Fall is our favorite season. Sweatshirts and jeans, football, the smell of a roaring fire, and a steamy bowl of soup. Fall is always a very busy time for us. The seasonal festivals, parties, and celebrations really bring people together.
This week my son and I took a trip to a local farm with his preschool for a tractor ride and a romp in a hay maze. We also visited the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin. It’s been in the 80′s here, but that morning it was in the 50′s and threatening rain. Due to the cold, our son decided to cover us in the hay from the tractor, which made its way into some unsavory places. As we plucked out the hay or straw or whatever, there was actually a conversation in our tractor about the difference between the two, we climbed down and made our way to a massive rolling field dotted with bright orange pumpkins. While many of the kids were trying to find the biggest pumpkin in the field, our son wanted one that was according to him “just about the size of my (his) head”. It took about 2 minutes and he found the perfect one. Then he quickly demanded my camera to take several hundred photos of random pumpkins lying in the field. All in all, we had a good day with some great friends!
In honor of fall, and the birthday of a friend who has a fetish for pumpkin spiced coffee (you know who you are!), we made some Pumpkin Biscotti with Crystallized Ginger, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Almonds, Glazed with Pumpkin Spiced Milk Chocolate. Perfect for dunking in any coffee really but for an over the top pumpkin flavor brew yourself some pumpkin spiced coffee.
We really tried to think of how to infuse these biscotti with as much pumpkin flavor as possible. We added some spices before roasting the nuts. We used only a quarter for the biscotti and the remaining sweet and spicy nuts were gone the very next day. In addition, we sprinkled the chocolate with some pumpkin pie spice before melting it to give it a little kick. We’d say these are a definite keeper. The recipes for the nuts and chocolate are below.
Pumpkin Biscotti with Crystallized Ginger, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Almonds, Glazed with Pumpkin Spiced Milk Chocolate
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
3 eggs and 1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup pumpkin spiced roasted almonds and pumpkin seeds (see recipe below)
½ cup pumpkin spiced milk chocolate (see recipe below)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg white, and vanilla extract.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.
5. Add the crystallized ginger and the spiced almonds and pumpkin seeds, and knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.
6. Separate the dough in half. Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
8. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
9. Glaze the top with spiced milk chocolate.
Pumpkin Spice Roasted Almonds and Pumpkin Seeds
1 ½ cups whole almonds
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons agave
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and place rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a bowl, add the almonds, pumpkin seeds, and the spices. Stir to combine.
3. Add the vanilla extract and the agave. Stir again to incorporate all the ingredients and to ensure all the almonds and pumpkin seeds are coated.
4. Spread the mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Roast the mixture in the over for 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
6. Let cool completely in pan before incorporating into biscotti. You will only need about a quarter for the biscotti, so snack on the rest!
Pumpkin Spiced Melted Chocolate
¾ cup milk chocolate chips
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1. Place chocolate chips and pumpkin pie spice in a microwave safe bowl.
2. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and stir to combine.
3. Continue warming chocolate for 20 second intervals until the chocolate has melted to a spreadable consistency.
What to do with the ends #35: Use the ends as a ruler to measure something, like who can jump or spit the farthest.