Ok, so I STILL had leftover canned pureed pumpkin...seriously. I shouldn't have bought the big can, but then again I couldn't have made all these extra pumpkin treats, so here it goes.
I've been thinking of making biscotti for a long time, since I am Italian and it is a classic Italian cookie, great with coffee or tea. Biscotti is a twice baked biscuit-like cookie that is baked as a log and then cut into the sliced cookies and baked again to make them nice and crisp. I was thinking, since it's my first year hosting Thanksgiving *panic* that it might be nice to have a little treat for my guest to take home after dinner. I wanted to test these out first to make sure they are good enough for company. So here goes nothing!
2 1/2 cups flour 1 cup brown sugar 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg 3/4 cup dried raisins and cranberries (Sun-Maid has these packaged together) Pinch of salt 2 eggs 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Sift together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and spices. Add the raisins and cranberries and mix to incorporate thoroughly.
In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla extract. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Give this a rough stir to generally combine ingredients, dough will be crumbly.
Flour our hands and a clean kitchen surface and lightly knead the dough. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Form the dough into a large log, roughly 15-20 inches by 6-7 inches. The loaves should be relatively flat. Only about 1/2 inch high. Bake for 22-30 minutes at 350, until the center is firm to the touch. (you can also form 2 smaller logs, to make bite-size biscotti, change baking time to 18-25 minutes.)
Let the biscotti logs cool for 15 minutes, then using a serrated knife, cut into 1 inch thick pieces. Turn the oven to 300 and bake the biscotti pieces for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.
Biscotti may still be a tad moist and chewy, so if you prefer the crispier biscotti let sit uncovered overnight in a dry space. Serve and enjoy!
I choose to do the two smaller logs to have smaller biscotti, but I think I might like to have the larger ones for my guests (my guests being my parents, in-laws, my eldest brother and my youngest brother's family.) These are pretty tasty, and I really like the soft texture of the raisins and cranberries in the crisp and crumbly biscuit cookie. I think even adding nuts for crunch and a salty taste would be great as well. These were really easy to make and I think that my guest will really enjoy them as a take-home treat!