I love making biscotti, all kinds - chocolate, plain, with dried fruits or nuts, dipped in chocolate, you get the point. I also love knowing that I can have these delicious cookies anytime I want without paying those ridiculous prices for them at the store. After all, homemade beats store-bought any day.
That said, one of my favorite types of biscotti is a spice biscotti. Unfortunately, I could never find a recipe on the Internet that satisfied me in terms of flavor. So, I brainstormed a little and created my own using Martha Stewart's biscotti recipe as a base. And so, the chai biscotti of my dreams was born. Chai is basically an incredible flavor made from combining various spices - cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and white pepper. You can up the flavor of the biscotti even more by adding in dried fruits or nuts. I've tried various things in the past, cranberries and almonds, candied ginger and cashews, but my favorite mix-ins are cranberries and candied ginger. They really work well with the spice flavor. Plus, the ginger adds in a little extra sweet hot kick. All in all, once you taste this biscotti you will never have a desire to get your biscotti from the store. Trust me.
Note: My changes to the recipe are in italics.
Cranberry-Ginger Chai Biscotti (adapted from Martha Stewart)
1/2 c. dried cranberries (you can increase this to 3/4 cup)
1/2 c. boiling water
3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
8 tsp. chai spice
4 Tbsp. butter
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. candied ginger, chopped
Place cranberries in a bowl with the boiling water. Let stand until plump, about 15 min. Drain well and set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.
Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture. Mix in the cranberries and chopped ginger.
Turn the dough out onto a floured baking sheet and divide in half. The dough will be somewhat sticky (flouring your hands makes it easier to handle the dough). Shape each piece into a 16x2 inch log. Flatten the logs slightly to about 3/4" thickness.
Bake at 350F for about 25 min. until it is firm to the touch. Immediately slice into 1/2" thick slices (diagonally if desired) with a serrated knife. Lower the oven temperature to 325F. Place the pieces cut side up on a baking sheet and bake 15 min. per side until biscotti are hard and dry.
My recipe for Chai Spice:
4 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. ginger powder
2 tsp. cardamom
2 tsp. cloves (or allspice)
1/2 tsp. white pepper
Combine all the spices and mix well. This recipe will make more than you need for the biscotti. Use as indicated in the recipe.