Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti

If this blog accurately reflected the amount of biscotti that has come out of my kitchen in the last couple of months, I would have to seriously consider changing my blog name to The Biscotti Merchant. A couple of months ago, I made this Vegan Almond Biscotti and have been obsessed with finding a chocolate version that I like just as much. I found a ton of different recipes to try. Some used eggs, others just the whites. Some used oil, some used butter, some used both and others used none. I wasn’t sure how these ingredients affected the final texture, so like an obsessive baking weirdo, I just tested them all. I’m not even kidding, but I’ve literally made about 20 batches of biscotti in the last few months.

The good news is, I found a favorite! By far, the winner was David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Biscotti. It calls for whole eggs but no butter or oil. It’s crunchy enough to be distinguishable as biscotti and not just a biscotti shaped cookie, but it’s not so hard that it will break your teeth. The best part is that these biscotti get better with age. I actually liked them better on day 3 than when they were freshly baked.

I decided to veganize David Lebovitz’s original recipe by replacing the egg with a chia egg, although you can use a regular egg in this if you prefer (you’ll just need to omit the water). I also replaced some of the flour with leftover hazelnut meal from making hazelnut milk, but you could also use almond or pecan meal in its place. This recipe makes a small batch of biscotti, but can easily be doubled.

Oh, and I don’t want to sound like Ina or anything, but use good cocoa powder, The majority of the flavor in these biscotti comes from the cocoa powder. My absolute favorite brand is Valrhona which I’ll splurge on once in a while, but I usually use Cacao Barry, which is a little more reasonable and also excellent quality.

Chocolate Biscotti
Chocolate Biscotti
Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Yield: 8-10 biscotti

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup good quality Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnut meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground chia or flax seeds
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts, divided
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand mini chocolate chips)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, hazelnut meal, baking soda, and salt. If your hazelnut meal is clumpy, you can pulse the dry ingredients together in a food processor.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the ground chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of the water and let sit for a couple of minutes.
  4. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla extract.
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir gently to combine. Add the remaining tablespoon of water as needed until the dough just comes together without getting too sticky.
  6. Add about 2/3 of the chopped hazelnut and the mini chocolate chips and gently knead them into the dough with your hands.
  7. Roll the dough out into a long rectangle (about 2 1/2 inches wide) and press the remainder of the hazelnuts on top of the dough.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes until the dough is firm.
  9. Cool the biscotti on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  10. Using a serrated knife, cut the biscotti diagonally into 1/2-inch slices.
  11. Place the biscotti back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 10 minutes on each side.
  12. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
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Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

Matcha Almond Linzer Cookies with Strawberry Jam

Matcha Linzer Cookies

If you’ve been following by blog for a while, you know that I always make 2 cakes for my birthday. Where is cake number two?, you ask. I know it’s been more than two weeks since my birthday, but it’s still in the process. In the mean time, I’m bringing you these tasty little treats.

I’ve always suspected that St. Patrick’s Day was a holiday made up by the most obnoxious people so they could pinch you and get away with it. As a little kid with immigrant parents who did not understand the importance of making sure I wore something green to school on St. Patty’s day, I got pinched a lot, but this year, I will be armed with green cookies. I’ll carry them around and snack on them all day if I have to. I might even share if you don’t pinch me.

Matcha Linzer Cookies
Matcha Linzer Cookies
Matcha Linzer Cookies

Linzer cookies haven been on my mind since Christmas, when I saw them pop up on so many other food blogs. I can’t resist a pretty dessert and finally got around to making some of my own. ‘Tis the season for all things green, so matcha ended up being the flavor of choice. I ultimately decided to pair it with strawberry jam since I adore the combo and could drink strawberry green tea by the bucket full.

This is a vegan version of the traditional cookie, made with coconut oil rather than butter. I used refined coconut oil since I didn’t want another competing flavor in the mix. If you use unrefined, just know that some coconut flavor may come through. If you’re not a fan of matcha, you can leave it out. This recipe is customizable with both the flavor of the cookie and the jam. Hazelnut or pecan meal can be subbed for the almond meal. If you want a brighter green cookie, omit the vanilla extract and use almond flour instead of almond meal so you don’t see the flecks of almond skin.

