For many of us, family traditions are a big deal and most of them are centered around special foods, particularly during the holidays. The Christmas season is filled with memories each time we make a large batch of cuccidati, my grandmother’s Sicilian fig cookies, braciolone and lasagne that my mother prepared, not only for the Christmas meal but, extra for me and my siblings to take home and Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a slice or two of panettone on Christmas morning!
As families change, children grow up, get married and have children of their own, it is a time for new traditions and that is what inspired this recipe. This one’s for you cara mia Casi. I know you and your grandmother made gingerbread and although the only gingerbread I’ve ever made came from a box, I do know how to make biscotti. So, perhaps, you’ll teach me how to make Fran’s gingerbread and together we’ll create fond food memories for the next generation.
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 4 ounces butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Sparkling sugar
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and spices.
- In another bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar and then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Mix in the molasses and vanilla. Combine the butter mixture with the flour and spices.
- Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so until the dough has firmed up a bit for easier handling.
- Take the dough and roll into logs (12-inch x 2-inch) and place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten the logs slightly and sprinkle with sparkling sugar (gently press into each log).
- Bake the first pan in a 350*oven on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Bake the other cookie sheet.
- Once the logs on the first pan are cool to the touch, carefully place on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange close together (cut-side down) and bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn cookies over and then bake (make sure oven hasn’t cooled down) an additional 5-10 minutes, until biscotti are a deep golden brown. Store in airtight container.