My father-in-law, who is generally a fan of my cooking and baking, told me once, “You don’t know how to make biscotti.” Surprisingly, he meant it as a compliment! My first effort at making homemade biscotti produced a chewy dessert more like a scone than biscotti. I was disappointed because I like hard crunchy biscotti that has to be dipped into a mug of Mattie’s Mountain Mud coffee to be enjoyed. But he likes biscotti that you can grab and eat any time of day, no dipping required.
He likes it so well that one year I gave him a Biscotti of the Month membership card for Christmas. I was supposed to make him a different flavor of biscotti each month. I tried some recipes with chocolate chips and one I liked with dried cherries, but he only wanted pumpkin flavor. I still owe him several batches!
You can use store-bought pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix) or roast your own pie pumpkin, blending the flesh of the pumpkin in a blender or food processor. The pumpkin puree needs to be rather thick so if you make it at home don’t add too much liquid to the food processor.
Enjoy these biscotti as chewy bites like my father-in-law, or let them sit overnight for crispier, crunchier biscotti perfect with hot coffee.
Pumpkin Apple Butter Biscotti
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 cup of coconut sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
Pinch of ginger, cloves, allspice or pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup apple butter
3/4 cup of pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices.
- In medium bowl, whisk together the egg, pumpkin purée, apple butter and vanilla extract. Pour the apple butter and pumpkin mixture into the flour and spice mixture. Give it a rough stir to incorporate the ingredients, then use your hands to make sure there are no pockets of dry ingredients in the mixture.
- Flour your hands and a clean kitchen surface and lightly knead the dough. Have a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper ready and waiting. Form the dough into two large logs, roughly about 12 inches by 6-7 inches. The loaves should be flat, only about one inch high. To dress up the biscotti sprinkle the top of each loaf with white sugar.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes at 350 F, until the center of each loaf is firm to the touch.
- Let the loaves sit and cool until you can handle them. Using a bread knife cut on a diagonal into 1 inch wide pieces. Turn the biscotti onto their sides and bake in a 300 F oven for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
If you are like my Father-in-law and like chewier biscotti now is the time to store in an airtight container. If you’d rather have crispy biscotti perfect for dipping into a mug of coffee or hot tea leave them to sit out overnight on the counter in the dry winter air.
By Anna Wills