Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pumpkin spice and all things nice

I spent an entire day baking yesterday, primarily to finish off my leftover pumpkin pie puree from when I baked my Pumpkin Bread a few weeks ago..

I baked Pumpkin Pie Biscotti and Pumpkin Molasses Cookies and they were a hit with the hubby. 

Both recipes were taken from Jamie over at My Baking Addiction. She used pecans in her recipe however, but I thought almonds would compliment the biscotti a little better. All depends on your personal taste I suppose.

I wanted to fill the frame of this shot with a teacup and saucer, but currently do not own any so substituted for the coffee mug. I realize part of the biscotti piece has been cropped out - that was intentional as I did not want to make it appeared too centred. 

Here is the recipe from Jamie. I have adapted it slightly. She mentions that the brown sugar may have caused her biscotti to become too moist, so I substituted some of it for white sugar.

Pumpkin Pie Biscotti
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or combine 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp ground ginger, ¼ ground cloves)
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 ¼ cups almonds, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)
  2. Combine flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl, stir well. In another bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla, stirring well with a wire whisk. Slowly add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened (Mixture will be very crumbly; it will gradually become moist after stirring. I found using my hands to knead it all together easier).
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add nuts. Cook, stirring constantly, until nuts are browned. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  4. Knead or gently fold cooled nuts into dough. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 portions. Lightly flour hands and shape each portion into a 2x 10” long log. Place logs 3” apart on parchment paper. Bake for 24mins. Cool logs for 15mins. Reduce oven temperature to 300 F (140 C).
  5. After some cooling, move a loaf to a cutting board and cut into ½ inch thick pieces. Repeat with other loaf. The interior of each biscotto should still be just a little moist (while the exterior is nice and hard). Avoid using a serrated knife and try cutting straight down rather than ‘sawing’ to avoid crumbling.
  6. Place the biscotti with a cut side facing up on a half sheet pan and bake for 8mins. Remove the pan and flip all the biscotti over so the other cut side is now facing up. Bake for another 7mins. Set all pieces on a wire rack to cool making sure that none of the biscotti are touching each other. If they are placed too close together, they could get a little soft or soggy as they cool.
You can dip the biscotti in melted chocolate or drizzle some chocolate on top. I chose not to. Maybe next time

I am starting to get a little tired of my backdrops. I have been searching online for places where I can obtain scrap wood boards, which I can also paint different colours in order to create an illusion of different tables and surfaces. I suppose I should head over to a hardware or home improvement store. The Food Blog Forum has some good tips on this. The only issue for me is I do not have a car here in Toronto, so transporting huge wood boards on public transport can be an issue. Ill have to figure something out.

These Pumpkin Molasses Cookies are deliciously moist. Try out the recipe.

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