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Ginger & Spice Biscotti

These delicious biscotti are crispy and fragrant, with warm flavors of ginger, orange, and nuts. Perfect with cappuccino or tea as a midmorning or afternoon break. They freeze well too. Make them ahead to give as much appreciated gifts or serve to drop in guests.

2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup dark molasses
l tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
l tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger, divided
l cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 15 x 17-inch cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground spices and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the oil, the 1/2 cup of granulated and 1/2 cup of brown sugars, egg, molasses, orange zest, and grated fresh ginger, mixing until thoroughly combined. Mix in the dry ingredients, then stir in 1/4 cup of the crystallized ginger and the chopped almonds, combining well.

Prepare Ginger Topping: In a food processor, combine the other 1/4 cup of chopped crystallized ginger with the 1/4 cup additional granulated sugar. Process until the ginger and sugar are well combined.

Divide the dough into 3 portions, forming each into a log about 2 inches wide and 10 inches long. Sprinkle each log with the topping mixture. Arrange logs about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Flatten to 3/4-inch thickness. Bake for about 25 minutes. Logs will flatten out a little bit during baking. When they are firm to the touch, remove from oven. Cool for 10 minutes, then place on a cutting board. Cut the logs diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange cut sides down in pan. (Slices can touch.)

Reduce oven temperature to 300F. Return the cut biscotti to the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer until they have dried and are crisp. Place slices on a rack to cool.

Note: As an alternative to the second baking, turn off the oven after the initial baking. Slice and arrange the biscotti on the pan. Return the pan to the oven and leave biscotti there overnight. They will crisp up without watching them.

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen

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