December is around the corner, which means it’s time to get serious about Christmas baking plans. Cookies are, of course, at the top of our list and my girls and I have been brainstorming about which ones to make this year. We have many tried-and-true favorites, but we always throw in a few new recipes just for fun. Last year, I found a recipe for gingerbread biscotti but ran out of time to make it -December flies by that way. So, this year I decided to kick off our holiday baking with my version of gingerbread biscotti – the Hodgson Mill way.
Hodgson Mill mixes are great because they’re filled with the same ingredients you would otherwise have to measure and mix – real time savers. So, for the sake of convenience and whole grain goodness, this recipe includes Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Gingerbread Mix as well as some dried cranberries and pecans for a little sweetness and extra crunch.
The first thing you need to do is cream together the butter and sugar. Then mix in the eggs, orange zest and vanilla extract.
Pour in a box of Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Gingerbread Mix along with some cinnamon and baking powder. Mix just until blended and then stir in the cranberries and pecans.
Turn the dough out, dividing it in half the best you can, onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Pat each portion of dough into a 9×3 inch rectangle about ½-inch thick. Make sure the rectangles are at least 5 inches apart on the baking sheet. Moisten your finger tips with a little water if the dough starts to get too sticky when you’re patting it out.
Bake the dough in a 325º F for 24 minutes or until almost firm to the touch. Remove the baked dough but be sure to leave the oven on. We’ll be baking the biscotti a second time in a few minutes.
Slide the parchment paper with the baked dough onto a cutting board to cool for about 10-15 minutes. Starting at one of the short ends, slice each rectangle into generous ½-1 inch biscotti and transfer, sliced side up, onto a cool, parchment-lined baking sheet. You may have to use a second baking sheet if the first one is still hot. Bake in a 325˚ F oven for 11 minutes and then take the baking sheet out of the oven and turn each biscotti over. Bake again for 11 more minutes or until firm.
Let the biscotti cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Melt 8 ounces of white chocolate or vanilla-flavored chocolate chips in a glass bowl or measuring cup in the microwave until creamy and smooth- about 3 minutes – stirring at one -minute intervals. It’s helpful to have the container be narrow and deep, so that the biscotti can easily be dunked into the white coating. Dip each biscotto (did you know that was the singular of biscotti?) into the melted chocolate using a small spatula or spoon to help cover one end of the cookie. Lay the biscotti on a piece of waxed paper while the chocolate coating hardens. If desired, sprinkle with Christmas sprinkles while the chocolate coating is still wet. Store the biscotti in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
I think it’s safe to say that these Whole Wheat Gingerbread Biscotti with Cranberries and Pecans have now joined the ranks as one of our favorite holiday cookie recipes. The warm spices and gingerbread flavor make these biscotti taste like Christmas in each bite. The dried cranberries add a bit of sweetness and texture to the crisp biscotti as do the pecans and both are traditional holiday flavors. One of the best parts of this recipe is that it includes 100% Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat flour and it tastes fantastic! Trust me – my children absolutely loved these.
You don’t have to tell me that the holidays are about indulgence – we probably make 10 kinds of cookies in the span of a few weeks. But there’s no reason healthy whole grains can’t get into the mix, especially if they can make a great cookie like this. Pick up a box of Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Gingerbread Mix and give these biscotti a try before December is over. I’m glad they were first on my list, so I have plenty of time to make them again. Enjoy!
Whole Wheat Gingerbread Biscotti with Cranberries and Pecans
- 6 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
- 1 box Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Gingerbread Mix
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 8 ounces white chocolate or vanilla-flavored chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla and orange rind and mix until well combined. Mix in the gingerbread mix, cinnamon and baking powder until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Stir in the cranberries and pecans. Turn the dough out onto a lined baking sheet, dividing into two equal portions about five inches apart. Pat each portion of dough into a 9×3 inch rectangle using your fingers – moistening them with water if the dough becomes too sticky. Bake in a 325ºF oven for 24 minutes or almost firm to the touch. Cool the baked rectangles on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes. Leave the oven turned on. Slide the rectangles off the baking sheet onto a cutting board and cut along the short side of the rectangle into generous ½ to 1 inch wide slices.
Transfer slices,cut side up,to a lined baking sheet. You may need to use a second baking sheet if the first one is still hot. Bake the biscotti slices in a 325ºF oven for 11 minutes. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and turn over each slice. Bake again for 11 more minutes or until firm. Remove from the oven and cool the biscotti on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Melt the white chocolate or vanilla chips in a narrow, deep glass bowl or glass measuring cup in the microwave until creamy and smooth – about three minutes – stirring at one-minute intervals. Dip each biscotto into the melted chocolate, using a spoon or spatula to help cover one end of the cookie. If desired, sprinkle with Christmas sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet. Place the dipped biscotti on a piece of waxed paper until the coating has hardened. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.