As I inadvertently get sucked into what is happening with the elections south of the border, there tends to be this emotional upheaval that I go through. Worrying about what the future holds – wars, economic unrest etc.  When I get this feeling, I think of my family – my kids mostly, nieces and nephews and how proud I am of them and how much I loved seeing them (two of them couldn’t be here) together at Thanksgiving.  Sadly, whatever happens there, impacts us and this makes me want something warm and comfortable. Looking for items to bake with, I opened up my fridge and found some pumpkin puree leftover from the PSL Brûléed Cheesecake last week.  It’s a fairly standard biscotti recipe with the delicious taste of pumpkin and the flavorings of the season. This recipe made me feel better.

When making it, and really how easy is this to put together, have some belief that it will turn out properly.  I say this because the dough didn’t come together as I expected.  I thought I might have left out some wet ingredients, but there was no extra wet ingredient – no melted butter etc.  So just work the dough lightly until it comes together then shape and place on the parchment lined baking sheet.  Remember my tip for recipes, if they don’t give you a visual and taste sensation, don’t try it.  I imagined the biscotti, crisp, crunchy – dunkable (I know there is no word like this, but it is oh so descriptive).

The original recipe called for quantities of nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cinnamon.  I condensed it using the ready-made pumpkin spice from Club House – you know, the little red tin.  Now this isn’t an easy thing to find but I have to tell you, when you do find it, pick up a few tins.  If I don’t have a tin of this handy, I will make my own. You can use pumpkin spice mix for a number of things even when pumpkin isn’t in the recipe – cakes, icings, biscuits, cookies etc.  If you cannot find it, google is a wonderful thing (otherwise use ½ tsp fresh grated nutmeg, ½ tsp ginger powder, ¼ tsp cloves and 2 tsp cinnamon).  Use whatever pumpkin pie spice mix you like. Make a small batch first, use it, then adjust based on the outcome. Once you have the magic formula that works for you, make a larger quantity, keep it in the back of your pantry in a sealed glass jar. As always – enjoy!

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon Club House pumpkin spice mix – or make your own
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
48 pieces of dark couverture chocolate pieces, I like Lindt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and baking powder
In a separate large bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, walnuts and vanilla
Gradually add flour/nut mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix until combined
Turn dough onto your counter and combine to form a log – remember this may take a bit of working but don’t overwork the dough, it’s not bread, and please don’t add any extra flour
When combined, shape the mixture into a log and transfer to a baking sheet, reshape it – about ¾” high and about 18” long or 2 x 9” logs, same height
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes – you want this light golden brown – remember it will bake again so don’t over bake it
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then use a serrated knife to cut this into ½” thick slices
Arrange the slices on the same parchment lined baking sheet and bake for another 10 minutes
Remove from the oven – now
You can either do as I did and while the biscotti is just out of the oven, place a couple of couverture chocolate pieces on top, sprinkle with kosher or sea salt
The chocolate melts but will set again as it cools – or
Wait until the biscotti is cool, then dip in melted chocolate – sprinkle with kosher or sea salt
Chill until set – store in an airtight container
I got about 22 x ½” pieces of biscotti from this batch
As always – enjoy!