Matcha Linzer Cookies

Matcha Almond Linzer Cookies with Strawberry Jam

Ingredients

    For the Matcha Almond Cookies:
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) refined coconut oil, melted but not hot
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) unbleached granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) non-dairy milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup (68 grams) almond meal or almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons (215 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon matcha powder
  • Strawberry Jam for filling
  • For the Matcha Powdered Sugar:
  • 2 tablespoons powdered/confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder

Instructions

    For the Matcha Almond Cookies:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and sugar for about 1-2 minutes until smooth.
  2. Add the almond milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract and whisk to combine. If your almond milk is cold, the coconut milk will start to solidify.
  3. Stir in the almond meal.
  4. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and matcha powder (I put the sifter directly over the bowl and sifted into the wet ingredients).
  5. Stir the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it's sticky, gently knead in some flour a little bit at a time.
  6. Divide the dough in half and place each half in two gallon sized storage bags.
  7. Place the bags on a flat surface and roll the dough out inside the bags (you can leave the top of the bag open). The dough should be about 1/8 of and inch thick.
  8. Transfer both bags into the refrigerator to chill. Since the dough will be flimsy, slide each bag onto a cookie sheet, cutting board, or another flat surface to help transfer them to the fridge.
  9. Chill the dough until it's firm for (at least 1/2 hour in the fridge, about 10 minutes in the freezer).
  10. Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  11. Take the dough out of the refrigerator, cut open the plastic bag, and use a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the middle of 1/2 of the cookies (I used a star shape).
  12. Place the cookies onto the prepared cookie sheets. If the dough has softened, place the cookie sheets in the freezer for a couple of minutes to firm up the dough. This will keep it from spreading when it bakes.
  13. Bake the cookies for about 9-10 minutes until lightly browned on the edges and cool the cookies on wire racks before assembling.
  14. To make the Matcha Powdered Sugar:
  15. Sift together the matcha powder and powdered sugar and whisk to combine.
  16. To Assemble the Cookies:
  17. Place the cut out cookies on a sheet of parchment paper and dust the tops of the cookies with the matcha powdered sugar using a fine mesh sieve.
  18. Spread a layer jam on the bottoms of the cookies and put the cut out cookies on top to sandwich them together.
  19. Fill the cut out with more jam using a small spoon.
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-Assembled Cookies will stay in an airtight container in the fridge for several days. However, they do soften a bit after they are assembled, so if you like a crisper cookie, assemble them the day you want to serve them.
-You can reuse the scraps, but if the dough is cold, it will need to soften before you roll it out again.
-I used the smallest of these to cut out the cookies.
-The mini star cookie cutter is from this set.
-For the cookies in the last picture, I used a 2-inch round cookie cutter and the heart shaped mini cutter from this set. I baked those cookies for about 7 minutes since they were smaller.

Double Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie for Two

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

One of my unofficial goals for January was to post recipes more regularly. I was going to blabber more frequently about being vegan and just stay on top of all things blog related. But then life happened, I tested out several cookie recipes and accidentally left some out on the counter, and my dog got a hold of them. A few sleepless nights, several trips to the vet, and a few gallons of carpet cleaner later, I’m happy to report that my dog is okay. Even though I’m failing on the posting regularly goal, at least I’m still vegan (which is the longest I’ve followed any diet ever!) and I came up with a pretty darn good cookie. Word of caution: keep far far away from dogs.

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I made you a skillet cookie just for two, because nothing says I love you like a gooey chocolate cookie. The texture is actually a cross between a brownie and a cookie that’s and filled with more melty chocolate chips. Essentially, it’s chocolate heaven. If you’re single, no worries. I could easily polish this off in one sitting by myself, and I won’t judge you if you do too.

This recipe is really simple to make – one bowl, dump and stir, and no mixer required! I tested the cookies with both tapioca flour and cornstarch, and liked the texture that the tapioca flour produced. However, I know it’s not as readily available, so you can sub cornstarch. Just know that it will have a slightly crispier exterior as it sets, but these are best served warm out of the oven anyway. Top with Triple Vanilla Ice Cream, grab two spoons, and dig in with your loved one.

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

Double Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie for Two

Yield: One 5-inch skillet cookie

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, grape seed oil, or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 (85 grams) cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup (55 grams) bittersweet chocolate chips.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and spray a 5-inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, non-dairy milk, both sugars, tapioca flour, and vanilla extract with a fork.
  3. Continue beating the mixture with a for for 1-2 minutes until it thickens and resembles a smooth caramel.
  4. Add 1/3 cup of the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and gently stir until combined.
  5. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of flour and cocoa powder and stir until just combined.
  6. Gently fold in the chocolate chips, being careful not to over mix.
  7. Spread the dough into the cast iron skillet and bake for 9-11 minutes.
  8. Serve warm and top with ice cream.
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