No matter who you are – your gender, your race, your income, your occupation – we all have one thing in common – holiday calories. Avoid them all you want, but eventually you are going to give in. The only thing you can do is eat healthier alternatives, such as choosing whole wheat over regular. If you are baking this holiday season, why not swap out all purpose flour for whole wheat flour from Hodgson Mill? I did with these White Chocolate Gingerbread Biscotti, which I’m entering in their “Have a Grain Holiday” recipe contest. Imagine serving these healthified crunchy biscotti dipped in white chocolate that marries a classic Italian cookie with the taste of Christmas.
Whole wheat is a tricky ingredient for me. On one hand, I don’t mind eating it if I can’t tell. On the other hand, I hate whole wheat bread for sandwiches. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat? No thanks. When I studied in Ireland, my housemates and I shared bread. They were all into whole grain bread, so the grainier, the better. I tried so hard to go with it, but I couldn’t take it. It was too wheaty for me (plus all those seeds…) I ended up buying my own bread that semester.
Now I know I like some whole wheat. When I order a sandwich at this one place, they offer wheat bread that I can’t taste the difference. When you look at the flour, you can definitely see the grain. There are health benefits to choosing whole wheat. According to Hodgson Mill, “Whole grains are rich in fiber and nutrition, and our naturally low fat foods are often enriched even more with health-boosting ingredients like flax seed and soy.”
When I first took a bite of the biscotti, I could taste the wheat, but it wasn’t a turn off. In fact, when paired with gingerbread, they became surprisingly addicting. I kept eating the broken pieces, but I had to wait until the next morning so I’d have enough to photograph!
In order to substitute whole wheat flour for all purpose, you have to tweak the ingredients a bit. I used this handy guide for some direction. I substituted whole wheat flour for all purpose and reduced the butter by 20% (in this case, 1 Tbsp).
I chose white chocolate because it complements gingerbread quite nicely plus the contrast in color really made the biscotti pop. Some may argue that these aren’t healthy because there is chocolate. I am not a nutritionist, so I can’t make any claims. However, right when I stirring in the white chocolate, I thought about using dried cherries (which of course I had none). If you don’t want to use chocolate, use dried fruit and opt for a simple drizzle rather than dipping into chocolate.
One thing about white chocolate is that it seizes (clumps up) much faster than regular chocolate. Even the slightest drop of moisture (even steam from a double boiler) can ruin it. I ended up microwaving small amounts of chocolate in the microwave at 15 second intervals at power 4 until melted.
- 1 1/8 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 2 ounces white chocolate baking squares
- 1/8 tsp lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350F. Have a cookie sheet ready.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, molasses, and egg until smooth (it will look curdled). Gradually beat in the flour mixture until well blended and a dough has formed. Stir in white chocolate chips.
- On a sheet of parchment paper, shape the dough into a 10×3 inch rectangle. Place the parchment paper with the dough onto the cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until firm around the edges. Let cool on the cookie for 15 minutes (leave the oven on).
- After 15 minutes, lift the parchment paper and dough off of the tray onto a cutting board. Position the dough so the long side is horizontal. Cut the dough into 1/2-inch slices, being careful you don’t break the pieces. Place the cookies back onto the cookie sheet, cut side down.
- Return to the oven and bake another 20 minutes or until crisp. Remove the cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- When the cookies are ready to dip, place the baking squares in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at Power 4 in 15 second increments until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in lemon zest. Dip one end of each cookie into chocolate. Let the chocolate harden before serving.
Source: Adapted from Food.com