Merry Christmas Everyone!
For Christmas this year, I made my dad 3 types of biscotti. I did the same thing last year, and it was a big success... so I figured I may as well do it again! This year I made three flavors: Classic Hazelnut, Almond & Anise-seed, and Mocha Almond Fudge. These are all based on the "Kitchen Sink Biscotti" from the "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar" book... but switched up a little.
I bundled each flavor up in a little fancy cellophane bag, tied it off with a golden twist-tie and a little label.
Generally, I am a fan of the classics. I like the plain biscotti without chocolate chips or rainbow sprinkles or whatever the heck people are doing. But, I gotta tell you... these Mocha Almond Fudge Biscotti that I dreamed up were damned good. I will share the recipe with you, acknowledging with appreciation that it is based entirely on the aforementioned recipe/cookbook*.... it does require a few weird ingredients like coffee extract & instant coffee granules, but if you can track them down, it'll be worth it in the end.
Mocha Almond Fudge Biscotti:
(*recipe instructions almost verbatim from VCIYCJ)
1/4 c almond milk (plain, unsweetened)
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1/2 c canola oil
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp coffee extract
2 Tbsp instant coffee granules
1 c all purpose flour
1/2 c + 2-3 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c blanched whole almonds
1/3 c mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Like a cookie tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond milk & flax seed. Let sit for a few minutes to thicken. Add in the oil, sugar, vanilla & coffee extracts, & coffee granules and whisk well to combine.
Add in the flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder & salt. Stir well to form a smooth dough, then knead in the almonds and mini chocolate chips. Make sure to push in any pieces that pop out.
Form a log about 10 inches long and 4 inches wide on the parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes. Some cracking is okay. Remove from oven and turn off the oven. Place the cookie sheet on a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 45 minutes. If any edges of the log are too browned, use a sharp knife to remove them.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Very carefully slide your log off the baking sheet to a cutting surface. With a sharp, heavy knife, cut the log into 1/2-inch-thick slices, using one quick and firm motion, pressing down into the log. Very gently transfer the cookies back to the baking sheet, trying to bake them standing on their bottom edge if possible. Bake for 26-30 minutes. They should appear dry and the almonds should look lightly toasted. (I ended up baking mine for about 35 minutes). Allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before carefully removing them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
By the way, it bears mentioning that I made a really delicious dish for Christmas dinner! I made the "Three Sisters Polenta Casserole with Pumpkinseed Pesto" from "Healthy Hedonist Holidays." YUMS. As some of you know, I have a complicated family to cook for: 7 vegans (including one gluten-free & one who prefers no oil and no salt), 1 vegetarian, and many omnis (including one soy-free). This does create a challenge!
This delicious recipe met all our needs! I did use a tiny bit of oil to coat the baking pan, and about 3/4 tsp salt in the casserole... but otherwise it was right on track! I slightly increased the filling for the casserole - which had beans and butternut squash and tomatoes and spices - and subbed in soaked cashews for the pumpkin seed oil in the pesto. Also, the pesto called for 1 tsp salt, which I left out and it was still very tasty. This recipe was FULL of flavor, not hard to make, and definitely definitely something I'll make again.
I'm off for India tomorrow! See you later, friends!