Fall Spice Biscotti

If you’re the type of baker who doesn’t stock apple pie spice, pumpkin spice, or other seasonal spice blends, don’t sweat it. You can easily make your own blends with common ingredients you’re likely to have.

This fall spice biscotti uses apple pie spice, a mixture of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. I recently bought a few small jars at the Container Store that I’ve filled with both homemade apple pie spice and pumpkin spice, so I can easily use either one in a recipe. Spice mixing is a bit of an art; you can stick with standard measurements, or explore a bit with your own ratios. I’m a big fan of cloves, so my apple pie spice is a bit heavier on cloves than the store-bought kind might be. The next time I make this recipe, I’ll likely divide my dough in half and bake it in two logs; it spreads a great deal when baking, which I wasn’t quite expecting. I may also add a bit more flour to the dough to stabilize it. Stay tuned!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple pie spice*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips

*You can make your own by blending 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and a dash of cloves. You’ll need to increase these measurements to get enough for 1 1/2 tablespoons, but it’s important to have the right ratio. 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, apple pie spice, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the sides of the bowl between each. Add flour in two batches and mix to completely combine; stir in cinnamon chips.

Dust your counter top with flour and turn dough out; it will be sticky. Sprinkle with flour and knead gently to bring dough together; you can add a few more tablespoons of flour without having to worry that your dough will be too tough. Roll into a log about 16 inches long (or divide in two – this is what I’ll do next time) and carefully place the log on your baking sheet; flatten to about 1 inch thickness. Note: the log will spread a good deal when you bake it, so you’ll want to place the log diagonally on your baking sheet to avoid it spilling over the edges.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the edges are completely set and the middle is firm. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully move the log to a cutting board and slice it into 1-inch slices. Carefully place slices back on the parchment-lined baking sheet (they will be almost cake-like at this point, so handle them gently); you may need another sheet to fit all of the slices. Bake on one side for an additional 6-7 minutes, then flip and bake on the other side for 6-7 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet(s) for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container; makes 16 slices.

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Gingerbread Biscotti

Gingerbread-themed baking continues with this gingerbread biscotti, which is adapted from Good Housekeeping’s basic ginger biscotti recipe. Although I think it still needs a bit more cloves, or perhaps nutmeg, this biscotti is easy to make and very tasty.

While biscotti can look fancy and might sound complicated to make, what with the baking, cooling, slicing, and re-baking, it’s actually quite easy. Biscotti also travels well, so it’s a nice idea for holiday gifts, or to send to faraway family and friends.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, ginger, allspice, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping your bowl between each. Add flour mixture in two batches, beating on low to combine and scraping your bowl well.

Sprinkle your counter top very lightly with flour and turn dough out, then knead one or two times to bring the dough together (it will be sturdy and easy to handle). Shape into a log, then transfer to your baking sheet and press it down evenly so your log becomes about 16 inches long.

Bake for 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean from the center; remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Transfer the log to a cutting board and, using a serrated knife, cut log into 1-inch slices (you could make thinner slices, but I wanted nice, thick pieces). Return to the baking sheet, placing them upright on their bottoms, and bake for another 10 minutes; lay all of the pieces on their sides and bake 2 minutes more, then flip over and bake on the remaining side for another 2 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 16.