If you're a regular reader, you know one of my favorite places to frequent when I'm visiting family in Pittsburgh is the Strip District. Penn Avenue is always jam packed with locals shopping for aromatic coffees and teas, freshly-caught seafood, just-baked biscotti or handmade crafts. It's chaotic and energizing all at once and I always leave with something interesting.
Over Thanksgiving, Rich's extended family visiting from out of town provided the perfect excuse to embark on a Strip District adventure. I walked away with an enormous bag of star anise and a lust for biscotti.
I did some digging and found a great recipe for Gingerbread biscotti and knew the addition of Anise would really take it over the top.
With some cute packaging, I think this recipe would be a sweet gift idea for the coffee lovers in your life.
Texture is a big point of contention among biscotti eaters. It's a little of a Goldilocks and the Three Bears syndrome...some like it hard, some like it soft. For me, some point in the middle (toasted exterior with a soft center) is juuuusssttt right.
If you like a full-on crunchy version, bake these for a few minutes longer than suggested.
I think next time I'll write some pretty cursive messages on top :)
Gingerbread Anise Biscotti with Drizzled White Chocolate
adapted from here
1/3 vegetable or canola oil
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons ground star anise
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup white chocolate chips for melting
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet.
In a mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs and molasses. In another bowl, combine flours, baking powder, ginger, pumpkin pie spice and ground star anise. Mix dry ingredients in egg mixture to form a stiff dough.
Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a rolls the length of the cookie sheet. Place rolls on sheet and pat down with your hands to flatten to about a 1/2 inch thickness.
Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
When cool enough to touch, cut into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices. Place sliced biscotti on cookie sheet and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until toasted and crispy.
When biscotti are completely baked and cooled, melt 1 cup of white chocolate in a double broiler. Place melted chocolate in a plastic bag and cut a tiny tip at one corner for piping. Decorate as your heart desires. Let chocolate cool completely before serving.