Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cranberry Almond Biscotti and the Last of the Sweet Taters

You know how every once in awhile you'll cook or bake a newly veganized item and think to yourself, "oh wow!! This is great!" and it's like you've opened a new door in your travels as a vegan? Well, this is one of those recipes. I LOVE biscotti. As I'm a coffee girl, I love having the perfect crunchy cookie to balance out my cup of dark roast. After not eating a single biscotti in like, three years, I decided that enough was enough and that if a wedding cake could be veganized, some crunchy biscotti could be as well! This recipe turned out so well the first time that I plan on making much more biscotti in the future. Thus, my door to Italian vegan biscotti goodness was proverbially opened!

Baking them was new, since you had to bake them twice. You have to cook the biscotti almost like a loaf a bread and when it's just about done, you slice them to crisp the centers and edges up. So, when the directions say to "shape like a loaf" I mean you shape them kind of like a roundish-long loaf of bread. I'd recommend an insulated cookie pan for biscotti making since it crisps everything up without browning it a whole bunch. I didn't use that pan for this batch, tough I wished I had. It still turned out lovely in the end though.

This biscotti is just lightly sweetened with a smattering of cranberries and almonds. The almond flavor is enhanced by the almond extract, and the orange juice gives such the cranberries a perfect little boost. I recommend using fresh-squeezed though, since you can't ever seem to get any real orange flavor out of boxed juice when cooking (or at least that's my opinion). The egg replacer in this recipe is the tapioca starch-o.j. slurry. It worked really well. I think I might try it in other recipes. I was really pleased at how easy this batter was to mix up and bake. I'm already planning my next batch... maybe some chocolate-hazelnut or some cranberry-pistachio. How about some cardamom-almond...?

Cranberry-Almond Biscotti: 
2 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Juice of 3 juicy oranges (about 3/4 cup)
4 Tb. tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
1 c. sugar + 1 Tb.
2 Tb. coconut oil
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. slivered almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl.

3. Whisk together 1/4 c. orange juice and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl until thick and well-combined. Then, to that mixing bowl, beat in 1 cup sugar, the remaining 1/2 cup orange juice, the coconut oil, and extracts until fluffy.  Fold in cranberries and almonds.

4. Beat in the flour mixture until well-combined. Stir in the cranberries and slivered almonds.

5. Shape the dough into 2 logs on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle them with the 1 Tb. sugar. Bake 35 minutes, or until light brown. Cool 15 minutes on baking sheet.

6. Slice into 1/2-inch thick slices. Return slices to baking sheet, and bake 20 minutes more, or until browned and crisp. Enjoy!

To view the original Vegetarian Times version from this modified one, click here.
Now it's time for a little recipe review...

Well, I think my sweet potato kick has finally ended after a good four or five week run. However, it ended nicely with a small batch of HEAB's Hawaiian Sweet Potatoes. The genius part of this recipe was combining the granola and coconut together in a coffee grinder to get the PERFECT crisp topping (and it was super quick too!). The major thing I changed was I left out the step where she steamed the sweet potatoes. I don't have the capacity to steam in that manner, so I just chunked them up into 1/2 inch cubes and placed them, along with the pineapple juice, in a small (3" x 7" or so) covered baking dish. After about 35 minutes, I topped the potatoes with the crumb mixture and let finish baking until the potatoes were soft.

The Verdict: They were pretty good, but I would've added about one tablespoon of brown sugar to the crumb mixture. Neither my granola nor my coconut was sweetened, so it just needed a little boost in that department. I'll do that the next time I make this dish!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am SO SAD that sweet potato season is coming to an end...