This pumpkin biscotti recipe is perfectly spiced, bringing you those favorite fall flavors in one crisp cookie. What better way to celebrate the turning of the seasons, and to get into “fall” mode, than with some tasty treats? I typically make biscotti around Christmas time to include in our holiday treat baskets. But this year I got to thinking, why not a fall-inspired flavor? No reason to wait until December to start baking biscotti around here 🙂 So I took one of my favorite “Christmas” biscotti recipes and modified it to this tasty pumpkin biscotti that we could start enjoying now!
Pumpkin Biscotti Brings in the Fall Flavors
It’s certainly an understatement to say that pumpkin is one of those quintessential fall flavors. What marks fall for you? Is it the turning of the leaves? That chill in the mornings and evenings? The touch of frost on the grass or roof tops? The day Starbucks releases their pumpkin spice latte?
Living in the Phoenix area, we don’t really get any of these “usual” signs of fall (other than the PSL!). True the temperatures start to cool, but I don’t really call 70’s and 80’s “chill” … and here in the valley we don’t have many leaves turning color. But that doesn’t stop us from celebrating the start of a new season! For us, fall is the start of some really wonderful weather that lasts into late spring. 60’s, 70s, and 80s for the next nine months anyone? 😉 (Not that you were wondering, but that right there is why I enjoy living in the desert southwest. It makes the 3-4 months of summer heat more bearable.)
Shifting to fall inspired recipes is one way I like to make it feel more like fall here, even if the weather isn’t typical. Soups, chili, braised dishes that cook long and low in the oven. And of course, pumpkin! Speaking of pumpkin – if you’ve never tried roasting your own pumpkin for homemade pumpkin puree, I highly recommend you give it a try. The flavor is delicious, and it makes hands-down the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever baked. Snag some as soon as they show up in the store to roast and freeze away for all your pumpkin baking needs. I’ve got instructions below if you need some advice 🙂
We are big coffee drinkers in our house, and biscotti is a perfect pairing with a cup of morning or afternoon coffee. So when fall rolled around this year I thought I’d try my hand at making a pumpkin biscotti for us to enjoy. The result is this recipe, which I think turned out deliciously sweet and crisp, with the perfect spiced flavor. It’s even reminiscent of pumpkin pie after you dunk it in your coffee and let it soften for a minute 🙂
I hope this pumpkin biscotti recipe helps to bring a little more of fall into your home as well!
What Makes Biscotti Biscotti?
If you’ve never made biscotti, you might be wondering how you get those cool shaped cookies that are kind of oblong, with open pores for absorbing your favorite beverage. The key? They are twice baked! You first form logs, and bake those until firm, but not crisp. Then, you slice the logs on a diagonal to make the individual biscotti cookies. Turn them on their cut edge and bake again on a lower temp and voilà – biscotti!
One thing I love about these cookies is that you can easily adjust the size of the biscotti by modifying two things. (1) The size of the log; (2) How much of an angle you cut the pieces on. A longer more narrow log results in smaller biscotti. As will slices that are more horizontal than diagonal on the log. So, you can play around to get your perfect size of biscotti! Do you want small cookies that are just a bite or two? Make your logs narrow and cut closer to the horizontal. Do you want long statement pieces? Make the logs a little wider and slice on an extreme diagonal!
Baking Soda for the Rise
The other important element to biscotti is its firm, crisp texture that absorbs whatever you dunk it in to perfection. To get this texture, you need a “crumb” that is open. This means the log has to rise while it’s baking! If it doesn’t rise enough, the biscotti will be dense. There is no yeast in this recipe, so the rising comes from the baking soda. You’ll notice there is a fair amount in this recipe. This results in a nice oven rise to give an open crumb in your final sliced biscotti. Science at work in the kitchen! 🙂
Time to Bake!
So there you have it! A little primer on biscotti. Let’s get on to the star of the show now shall we? I hope you give this pumpkin biscotti recipe a try this fall! Or maybe it’s the middle of summer when you are reading this, and you still have that pumpkin craving. It’s OK, I been there myself 😉 This recipe is sure to satisfy that craving any time of year it strikes!
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Parchment paper
- 313 g all purpose flour (2⅔ cups, plus more for shaping)
- 287 g granulated sugar (1½ cups)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 100 g pumpkin seeds (shells removed)
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tbsp EVOO
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 130 g pumpkin puree (½ cup)
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ground ginger
- ¾ tsp nutmeg (freshly grated is best!)
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground cloves
Make the batter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl.
- Mix in the pumpkin seeds.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients in the medium mixing bowl, including the sugar.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- The batter will be wet, so you need to work quickly through the next steps to form the logs and get them into the oven.
Shape the logs
- Make sure the oven is pre-heated before you start shaping the logs. They will spread out as they sit on the sheet pans, so you want to get them into the oven as quick as possible. You'll need two racks in the oven, so space them out accordingly.
- Prep two half sheet pans (or other cookie sheets) by lining with parchment paper.
- Prep a clean work surface (counter, pastry mat, etc), and then generously cover with flour.
- Place the bowl with the batter on the kitchen scale and zero it out.
- You can either make 3 large logs (~12oz each) or 7 smaller logs (~5oz each).
- For each log, weigh out the batter, and plop it onto the floured work surface. Leave working space around each mound of batter, but you can plop out more than one at a time if your workspace allows.
- Using the bench scraper, collect some flour between your hand and the scraper, and generously dust it over the first mound of batter until it is thoroughly covered.
- Working quickly with the bench scraper in one hand and using your other hand as a balance, scoop the batter into a longer narrow log, and transfer to the parchment paper on the sheet pan. You can finish shaping once on the pan – the logs should be about 2 inches wide, and ~ 8 inches long for the short logs, or 12 inches long for the larger logs. You can estimate this, as they will change size while baking! Separate the logs by 2-3 inches on the sheet pan. For the larger logs, you can fit 2 side by side going the length of the pan. For the shorter logs, you can fit 4 side by side with the tip/tail of the log spanning the short width of the sheet pan.
- If desired, brush the top of the logs with a well-whisked egg white, and sprinkle with a little sugar. This will result in a shiny finish on the biscotti.
- Transfer the first pan to the oven as soon as the logs are formed.
- Shape the remaining logs, and transfer the second pan to the oven, noting the time difference.
- Bake at 350°F for ~25 minutes, until golden and firm in the center. You don't want the logs hard and crispy, but firm so that if you push your finger in the center of the log there is some resistance.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
Cut and bake the biscotti
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
- Once the logs have cooled so you can handle them, slice them on an angle, into about 1 inch wide slices. This is what forms the classic biscotti cookie shape. You can modify the length of the cookies by the angle that you cut the log on.
- Turn the slices cut side down and return to the parchment paper.
- Bake at 300°F for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and flip the bisotti over.
- Return to the oven and bake another 10-15 minutes.
- The biscotti should turn a light golden brown, and offer resistance in the center, but not be totally firm/crisp. If needed, cook a little longer, keeping an eye so they don't get too dark in color, and flipping back over as needed to ensure even baking.
- You can bake the biscotti more or less, depending on how crisp and crunchy you like it!
- Let the biscotti cool, and then enjoy! We love this biscotti dipped in our morning or afternoon coffee. It is very reminiscent of pumpkin pie after it is softened in the coffee for a moment 🙂