I've been on a biscotti kick recently, making first my Christmas biscotti for a friend, then testing the fat-free dunking biscotti ( that was so hard and crunchy, it really IS only good for dunking), then, coming across a bag of pumpkin seeds in the freezer, I thought hmmmmmm.
I'm a little tired of almonds - I wonder how these would taste instead?
Well, they were incredible. Better than almonds. So tasty that I skipped adding any chocolate at all, though I toyed with the idea of white chocolate.
I vaguely remembered dry-toasting pumpkin seeds in a hot skillet, and that was loads of fun. Hiss, pop, hiss, pop - the seeds were bouncing around in the hot skillet and getting a nice little sear to them. Straight from the skillet, they were oh-so delicious.
So I do hope you'll give them a try. Stick a few in your bag to stave off sudden hunger pangs, or simply serve with a nice cup of herb tea or a Grande coffee. Oh - you're wondering about the lily? We in New Hampshire are about to get another three days of snowstorms. As soon as I heard that this morning, I drove straight to Woodman's flower shop to buy some pale pink tulips and inhale the scents of lilies. Best antidote to cabin fever I know.
To make at least 2 dozen biscotti, depending how thickly you cut them:
Preheat oven to 325F.
Fit a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
1 cup raw green pumpkin seeds ( from the health food store)
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar , divided into 2 half-cup portions
3 large eggs, separated
about 2 T. diced fresh orange peel
1 1/2 t. vanilla
3 cups King Arthur all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 cup dried cranberries
Heat a skillet on medium heat, then toss in the pumpkin seeds. After about 2 minutes, they'll start to hop around - just keep stirring until you see some toasting on the seeds. Remove from heat and turn onto a plate to cool.
In mixer bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add the sugar and continue whipping until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Scrape out into a bowl and set aside.
In the same mixer bowl ( no need to wash), cream the butter and the rest of the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla, and orange peel, then add the flour, baking powder, salt, and dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
Fold the egg whites into the dough mixture and mix until the dough comes together. Press the dough into a ball , then cut into two equal pieces.
On the baking sheet, form the dough into long , equally sized logs, patting with your hands. Square off the ends and bake for 45 minutes. Turn off oven.
Remove to a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes, cut down the center of the foil between the two logs, and slowly remove one log (holding the ends of the foil) to a cutting board. Rotate log carefully, and peel off the foil, then gently turn it rightside up again.
Using a serrated bread knife, hold the biscotti log gently with one hand while you slice off biscotti pieces - the thickness is really up to you. Stand the pieces up on another baking sheet, and continue cutting the second log. This should fill the whole baking sheet. Pop into the still warm oven and let dry for about 20 minutes, then remove to cool.