I’m so delighted that fall is here! I couldn’t resist baking a batch of pumpkin pie spice biscotti this weekend, just to celebrate the start of October. These cookies make the entire house smell like the holidays – the pumpkin pie spice is so fragrant. I’m pretty generous with ginger in my spice blend and it comes through in a nice subtle way in these cookies.
I’ve been thinking some about the pumpkin pie spice craze – I’ll admit that as soon as it started raining, I was in line at Starbucks for my first Pumpkin Pie Spice Latte for the year, which really, honestly, tastes nothing like pumpkin or spice. I’ve since been sampling similar lattes at other coffee shops and have found a few favorites to get me through the season. I’ve also thought a lot about pumpkin pie spice – I don’t know when it became de rigueur to DIY pumpkin pie spice. I remember buying the premixed spice and having it around as a staple in the spice pantry. It’s so simple to mix up the spices yourself though, so I’m happy about this particular cooking trend.
And since this post is all about starting fall off with pumpkin, I recently read an interesting article that most canned pumpkin isn’t actually pumpkin at all, but is generally a blend of other winter squashes, like butternut squash because other winter squashes are less stringy than pumpkin and make a smoother puree. This was a bit of a revelation for me: I’ve been making my own pumpkin puree for years now and every time I open up a roasted pie pumpkin, I’ve thought – this thing looks more like an orange spaghetti squash than pumpkin puree, so what am I doing wrong? Then I put the thought aside, mash it up some, and throw it in the freezer to be used in things like these pumpkin pie spice biscotti or pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. The stringiness isn’t noticeable when it’s cooked into a baked good or even when it’s blended into a smoothie, so I’ll keep on making my pumpkin puree with pumpkin.
The bottom line here is that pumpkin and spice is a winning combination. Enjoy these pumpkin pie spice biscotti with a cup of coffee (or a pumpkin spice latte) or a cup of tea and sit back and watch the leaves fall.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Biscotti
Makes 2 dozen
½ cup pumpkin puree (recipe for DIY pumpkin puree here)
4 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (see below to make your own)
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
To dip or drizzle:
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the pumpkin puree and egg and mix. In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine until all the dry ingredients are mixed in.
Turn the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Divide it into two sections and form each into a loaf. Flatten each loaf out a bit on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Remove the biscotti loafs from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Use a serrated edged knife to slice the loafs into ½ slices – you’ll be able to get about 12 cookies from each loaf. Place the biscotti back on the baking sheet in a single layer. As they will not rise anymore at this point, they don’t need space between them, so you can fit all the biscotti on one baking sheet.
Bake the sliced biscotti at 325 for 25 minutes or until they are brown and crispy looking. I usually flip them over about half way through to ensure even baking on both sides.
When the biscotti are baked, open the oven door and let the cookies cool in the oven for 15 minutes for a very crisp biscotti. Pull them out of the oven and finish cooling on a cooling rack.
When the biscotti are cooled, melt the chocolate chips (in two separate saucepans) and use them to drizzle to decorate. You can also dip the cookies in chocolate and nuts or just in chocolate. Let the cookies air dry and then store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 tablespoons cinnamon
2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
2 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons allspice
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
Mix all the spices together in an airtight container.