Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Biscotti

I have been drinking a lot more coffee lately.

Matthew has really been giving me a parental run for my money. He has entered a new phase where he flat out refuses to do anything I say. This includes, but is not limited, to the following: eating, drinking, getting dressed, picking up his toys, playing with his toys, putting his shoes on, taking his shoes off, helping me bake a cake, trying a slice of said cake, etc. In addition, gone is my little buddy who loves to go grocery shopping with his mommy. Instead, I am the mother quickly pushing the shopping cart down the aisle as fast as she can while trying to ignore the incessant screams of her bratty child: "I WANT A COOKIE! I WANT CANDY!!" He has a perpetual scowl on his face when he looks at me and relishes making me mad. He has suddenly become what I have always dreaded he might become: a brat. Where did my sweet little boy go and who is this tiny little demon who has replaced him?

Despite the recent rebellious behavior, I love this precious little guy so much.
I only hope that he knows how much he means to me.

At the end of each day, after we have finally wrestled our little tyrant into bed for the night, I have been experiencing an emotional catharsis in which I over-analyze how I handled Matthew throughout the day. Basically, the end conclusion is that I blame myself for his suddenly horrible behavior. I certainly do not have enough patience with him when he does act out and could definitely be more calm, cool, and collected. I feel that he is channeling my horrible temper and stubborn behavior and perhaps imitating me in my less flattering moments. I have been questioning whether I spoil him, give him too much attention, not enough attention, too many privileges, inconsistent punishments, etc. in an attempt to determine the root cause of his behavior.

Matthew painted this tiny pumpkin and was so proud of it. He has been sleeping with
 it every night since creating it. With two monkeys, a raccoon, a cat, a dinosaur, and now a 
pumpkin, there is not a whole lot of room left in his bed!

My husband is the logical, emotionally detached member of our twosome. He thinks it is just a phase Matthew is going through. Forget the terrible twos, the terrible threes are the worst!

So each morning, I have been dreading the start of the day because they have been a real struggle. Starting day with a nice jolt of caffeine is probably not the most practical way to keep my nerves calm and my temper quelled, but it certainly is a jolt that I look forward to. Especially when my mug of coffee comes with a side of cookie. But not just any cookie. My favorite cookie in the world: a really good biscotti. Anise, almond, chocolate chip, or lemon - the flavor matters not - as long as the cookie sports an addictive crunch and is served alongside a steaming mug of coffee. Since pumpkin spice coffee creamers are all the rage right now, I thought a freshly baked batch of pumpkin pie biscotti would be the perfect addition to my morning cup of coffee.

These are easy to make and pretty forgiving. You can make them as crunchy as you want by varying the length of time these babies sit in the oven once they've been sliced. I personally like them really crunchy, so I let them bake a second time in the oven for about 45 minutes, and then I turn the oven off, crack the door, and let them cool completely. Of course, Matthew still prefers eating them straight without dunking. I'm so afraid he's going to crack a tooth!

Pumpkin Pie Biscotti
adapted from Shauna Sever

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 dark brown sugar
1 large egg

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

Position an oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Using a stand mixer, beat the butter with the spices and vanilla on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugars and beat until well-blended. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Beat in the pumpkin puree. Reduce the speed to low and stir in the dry ingredients.

Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Divide the dough in half. Pat each portion of dough into a plank about 7 inches long and 2 inches wide. Carefully transfer the planks onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until firm in the preheated oven, about 35 minutes. Remove the planks to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees.

Using a serrated bread knife, slice the planks on a slight diagonal into slices. I like to keep mine just over 1/4" thick, but you can slice them as thick as you'd like! Place the slices onto a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. This will allow the air to circulate around the cookies and dry them evenly. Make sure none of the cookies are touching! Repeat this process with the second cookie log. Bake for a second time until each biscotti is very firm and dry, anywhere from 70-90 minutes depending on how crispy you want them.

Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container to serve each morning with your coffee or tea!

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Your statement about the terrible twos is what I have always said. Now, the threes....they can be truly terrible! As for boys, I cannot figure out how they can wrap their mother around their finger, then turn into total rebels, turning eagerly to their disciplinarian fathers. It's simply not fair!