My parents are in town tonight – what better way to get into the holiday spirit? I’m excited to see them and to give them their presents, although it’s nothing big, Mom and Dad, so don’t get your hopes up (like I know they were). Last night, Kramer and I finally just got to hang out at home, watch TV, and relax. We’ve been so busy the past few weeks, with him finishing up his first semester of grad school and me…doing whatever it is that I do…it’s been exhausting! On Monday night, we went with Morgan to go see Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann, and Paul Rudd do a Times Talks, which just great. I was surprised at how quiet Paul Rudd (who we had just seen on Broadway in Grace over Thanksgiving) and Leslie Mann were, and how animated and fun to listen to Judd Apatow was. I suppose that’s why he’s the boss. After the talk, it was awful outside; raining, cold, and to make matters worse, the Times building is basically in Times Square…which is possibly the worst place on Earth. So, like any rational human beings would do, we decided it’d be funny to go to Guy Fieri’s restaurant for a drink. I have to say, we were all surprised and disappointed at how not that bad it really was. Sure, we didn’t try any of the food (the idea of “California egg rolls with avocado” kind of makes me die a little bit inside), but the beers weren’t bad. Morgan got a margarita that I think he regretted a bit by the end, and in an effort to order something ridiculous, I got a Jack Nog for us to share…which was horrible. Too much cinnamon, too much cheap Jack Daniels, etc. But I dared Kramer to drink the whole thing in exchange for not having to put any laundry away or vacuum for a month (his two most despised chores), which he did, grimacing the whole time and saying, “This is worth it.” Anyway, we probably would have gotten the entire horrific experience if we had really gone for it and tried more weird menu items, but I was just not into it. There was a guy at the bar, though, with a giant bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue, drinking alone. Kramer, Morgan, and I really wanted to know who goes to Guy Fieri’s Times Square restaurant to order an entire bottle of really nice whisky for what I am sure costs four times what it does at the liquor store, but all of a sudden, he got up and walked away, bottle in hand (yes, we were, indeed, paying close attention to this guy). I guess we’ll never know.
The last of my holiday presents ready to go.
Anyway, back to the good stuff. I made biscotti this weekend for the first time, and honestly, I don’t know why I hadn’t tried it out before. It couldn’t be easier to make, they are super easy to decorate, and they look so pretty and festive for this time of year. I had one last can of pumpkin left over from my Thanksgiving stockpile, so I added that in place of any butter or oil, then folded in some butterscotch chips and candied ginger, because I believe that biscotti should always be studded with something extra. In that spirit, I then dipped the finished cookies in chocolate and added some sprinkles. I ended up wrapping these individually and sending them with Kramer to his office, and I hope that they were well received! I certainly enjoyed them and really, I had to stop myself from enjoying one too many at home. I did, of course, save a few, so Kramer and I can have them with our coffee for the next few days, which I am quite pleased about. It makes getting up on cold, dark winter mornings a bit easier, and the sugar doesn’t hurt when I’m dragging, either!
I wrapped the biscotti up in little giftbags for Kramer’s office.
Went to see these guys with Morgan and Kramer on Monday night.
Make your dough, then shape the dough into three 4×9-inch logs.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean, then allow to cool.
Slice the biscotti into 1/2-inch pieces, then bake at 325 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, until firm. Allow to cool a bit before dipping in chocolate.
- 3¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground star anise
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup butterscotch chips (cinnamon or white chocolate chips would also work well in this)
- ¼ cup candied ginger, chopped
- 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted (optional)
- sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper sprinkled with a bit of flour. Whisk together your flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, star anise, and cloves. Set aside. In the bowl of your mixer (or a large bowl, as this is definitely doable by hand), beat together your eggs and sugars, then add in the pumpkin and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture, mixing until just moistened and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Fold in the butterscotch chips and the candied ginger.
- Separate the dough into 3 equal pieces. Flour your hands so that the dough doesn't stick to them, and shape each piece into a log, about 4x9-inches. Place each one on a separate baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, until set and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes, then slice into ½-inch pieces, lay out on the same baking tray, and lower the temperature to 315 degrees F. Bake for an additional 30-35 minutes, flipping the biscotti halfway through to ensure even baking.
- When you are ready to decorate, simply melt your chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 15 second intervals, stirring often and keeping an eye on the chocolate so that it doesn't burn. Use a knife to spread the chocolate out onto ¼ of the tip of the biscotti, then sprinkle with sprinkles. Place in the fridge to firm up, and serve. These will keep well at room temperature or in the fridge, in an airtight container or bag, for up to 8 days. Enjoy with coffee, tea, or on their own!