I think I have loved biscotti even before I drank coffee. The crunchy, sweet biscuit, also known an “coffee bread,”is basically a twice-baked cookie that originated in Italy. Whatever its history, biscotti are genius. Not only are they easy to make, but extremely versatile. Virtually any flavor that goes into your standard cookie will work in a biscotti. Some of my favorites are dark chocolate coffee, cherry pistachio and the absolute best biscotti in autumn…maple walnut!
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you where this recipe came from. I’ve had it written down so long that I can’t find the original source, but I do remember it came from a Mennonite girl. Isn’t it funny what we remember? What I have loved about her recipe is how it’s different. First, not only are her biscotti made with whole wheat flour, but there is no oil or butter in the batter. Instead, we will use canned pumpkin. Even more genius! Second, the flavor of these biscotti explode with maple. The secret? Two teaspoons of maple flavoring. No, it’s not as healthy as using pure maple syrup found in most recipes, but I’d have to use over a cup of syrup to equal this amazing flavor….and that, my friends, would change the entire consistency of the biscotti. Trust me, you will want to use the maple flavoring!
In the end, we could nibble on these biscotti with a cup of hot coffee and call it a great day. But, I like to coat one side of each biscotti in a rich layer of quality white chocolate. A whole new level, baby. They are bursting with delicious crunchy, nutty and maple-ly flavor…
Come on in to my kitchen!
Here are the ingredients! Pretty basic. This time of year, you probably have everything on hand except the white chocolate and maple flavoring. You better put them on your grocery list.
Start by toasting 1 cup walnuts…8 minutes at 325 degrees. Take them out and chop ’em up.
Get out your large mixing bowl and measure out 2 1/2 cups white flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger and 1 tsp. salt. Whisk them all together!
Meanwhile, in a smaller bowl, whisk together 14 oz. of canned pumpkin, 3 large eggs and 2 tsp. maple flavoring, which will give the biscotti its bold color. You will notice that a standard can of pumpkin contains 15 oz. Simply use all but 2 tablespoons from the can. For some reason, the quantities here are perfect and you really don’t need that last ounce of pumpkin in the dough. Just eat it! Have you ever eaten canned pumpkin by itself? It’s really pretty tasty and that one leftover ounce provides nearly 19% of your daily vitamin A!
Spoon the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Don’t you love how there is no mixer needed? Simply use a spoon to incorporate most of the wet with the dry.
Now comes the fun part! Using your hands, work in the chopped walnuts so to evenly distribute them… work it, work it.
Lay down some parchment paper on a large cookie sheet and form the dough into one giant log (13 inches in length / 5.5 inches in width at it’s widest point / 1 inch thick ).
Bake the log in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until firm to the touch. Then take it out and let it cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
I only baked mine for 40 minutes and you can see a little bit of wet dough near the top on some of the bigger pieces. That’s ok because the beauty of the biscotti is that they are twice-baked! Slice up the log into 1/2 inch slices.
To ensure even baking the second time around, try to stand the biscotti up like shown. Rebake at the same temperature for another 25-30 minutes. The longer you bake, the crunchier they will be. Keep in mind that they will get a bit more crunchy as they cool as well.
When cooled thoroughly, melt your white chocolate in a shallow dish. (Note: one 12 oz. bag of Ghirdelli melting wafters will be just enough for the amount of biscotti in this recipe)
In assembly line fashion, coat one side of each biscotti with the warm chocolate and lay them on the same cookie sheet with parchment paper. No need to dirty more pans! Feel free to smooth out the chocolate with a spatula and also feel free to lick your fingers. This chocolate is goooooood.
There you have it – near two dozen of these delicious maple nut biscotti with white chocolate. Take them to a Bible Study, eat them after Thanksgiving dinner or relish them for breakfast as you dream of your own Italian villa. You will love them.
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2½ cups white flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. salt.
- 14 oz. of canned pumpkin
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp. maple flavoring.
- Toast 1 cup walnuts for 8 minutes at 325 degrees. Then coarsely chop them up.
- In a large mixing bowl, measure out and whisk together 2½ cups white flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1½ cups granulated sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, 2 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. ground cloves, ¼ tsp. ground ginger and 1 tsp. salt.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together 14 oz. of canned pumpkin, 3 large eggs and 2 tsp. maple flavoring.
- Spoon the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with the spoon.
- Using your hands, work in the chopped walnuts so to evenly distribute them.
- Lay down some parchment paper on a large cookie sheet and form the dough into one log (13 inches in length / 5.5 inches in width at it's widest point / 1 inch thick ).
- Bake the log in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until firm to the touch. Then take it out and let it cool for 15 minutes.
- Slice the log into ½ inch slices and stand the slices up on the cookie sheet.
- Rebake at the same temperature for another 25-30 minutes. The longer you bake, the crunchier they will be.
- When cooled thoroughly, melt white chocolate in a shallow dish and coat one side of each biscotti.
Meredith is a pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom living in NW Ohio. She loves to adapt recipes to her family’s eclectic tastes and is learning to provide nourishment for any bellies who walk through the door at a moment’s notice. If not in the kitchen, you’ll find Meredith in front of her sewing machine or spending quality time with her home and church families. Life goes by so fast!