Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin-Cranberry Biscotti


Books are kind of like people, don't you think? You can tell right away if you're going to be friends with one or if you'll have a brief conversation and go your separate ways. So it was with this book - as soon as I picked it up,* I could tell that it was going to be one of my favorites. By the end, I felt like I had met Frank and Jerome and had sat with them in the kitchen of their New York cafe as they took out trays upon trays of delicious tarts, biscotti and Madeleines. I've made many recipes from this book, always with great ease and great success, encouraged by the warm tone and the friendly, quick humor on every page.

Pumpkin Biscotti

The recipes in this book are thoughtful, inventive and yet inviting and unpretentious. In fact, you get the feeling that the authors put together a list of their very favorite things to make at home and opened it to the rest of us. These pumpkin biscotti are no exception - they are simply wonderful - wonderful! If you like pumpkin desserts (and oh, I do), you will LOVE these, I promise. Crunchy, spicy, packed with golden raisins, cranberries and toasted pecans, oh goodness, I can't even really express how happy these made me. And the generous proportions of this recipe ensure that your family and friends will be very happy as well, should you choose to share (which, by the way, you totally should - these biscotti will make you many, many new friends!). Happy fall, everyone!


*Disclaimer because some people might misunderstand: I bought this book at a bookstore, just like everyone else. I was not asked nor paid to do a review of this book, but I wanted to share it with you because it has become one of my favorite books to reach for lately.

Pumpkin Cranberry Biscotti Recipe
Once Upon a Tart
Note: I used 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Note 2: This recipe requires a little more effort than the traditional biscotti, but I'm telling you, it's so totally worth it.
(Makes about 25 biscotti - I got a bit more)

4 1/2 cups flour (495g)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (120g)
3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar (230g)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree, packed tightly (183g)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped (150g)
1/2 cup fresh cranberries (75g)
1/3 cup golden raisins (50g)
4 tbsp of turbinado sugar (my addition, optional)

Position one of your oven racks in the center. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until they form stiff peaks. With the mixer still on high, beat in about half the sugar until the egg whites are glossy. Transfer them to another bowl.

In the same bowl of the stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and the remaining half of the sugar on high speed until the eggs are pale and frothy and the sugar dissolves. Stir in pumpkin puree and vanilla to blend.

Gently fold in the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Also gently, stir in the melted (and cooled) butter, nuts, cranberries and raisins.

Gradually stir in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the dough comes together into a sticky ball. For into two logs (flour your hands because the dough will be sticky) about 3" x 10". If you wet your fingers a little, you'll be able to smooth out the surface of the dough should you so wish to. Sprinkle each log with about two tablespoons of turbinado sugar, if using.

Bake for about 50 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and feel firm to the touch. Cool on wire racks for at least 30 minutes (this is important - if you don't cool the biscotti, they will crumble like crazy). Place the logs on a cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch slices with a long and sharp serrated knife. Do not use a sawing motion, but make decisive downward strokes.

Line the slices on the baking sheet and bake for another 25-30 minutes, until they are crisp and golden brown throughout. Allow to cool completely before eating (this is kind of hard to do, with the amazing smell and all, but believe me, they do taste better that way).


Dewi said...

You are so right, I have several books that I feel very closely, and I think I can consider that we are friends for a long time. Some of my books are with me when I am happy or sad. Anyway, your pumpkin cranberry biscotti look so good, and utterly mouth watering. I can feel the Thanksgiving is in the air. Can't wait!

Irene said...

Me too, actually I have books that I've re-read since I was 10 or 12 years old and they still make me just as happy as they did back then. It's kind of an odd relationship, but I guess it works. :)

veron said...

I have some books that are so dog-eared and close to my heart and some that looks like they were never even read. The flavors of pumpkin and cranberry are so perfect for the fall!

♥peachkins♥ said...

beautiful biscottis!

Katie said...

They look wonderful! I would never have thought of adding pumpkin to biscotti but it sounds delicious. Very autumnal

Amy J in SC said...

I've never ever thought about making biscotti myself but this makes me think I might be able to. I thought it was a lot more difficult than that. And pumpkin ones? Yum!

Barbara said...

Now this is a super idea! I love biscotti and know I have never seen a recipe with pumpkin and cranberries in it. Your photos are wonderful and the cookbook will go on my wish list!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I want to order it but it's not on Amazon. That looks so yummy.

El said...

Okay, where's my hot beverage? I must dip one of these beautiful biscotti - delicious!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Mmmmmm delicious! That cookbook sounds awesome. I will have to keep my eyes peeled:)

Ash said...

Oh, I quite like this flavor combo!

I'm am such a book hoard! I love em, especially cook books, they are my weekness.

Karine said...

Great book are like great friends: we can always rely on them :)

Your biscottis are stunning! :)

Manggy said...

Oh yum, I can smell autumn from here! :) (disclaimer: we don't get autumn :) Unfortunately I've had my share of books that I thought would be close friends but ended up stabbing me in the back!

The Caked Crusader said...

your biscotti look so perfect - you've made a great job of them!

Juliana said...

You are absolutely right, some books I can read over and over again...and still feel that is the first time that I've been exposed to it :-) Your pumpkin biscotti looks yummie, love the idea of adding cranberries to it :-)

Irene said...

Hi Andrea. I'm sorry, but I do not participate in link exchanges. But we sure do like Italian boys around here :) so I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog!

Anonymous said...

I love hearing about cookbooks that other people love. I am such a cookbook nut but sometimes I am disappointed when I start to use the recipes and find that that aren't really that good. Thanks for the recommendation and the recipe. I am a biscotti lover of the the deepest kind and I will be making this.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

An interesting combination for biscotti and one I will be trying.

Mia said...

I saw these yesterday and knew I had to make them - I baked a batch last night! So delicious! I used whole wheat pastry flour so I don't feel too guilty snacking on them :)

Anna said...

What a beautiful blog you have! I just discovered it while searching for a tart recipe, but aturally I got sidetracked and found this biscotti. Thanks for posting! I own Once a Upon a Tart, but don't remember this recipe from the book. I think I'll go pull it off the shelf.