foods were useful when you were packing provisions for a long journey. Some people even believed they would be edible for centuries.
But in modern times, you can expect your friends and family will enjoy fresh-baked biscotti so much, they will eat it quickly, especially when you combine the wonderful flavors of autumn.
This recipe celebrates autumn by using pumpkin, cranberries and pecans as well as a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice — all of which will combine for a heavenly aroma in your kitchen.
PUMPKIN PECAN CRANBERRY BISCOTTI
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
5 and 1/4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 and 1/4 pounds (about 4.5 to 5 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and mix in the eggs and pumpkin puree. Coarsely chop the pecans and incorporate into the mixture. In 2 or 3 additions, add the dry ingredients slowly, scraping the sides of the mixing bowl after each addition.
Form the dough into a log about the length of the cookie sheet and about 3 inches wide. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Pull the log out of the oven and turn it down to 300 degrees F. Allow the log to cool slightly. Slice the log into 1/4 inch and line up on the same sheet on which you baked the log.
Bake the cookies again for about 8 to 12 minutes or until slightly golden on the cut side and crisp. Cool completely and store in an airtight container for about two weeks.