I keep sitting down to write and all that comes out is the randomness and scatteredness of my mind these days. I’m filled with nothing but images, drinking in my family while I am here with them and relishing the snowy crisp Minnesota days. My notes, between here and our short sun-soaked Florida weekend, are this:
I guess the gulf of Mexico will fill me today.
Love-filled familial gratitude. Anchored in the ocean.
Dance involving slow-moving crowd bobbing back and forth
Snowy Mississippi landscape far below washed in the pink faded watercolor hues of the sun setting too early.
Have conversations with your everyday objects as a form of awareness.
I am all abstractions. Trying to uncover the luminosity in things- isn’t that a part of Christmas? For me it always has been I suppose. Those glimmering soft moments that us secret introverts crave.
Since my mind can’t seem to settle enough to get something more coherent on paper than this, I’ll keep it short until the twinkle-light-whirlwind of Christmas is over. Perhaps afterward, one of those scribbled mind-drops will unravel itself into some kind of elaboration.
For now, there are biscotti. They are quite frankly, absolutely delicious. Biscotti is something I have always loved in theory and in execution can be a bit underwhelming. I have had many that are lacking in flavor or just way too cardboard-dry, but these are different. These are bursting with cozy chai spices and pops of ginger to sizzle up your taste-buds a bit, while the maple drizzle finishes them off with an extra sweetness to complement your morning coffee. Give a jar of these with a bow as a last minute gift, or whip some up to munch on throughout Christmas morning.
Maple Glazed Chai-Spiced Biscotti with Candied Ginger
makes about 18-20 cookies, adapted from Food & Wine
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground clove
- pinch ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tbsp butter or vegan earth balance, melted and cooled
- ½ cup chopped candied ginger
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tbsp almond, soy, any milk you want
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp maple extract (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350ºF (175ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and spices. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugars until the mixture is creamy + fluffy. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry, then fold in the candied ginger.
Separate the dough into two pieces and form logs out of each, roughly 6" long and 1" thick, but you can adjust depending on the shape of biscotti you prefer. Bake the logs for 30 minutes or until the edges begin to feel firm. With a very sharp knife (this is key to avoid crumbling), cut the logs into 1/2" slices on a diagonal and arrange on the baking tray. Place in the oven for another 10 minutes, flip them over, then 10 minutes more on the other side. Remove from the oven when they start to get golden brown and feel hard to the touch. Take out and let cool for 15-20 minutes.
While the biscotti are baking or cooling, make the maple glaze by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Once the biscotti are mostly cooled, generously drizzle with your glaze, put on a pot of coffee or tea, and dunk away.
Happy holidays everyone! I hope they are love-filled and luminous. xo