12th day of Christmas

Today is the 12th day of Christmas (well, the countdown to the day is beginning) and I've challenged myself to make 12 days' worth of cookies to share with my friends and family.

In the original song, "on the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... twelve drummers drumming..."

And instead of all that noise, I'm opting to give gingerbread biscotti instead. I've based the flavors off the classic German pfeffernüsse, which means "pepper nuts". The traditional cookie is made with a series of spices, including pepper, and is dusted with confectioner's sugar. They look similar to Mexican wedding cookies, but are more flavorful and traditionally served during the holiday season.
This biscotti is a tried and true recipe. Typically, I do not use molasses as an ingredient, to make sure the batter does not have too much moisture. The core of the cookie is its spicy pepperyness, which is a great foil to a glass of milk, egg nog, or even a steaming cup of coffee.

Gingerbread Biscotti Makes 20 pieces

1 stick (4oz) unsalted butter
1 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp cardamom
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Place butter, sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. It a paddle attachment or hand mixer, cream these ingredients together at a low speed. Blend to a smooth paste.
Add eggs, vanilla extract and blend at a low speed.
Sift in the flour and baking powder. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
Shape into 2 longs about 2 inches thick. The dough will be sticky and a little difficult to handle. Do not press dough down.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until light golden brown.
Let cool slightly, 10-12 minutes, and slice diagonally in 1/2 inch pieces. Place cut side down on sheet to bake an additional 20 minutes until toasted and dry.
Remove from oven. Biscotti will harden upon cooling.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. Thanks for the recipe! I've been wanting to try biscotti, but the only recipe I have is for Italian biscotti and it calls for way too many spices I do not have. I have most of these and this sounds even better. :)


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