Vegan Almond Biscotti

Vegan Almond Biscotti

So I’ve just completed my first full week of being vegan, and even though I didn’t think it would be too much of a stretch from my usual pescetarian diet, it’s been a learning experience. I’ve learned that I have to read the labels on errrything and I can no longer spoon Nutella into my mouth and call it dinner. Eating out is tricky and Thai food is my new best friend. Basically, I just have to put a lot more thought into my food and I’m shocked at how many things contain animal products.

I’ve had a few mishaps as well, such as eating honey mustard potato chips because I totally forgot that honey wasn’t vegan. It also occurred to me after I had finished drinking my favorite beer┬áthat milk stout probably isn’t vegan either. But mishaps and all, I’m still plugging along with my month long vegan experiment.

I’ve always believed that vegan baked goods were not lacking in any way, but these biscotti have me convinced. Who says biscotti need eggs? I tested several recipes before coming upon this one, and I knew it was blog worthy when I couldn’t pass by the kitchen without grabbing one. They were also deemed acceptable currency to pay Aaron (who formerly turned up his nose at biscotti) for his hand modeling skillz.

Vegan Almond Biscotti

This recipe makes a small batch, because clearly, I cannot be trusted around biscotti. However, it can easily be doubled. If you like (and why wouldn’t you?), you can drizzle the biscotti with bittersweet chocolate. Can I just say how happy I am that most of my favorite dark chocolate is vegan?

Vegan Almond Biscotti

Vegan Almond Biscotti

Yield: about 10 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated (unbleached) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • For the chocolate drizzle:
  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) bittersweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit and line one cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the sugar, applesauce, oil, and both extracts.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir them together.
  5. When the ingredients are almost combined, add the toasted almonds and knead the mixture together with your hands until the ingredients are combined.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a large rectangle, about 3 inches wide and 3/4 of an inch thick.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove the oven, turn the temperature down to 300 degrees fahrenheit, and let cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Use a serrated knife to cut the biscotti into one inch pieces.
  10. Return the pieces onto the cookie sheet and bake for additional 8-10 minutes on each side, depending on your desired crispness.
  11. Cool completely.
  12. If you want to drizzle the biscotti with chocolate, put the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl and microwave on medium in 30 seconds intervals, stirring in between each until the chocolate is melted.
  13. Put the melted chocolate in a plastic bag, snip a small amount off one corner, and drizzle over the biscotti.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://cakemerchant.com/2015/01/13/vegan-almond-biscotti/

Biscotti recipe adapted from food.com

2014 Recipe Favorites

Happy (almost) New Year! I hope 2014 was great for you. I say this every year, but I just can’t believe how fast it went by. It’s like time speeds up the older I get. I can’t wait to share more recipes with you this year, but before I do, let’s take a look back at our favorites from 2014.

Your favorite cake: Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cake
This was the winner by a landslide! I’ll definitely be making more vegan cakes in 2015.

Vegan-Vanilla-Cake

My favorite cake: Chocolate Chip Layer Cake
The cake that happened by accident turned out to be my favorite! I love the combo of the chocolate frosting and whipped cream, and mini chocolate chips make everything better.

Chocolate Chip Cake

Your favorite cupcake: Nutella Bomb Cupcakes
What can I say? You have good taste. This one comes in a very very close second for me, too.

Nutella Cupcakes

My favorite cupcake: Spiced Apple Walnut Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Frosting
Because goat cheese frosting always wins.

Apple Walnut Goat Cheese Cupcakes

Your favorite non-cake dessert: Vegan Chocolate Pudding with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
Peanut butter whipped cream!!!

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

My favorite non-cake dessert: Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cookies with Sea Salt
Another vegan recipe. Just goes to show that you really don’t need eggs or dairy to make a great dessert.

Olive Oil Chocolate Cookies

Before I go, I just want to say thank you to all of you who have read this blog, made a recipe, left a comment, pinned on Pinterest, liked on Facebook, or followed on Instagram. It means the world. Here’s to a great 2015!

Copycat Hilton Garden Inn Cookies and a Cookie Swap!

Hilton Garden Inn Cookies

I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I was somewhat hesitant to do so this year since I’ve been traveling so much, but I’m so glad I did. It gave me a chance to share some of my favorite cookies with people, and I got to taste cookies from some amazing bloggers. It also gives me a chance to share a story that I was too embarrassed to share earlier, but now that I’m posting this recipe, I can’t hide my crazy anymore.

A few months before my wedding, I went to check out some hotels near my parents’ house in Indiana that our guests would be staying in. After a trip to the Hilton Garden Inn, the manager offered us some of their cookies, warm and fresh our of the oven. I’m not often impressed by hotel cookies, but these were good. Really good. Essentially, they’re oatmeal cookies with cranberries, blueberries, and white chocolate chips. And apparently crack, because they’re totally addictive (don’t worry people who received my cookies, I left that ingredient out).

When I got back home to Dallas, instead of focusing on my upcoming wedding, I became obsessed with recreating these cookies. I even went to a few local Hilton Garden Inn’s so I could get some cookies to aid in the recreation process. They all refused to sell me any and looked at me like I was crazy.

I did, however, manage to get my hands on a list of ingredients, and I found out that the original recipe uses no butter or eggs. However, I like the flavor of butter in my cookies, so I used a half butter half shortening combo, but feel free to use all shortening to make them more authentic. I didn’t like any of the eggless varieties of these cookies that I tested, so I added an egg to mine. I also made these cookies mini, because when it comes to snacks, I’m a fan of quantity. If you decide to make larger cookies, you’ll need to adjust the baking time.

To keep these cookies from spreading, shape them into squares and freeze them for at least one hour before baking. If you don’t care if they look exactly like the original Hilton Garden Inn Cookies, there’s no need to shape the cookies in advance. You can just chill the dough in the fridge for an hour before baking.

Hilton Garden Inn Cookies

Copycat Hilton Garden Inn Cookies and a Cookie Swap!

Yield: about 3 dozen mini cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 dried blueberries (or blueberry craisins)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup plus all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons quick-cooking oats
  • For topping:
  • Rolled Oats
  • Sparkling sugar or turbinado sugar

Instructions

  1. Place the dried cranberries, blueberries, and white chocolate chips in a food processor and pulse a few times until you get smaller bits. (This step is optional, but leads to a more authentic cookie).
  2. With an electric mixer (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), cream together the butter, shortening, brown sugar, and white sugar for 1-2 minutes. Don't over mix, as this can cause the cookies to spread.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat for an additional 30 seconds until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and beat on low until just combined.
  6. Stir in the quick oats and the cranberry/blueberry white chocolate mixture.
  7. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Use a small cookie scoop to portion out the dough and shape them into squares with your hands. Place the shaped cookies onto the cookie sheets and top with rolled oats and sparkling sugar.
  9. Place the cookie sheets in the freezer for at least one hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  11. Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes, until the edges start to lightly brown.
  12. Cool completely on wire racks.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://cakemerchant.com/2014/12/15/copycat-hilton-garden-inn-cookies-cookie-swap/

Cookie recipe adapted from allrecipes.com