What is Christmas without gingerbread? Spiced Gingerbread Biscotti will fulfill all of those cravings for homestyle, comforting, holiday flavours!
I love everything there is to love about gingerbread. Every single spice that marries together so well to create that familiar and nostalgic flavour, can be found in my pantry all year round! Not only do I love the taste of it, but I love the smell of it too. Who can turn their nose up at cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice? Not this guy! Spiced Gingerbread Biscotti just had to be in this series!
A few years back, we made literally 100s of gingerbread men. I baked them all. John.e decorated them. We packed them into cellophane bags and delivered them to our neighbours in our building. They were the crispy type of gingerbread. Do you like the crispy type or the softer kind? If you like the soft, you should try my Iced Gingerbread Bars too!
THE ORIGINS OF GINGERBREAD
The history of gingerbread is quite the story, and quite lengthy too. I love to learn about where food comes from and why we make things the way we do. Gingerbread is no exception! The origins of gingerbread can be traced back to the year 992. It was created by an Armenian monk. He was responsible for teaching the French how to bake gingerbread.
In the 13th century, the Germans brought gingerbread to Sweden. Soon, Swedish nuns adopted gingerbread because they thought it to be medicinal and would help with issues like indigestion. They were responsible for the decoration of gingerbread; they would paint them to look like church windows.
Fast forward to the 17th century. Gingerbread was being sold in pharmacies and town squares, again for medicinal purposes. Eventually, gingerbread found its way to North America and was first recorded in a cookbook dated 1796.
THANK GOODNESS FOR MOLASSES!
It is said that Americans were responsible for giving the gingerbread its brown colour. Previously, gingerbread was white, because it was made with white sugar. Molasses proved to be less expensive. And, soon, it became a substitute, therefore, we now associated gingerbread with that dark brown colour.
There are basically three types of molasses – light, dark, and blackstrap. If you boil cane sugar once, you will get light molasses. If you boil it twice, you’ll get dark molasses. So, boiling it three times, must mean that you’ll get blackstrap molasses. Remember, the darker the molasses (blackstrap) the less sweet and more bitter it is.
Never use blackstrap molasses in a recipe unless instructed to do so by the author of the recipe. You can use light or dark without changing the taste drastically. There’s also sulphured and unsulphured molasses. The difference between the two is that the sulphured molasses has been chemically treated with preservatives.
If you buy molasses to make these biscotti and have lots left over, there’s plenty you can do with it. One of my favourite sources of recipe inspiration is Taste of Home. Here’s a list of 33 Amazing Molasses Recipes!
STORING AND FREEZING
Spiced Gingerbread Biscotti will last in the freezer for three months. Be sure you have a good container with a tight seal. Whenever I’m freezing cookies, I always double up on the seal action. Before I place the lid on, I always drape a sheet of plastic wrap on top. Then I push the lid on. I just feel that the lid fits more tightly. Any little thing I can do to keep the frost out, I’m going to do it! I like to use tins like this.
Like I always say, if you freeze any baked goods, remove only the amount you want when you decide to thaw them. Fetch the container from the freezer and remove only what you need. Put the lid back on and get the container back in the fridge.
To properly thaw baked goods, place them on a plate or a wire cooling rack. Don’t pile them. Spread them out and give them some space. Let them sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. They will taste fresh and perfect every single time!
Like I said at the beginning, I’ll be posting 12 biscotti recipes in this series on back-to-back days. If you can’t wait, you can certainly refer back to a series from previous years. Just click on the collection photos below. Cheers!
Spiced Gingerbread Biscotti
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until well combined.
- Next, add the eggs and beat them into the batter until well mixed.
- Pour in the molasses and the vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
- Now, add the flour and beat in until just combined. The dough will be sticky.
- Turn dough out onto prepared baking sheet and form into a log. (Dust your hands with flour; dough is a bit sticky!)
- Form log into a rectangle shape that is roughly 5" wide and 15 " long.
- Sprinkle the top of the log with the confectioner's sugar.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place baking sheet on a wire cooling rack so that air can circulate around the baking sheet. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Using the parchment paper, slide the log onto a large cutting board. Slice into 3/4" slices across the width of the log.
- Place slices back onto baking sheet which has been lined with more parchment paper. Slices are cut side down. Bake for 7 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Carefully turn the cookies over and bake for another 7 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
- Package biscotti for gift-giving or pile into a food-safe container. Leave at room temperature, or freeze until needed for up to 3 months.