At one time in my (single) life I subsisted on two things: biscotti and green tea. I was barely making ends meet living in an apartment I couldn’t afford and working at an art gallery that over promised and under delivered. You would think that under those circumstances that I’d be miserable. I wasn’t. I was struggling but happy. I found joy in the smallest of luxuries, one being Nonni’s Biscotti, Cioccolati. Nowadays, when I find myself with biscotti in hand, it takes me right back.
This biscotti is unlike any I’ve ever made. When I found out the secret ingredient for December was ginger, I knew I wanted to do something a little unexpected. I had bookmarked a biscotti recipe long ago that contained crystallized ginger, but it also contained ground ginger in the dough. I wanted to skip the gingerbread base all together. After lurking in a couple of favorite blogs (foodbeam and lovescool) I found my inspiration. Matcha green tea.
Merging two things that I love so dearly…good idea or potential travesty? I would soon find out.
The type of matcha I used is called Matcha Milk. It consists of matcha powder, nondairy creamer and sugar. It is milder in flavor than plain matcha powder, and delicious served hot or cold. I consider it a gently sweetened green tea latte. It can be found in the usually extensive tea section at most Asian markets.
Chopping the ginger finely is key. Even though the ginger mellows as it bakes, you still don’t want to get a big chunk in your mouth. It can be a bit overpowering, so keep the pieces very small.
I wasn’t sure what the matcha milk would do to the batter. I was glad to see that it blended into the dough perfectly without changing the consistency.
I forgot to mention that this recipe also contains toasted slivered almonds. You can see them in the baked dough here. I was growing impatient at the thought of icky-tasting biscotti so I sampled a piece before the second baking. I was so relieved. The flavor was smooth, very tea-like, and not bitter at all! I almost left the almonds out, and now I’m glad I didn’t. It adds needed texture.
Biscotti is normally enjoyed with coffee, but this version naturally pairs with tea.
I’m including a picture of the Matcha Milk box because it could be difficult to spot. I nearly missed it myself because I did not realize there were 2 (and a half!) tea aisles.
Needless to say, I took more than matcha tea home. I’d highly suggest picking up some Yuzu Citron Honey Tea, too. A Vietnamese artist/friend gave me a jar of the jellied concentrate years ago when I was suffering from a sore throat. It is packed with vitamin C and the honey is so soothing.
Matcha Biscotti with Crystalized Ginger
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup Matcha Milk tea powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick butter softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped fine
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder and matcha. Set aside.
In a mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until light in color. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Lower the mixing speed and slowly add dry ingredients. When dough is thoroughly mixed, add ginger and almonds. Mix on low speed until add-ins are distributed.
Divide dough in half and shape each portion into a log, about 12”long. Flatten with hand and shape into a rectangle with rounded edges.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove and cool for 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut slices into 1”portions. Bake again for an additional 10-12 minutes.
Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.