As I've gotten older and much wiser, I've come to appreciate the finer things in life: wine that costs more than $5.00 a bottle (but still costs less than $10.00), reading for pleasure (gossip magazines count, right?), fine music (Steve Winwood, anyone?), and drinking coffee. I adore coffee and drink a ginormous glass a day (my reusable Venti-sized Starbucks cup comes with me to work every morning). For a short period I wondered if maybe I was becoming too reliant on this stimulant in the morning, but after cutting it out of my diet and feeling no signs of withdrawal, I thought it was safe to bring it back.
I used to get fancy shmancy coffee from Starbucks on a regular basis, but now that I have a Keurig coffee machine, I feel guilty and instead opt to brew from home and then add some hazelnut non-dairy creamer. It's probably just as good as what Starbucks can come up with when I order my "Grande soy Hazelnut Latte."
At least that's what I tell myself.
Anyways, I love the EXPERIENCE of drinking coffee in the morning. I love cupping the warm...well, cup and then feeling awake and perky. Anything that can add to this experience...like a snowy sky or a lazy Saturday morning, well, it just makes me really really happy.
SO, when the option to make a sweet treat to enjoy while drinking coffee came around, I was ALL FOR IT.
Enter Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti. I like Chocolate and I like Hazelnut. Let's do this.
This biscotti was delicious and although intended for the mornings, I ended up eating it as a dessert. I only had about half the amount of hazelnuts that the recipe called for, but these were still great.
Here's the log before going into the oven...don't judge how much standing oil is on the pan. My spray can is busted.
Here they are coming out of the oven...yum.
A close up...just because I'm so proud.
I probably could have baked these for a little longer because they were still a little soft when they came out, but after a couple of days they were nice and crunchy.
Here's the recipe for Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti from Veganomicon:
1/3 cup almond or soy milk
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (I forgot the additional 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder or regular unsweetened
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch (I used arrowroot because I
still had some laying around)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole, raw hazelnuts (I used probably 1/2 cup)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, whisk together almond milk and flaxseeds, mixing for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar, oil, and extracts, and stir until smooth. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, arrowroot, baking powder, and salt. Stir to mix and, just as the dough starts to come together, knead in hazelnuts. Knead very briefly to form a stiff dough; if some of the nuts pop out, just push them back in.
On the baking sheet, form the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide. Bake for 28 minutes, until lightly puffed; the top may also be slightly crackled.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 30 minutes, until very firm.
Turn up the oven heat to 375F. Carefully transfer the baked dough to a cutting board. With a heavy, very sharp knife (or use a serrated knife), slice 1/2-inch-thick slices. The best way to do this is in one pushing-down motion; don't saw the slices off or the slices could crumble. Be gentle when handling the biscotti at this time, they are delicate.
Set the slices on the cookie sheet cut side down and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until your desired level of brownness and crispness is achieved.
Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring the slices to a cooling rack. When completely cool, store in an air-tight container.