There are some foods out there (Fruit By the Foot, Lunchables, Gogurt) that can only truly be enjoyed by children. And then there are others (blue cheese, coffee flavored ice cream, salad) that are mainly the purview of adults. Fortunately for us parents who would rather not moonlight as short-order cooks, there are plenty of foods that for one reason or another can be enjoyed by all. In our family, biscotti certainly fit that category. For the grown-ups among us, they elevate and ordinary cup of coffee into a relaxing cafe experience. Like doughnuts, they walk the fine line between dessert and breakfast, but unlike doughnuts, there are no unpleasant late-morning consequences afterward.
For Elijah, the biscotto is a combination cookie/teething biscuit that he can happily tote around with him for a good hour, alternating between eating it, banging it on the storm door and taking it in and out of a Gladware container. A batch takes a little over an hour to prepare from start to finish, and lasts all week. There are endless permutations of this humble yet elegant fare, but gingerbread is our current favorite. Oh, and as you can see, they are pretty photogenic, too. (Thanks, Kurt)
Gingerbread biscotti (adapted from Allrecipes.com)
Makes approx 24 three-inch pieces
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. white sugar
1/4 c. molasses
2 1/4 c. unbleached flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 T. baking powder
1 1/2 T. ground ginger
1 T. ground cinnamon
1/2 T. ground cloves
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs and molasess.
3. Add all the dry ingredients, beginning with the flours. Stir until a thick dough forms. If extremely sticky, you may add up to 1/2 c. additional flour.
4. Divide dough in half and form each half into a log on the cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, then cool for 10 minutes.
6. Use a serrated (bread) knife and cut into 1 inch thick diagonal slices.
7. Place each slice on its side and bake for 10 minutes.
8. Turn slices over and cook 5-10 additional minutes, until biscotti is crisp and lightly browned. Allow to cool for maximum crunchiness.