The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Trick or Treat: Pumpkin/Pecan Biscotti

davidg618's picture

Trick or Treat: Pumpkin/Pecan Biscotti

In a recent post I suggested this combination. With All Hallow's Eve only two weeks away, while originally planned for Thanksgiving, I decided to give it a try now.


Here's the recipes: Pumpkin/Pecan Biscotti and Candied Pumpkin (an ingredient)

Pumpkin/Pecan Biscotti


2-1/4 c (282g) all purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 tsp salt--reduce to 0 to 1/4 tsp if you substitute salted butter

¼ tsp Freshly grated Nutmeg

1/2 c (114g) unsalted butter

2/3 c (134g) granulated sugar

1 large egg (50g)

1/3 cup cooked, pumpkin puree (~80g)

1 tsp. vanilla

½ cup roasted pecans

½ cup diced (3/16”) candied pumpkin.  Note: Cook on medium-low heat only until just tender, not mushy; about 5 minutes.


Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Do not use a baking stone, nor leave one in the oven. The oven needs to cool quickly for the second baking. The heat stored in some baking stones will prevent that.

Combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt; whisk to distribute evenly.

Cream the butter and sugar until homogeneous. Add egg, pumpkin puree and vanilla and beat together.

Combine the dry ingredients with the wet, and either by hand or on lowest mixer setting fold or beat them until they are just combined.

By hand, using a rubber spatula, fold in nuts and diced pumpkin gently until evenly distributed.

The dough should be stiff, but will still be sticky.

On half-sheet pan or cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper or a fiberglass pad, form two trapezoids.

Bake until top center of the loaves spring back to a light touch, or a toothpick come out cleanly. (usually 16 to 22 mins.)

Remove from oven, let cool on pan for 10 mins. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

When cooled, carefully remove one loaf to a cutting board--I use an eight-inch wide cake-transfer spatula. There is a danger of the loaves breaking in half from their own weight unless you support both ends.

Using a serrated blade cut 3/4" inch thick slices, on a bias and return them to the baking pan, one cut side down. Do the same with the second loaf.

Bake for 20 minutes at 300°F, test for crispness--the up side should be very firm, a slight spring is ok. Remove the pan from the oven, and flip each cookie exposing the original down side. Bake another 20 minutes or until the up side is crisp (no spring) and dry. Remove and cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Candied Pumpkin


  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 3 cups diced (1/2 inch) sugar pumpkin or butternut squash
  3. 1/3 cup sugar
  4. 3/4 cup maple syrup
  5. 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet. Add the pumpkin and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Stir in the maple syrup, ginger and cinnamon and remove from the heat. Let cool and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Recipe compliments of


I only had one small Pumpkin Pie pumpkin (about 3 lb.) so I only candied 1 cup of diced pumpkin. The biscotti recipe is simply my usual biscotti recipe with a couple of tweaks. I reduced the sugar slightly (3/4 c to 2/3 c) to account for the sugars in the candied bits. In actuality, I don't think it made much difference, if at all. I also eliminated 1 egg, relying on the water in the pumpkin puree to replace the egg's moisture contribution. I also added 1/4 c of AP flour, expecting the puree to be wetter than one egg. It was, the additional flour was needed.

For a first try, I'm pleased. Their flavor isn't "in your face", but neither is it subtle.  I found myself liking the taste better with each nibble: a nice way to experience any flavor.

The first baked loaves were more fragile than usually experienced. I think in my next effort--there will be one--I'll restore the second egg, and wring some of the water out of the pumpkin puree. The second egg should improve the dough's cohesiveness, and contribute to a richer flavor.

I was concerned that perhaps I'd over-cooked the diced bits of pumkin, and that they would turn to mush when folded into the dough with the pecan. To guard against this I spread the bits on a plate, and froze them. Frozen solid, they mixed in beautifully.

My wife wants me to add more candied bits. I will.

Happy Hollowe'en

David G





dabrownman's picture

Gorgeous.  What great biscotti! 

Very nice baking David.  Between you and the gma gals I've got enough biscotti ideas to get me through the holidays.  Have you tried the second bake standing the cookies up on edge like they do?

Nice baking. 

davidg618's picture

I've been obsessing a little with biscotti since my first encounter about two years ago, but I've not run across the post you've referred to. Unfortunately, my browser suddenly stopped searching TFL--all it returns is a blank page. Can you send me the link to the gma post?


David G

gmabaking2's picture

That looks so good! I went out and bought my first "pie" pumpkin and will be making the candied pumpkin today. This is going to be a sisters baking challenge and I can't wait to get started. Thanks for this great looking recipe!!


gmagmabaking2's picture

Can't say that I have ever bought a "pie" pumpkin, but my sister knows what she is doing... and betwixt herself and the great post with the recipe... she got her other sisters involved... Helen thought this would be a great bake for the three of us to accomplish together and it is a fantastic recipe... and turned out some great biscotti! Below are the pictures... I bet you can tell by the snowmen in Barb's picture that it is "beginning to feel a lot like Christmas" in the Northwest... snow predicted... here in Texas, not so much! ;-)...

Barb's are looking good... She actually made hers with Butternut Squash, slivered almonds, yellow raisins and a few tablespoonsful of minced candied ginger.

Helen made hers according to the recipe... those roasted pecans were surprisingly awesome.


What a great Thanksgiving theme... Beautiful.

Mine were made according to the recipe also... The pumpkin I bought yielded me 16 cups of pumpkin puree AFTER making my candied pumpkin in double the recipe... and making this biscotti... All in all it was a very tasty day... with leftovers to share! Putting on the coffee, so feel free to drop by.


gmabaking's picture

and even better to eat of course. This is an unusual recipe but easy to follow and well worth the effort in the final result.

I had a half butternut squash on hand so didn't go for the adventure of fresh pumpkin baking. Sounds like we all enjoyed our sisterly baking day and our families will enjoy the results.

Lucky for my assistant some shards went flying while I was slicing the loaf...who knew that she would enjoy toasted almonds and raisins? She actually sat in front of the oven and waited for them to finish the second bake. Sadly there were no more dropped crumbs but I'm fairly sure after dinner when her other humanoid friend has one with coffee she will get another nibble.

davidg618's picture

Great baking, ladies! Glad my post inspired. I don't mean to presume, but If you haven't seen my Chocolate-Chocolate-chip-Chipotle-and-Hazelnut Biscotti post( ) and any of you (or all of you)  are chocoholic, you'll find their flavor delightful.

David G


About those roasted pecans. I don't bake anything with nuts--all kinds--without first roasting them. Pecans, walnuts, almonds and macademia flavors especially benefit from roasting.  One cup of nuts, spread on a sheet of parchment, and microwaved 2-1/2 to 3 minutes on high, does them nicely. Sneak up on the time; don't overheat them.



gmabaking's picture

Would reading your recipes and making a shopping list (at 4:30 in the morning) count as obsessive ? Of course I am also trying to write and dunk a pumpkin biscotti in my morning coffee at the same time.....

Will try the chocolate ones for sure. The Folk School sounds like it was a worthwhile experience. It is good that those skills are cherished rather than forgotten. Thanks for sharing those recipes.


EvaB's picture

this year, and it was a nice small pie size pumpkin, I shall have to try the biscotti. I dearly love making pies from fresh pumpkin over buying the canned stuff, but think even that would be not so bad if you don't have a fresh one or a squash. You can make pumpkin pie from just about any squash (not spagetti of course) or nice large carrots, or even swede turnips, I've done it from hubbard squash, acorn, pumpkins and carrots and turnips, but this one was spectacular.

I shall have to try the biscotti. And the candied pumpkin.