After a super stressful and sleepless week, I am officially done with the first semester of my senior year of college. I can’t believe it went by so quickly, but I’m so glad to be done with writing papers and studying until January! I can’t wait to SLEEP and bake, bake, bake! But now it’s time to buckle down and finish up my graduate school applications. My pile of work never seems to go away!
I didn’t bake very much this week, and I’d like to blame it on final exams, but that’s not exactly the whole truth. The thing is, I’ve been cheating on baking a little… with oatmeal. I’ve always loved oatmeal, and I use to eat it for breakfast nearly every day during my freshman and sophomore years in college. Then I got lazy and started eating cold cereal instead and sort of forgot about this delicious hot breakfast.
But recently, I’ve been following a couple of healthy living blogs, Carrots ‘N’ Cake and Kath Eats Real Food, and have gotten re-hooked on oatmeal. The authors of both blogs eat oatmeal for breakfast almost every day, and they spice it up with so many different toppings like chopped nuts, seeds, granola, honey, maple syrup, chocolate chips, dried or fresh fruit, flaxseed meal, pumpkin or sweet potato puree, etc, etc, etc. You can check out a huge collection of amazing oatmeal variations here.
Rediscovering oatmeal was so exciting – I had way too much fun playing around with different combinations this week. I even tried overnight oats, which is a deliciously cool and creamy way to enjoy oatmeal. I really looked forward to eating breakfast this whole week – I even had oatmeal for lunch a couple of times! Seriously, if I didn’t blog about baking, I would probably have called my blog “The Blissful Breakfast Eater.” 🙂
After obsessing over oatmeal for the whole week, I decided I better give baking some more attention. When I finished my last exam, I came right home and made a batch of gingerbread biscotti. The first time I made this biscotti was during the summer, and they were lovely, but they tasted even better this time because the gingerbread flavor is just perfect for the holiday season. Also, biscotti is lower in calories, fat, and sugar than most cookies, so you don’t feel as guilty eating ten of them in one sitting 🙂
Source: adapted from Joy of Baking
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
- 2/3 cup raisins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, process 1/2 cup of rolled oats until finely ground.
3. In a large bowl, combine the 1/2 cup of finely ground oats, the remaining 1/2 cup of rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, molasses, oil, and vanilla extract. Add mixture to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in chopped hazelnuts and raisins.
5. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a log about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Place logs on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 3 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about ten minutes.
6. Reduce oven to 300 degrees F. Transfer logs to a cutting board and cut into 3/4 inch slices, on the diagonal. Place biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for about 6-8 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes, or until dry and firm.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store biscotti in an airtight container.