Monday, December 12, 2005

Pizzelles and Gingerbread Biscotti 

Gingerbread Biscotti

1 cup almonds, blanched and toasted
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

To blanch almonds: Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add raw almonds, and let the water reach a boil again. Let the almonds boil 1 minute. Remove from the heat and rinse with cold water. The skins will peel off easily.

To toast the blanched almonds: Spread the almonds on an ungreased baking sheet and toast at 350º until lightly browned - about 10-15 minutes. Stir occassionally.

To make the biscotti: Beat sugar, molasses, honey, butter, and ginger together. Add eggs one at a time. Mix the flour with the baking powder and spices and coarsely chopped almonds. Mix the flour with the sugar. On greased baking sheets, pat the dough into 4 flat loaves about 1/2 thick and 2 inches wide. Bake at 350º 25 minutes - until browned and bit springy to the touch. Cool until you can handle the loaves, then cut into 1/2 inch diagonal slices. Arrange the slices on the baking sheets and bake for another 15-18 minutes.

Cool completely and dip into a cinnamon glaze.

Pumpkin Pizzelles

If you don't have a pizzelle iron, consider making some other type of cookie. Substituting a waffle iron for a pizzelle or krumkake iron just doesn't cut it - the cookies come out too thick and limp or burnt and in either case - nasty. But if you do have a pizelle iron, this is a yummy cookie.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and/or mini chocolate chips

Preheat the pizzelle iron. Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, then add the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients together, then fold into the sugar mix. Add your choice of dried cranberries, chopped nuts, or chocolate chips.

Lightly brush the pizzelle iron with butter, then drop the recommended amount of dough onto the iron. Close the lid and bake for 90 seconds.

Remove. Before the cookies cool, you can shape them into cones or rolls or shallow bowls, if you want, or leave them flat.

Repeat buttering the iron and dropping on dough and baking it until all the dough is gone.

If you shape the cookies, you can fill them with ice cream, whipped creams, fresh fruits (not canned - too juicy and it will make the cookie soggy), puddings or other desserts. Serve immediately after filling so the cookie is still crisp when it's eaten.

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