December 4, 2012
Vegan Chocolate Walnut Biscotti
Biscotti is a generic Italian word that refers to any type of cookie. If you travel to Italy, walk into a bakery, and ask for a “biscotti”, they’re going to answer (in Italian): “Which kind of biscott[o] do you want?”
The same will happen if you walk into a sandwich shop and ask for a panini.
“Panini” means sandwiches, “biscotti means cookies, and “pizza” means...pizza. Ok, we got at least that right.
Biscotti is just another “lost in translation” case. Well, now that I’m thinking about it, it’s not really that. We didn’t translate anything. It’s some sort of cross-language homonym. Same spelling different meaning.
Anyway, back to “biscotti”. The name biscotti is derived from the Latin word “bis” meaning twice and the Italian word “cotto” meaning cooked or baked. It just means twice-baked or baked-twice, as you prefer.
In the US we use this word to describe a long, dry, hard, twice baked cookie perfect to be dunked in milk or coffee.
However, we Americans (unlike Italians) have this thing about putting butter in everything we bake. We also did this with biscotti. There’s really no need though. As long as you have a proper binder you can make perfectly crunchy biscotti with no fat, saving a lot of calories too.
If you dare enough (like me), you can use a vegan binder such as flax eggs. You’ll get these delicious vegan biscotti, snappy and perfect to be dunked in your morning drink.
Biscotti are usually more of a grown-up thing. Even more so with the vegan remix. In this case, however, I’ve noticed some positive reactions in kids. It has probably something to do with the cocoa. I’m guessing the walnuts should be held accountable for that as well. Whatever that might be, these biscotti were a triumph, in all respects.
Vegan Chocolate Walnut Biscotti Print this Recipe!
Adapted from The New Home Cooking: Feeding Family, Feasting Friends
Makes about 50 biscotti
1 cup / 3.2 oz / 90 gr walnut halves
2 ½ cups / 11 oz / 310 gr whole wheat flour, plus more for the work surface
½ cup / 2.08 oz / 60 gr Dutch-style cocoa powder
1 tablespoon good quality espresso powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of fine grain sea salt
4 flax eggs or other egg subs (here’s how to make flax eggs)*
1 cup / 7 oz / 200 gr firmly packed brown sugar
Cold water as needed
*Note: you can, of course, use regular eggs. You’ll just lose the whole vegan thing.
Make the flax eggs first thing (unless you’re using already made egg subs).
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Sift the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together and set aside.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the flax eggs with whisk or an electric mixer. Beat brown sugar into flax eggs until well blended and fluffy.
Stir in flour mixture to form a soft dough.
The dough might result dry, with the ingredients not binding properly. If so, add some water, one tablespoon at a time, until it comes all together. I needed to add 4 full tablespoons of water to get a perfect dough (this depends a lot on the quality of flour and cocoa).
Divide the dough in half and place on portion on a well-floured surface. With floured hands, pat it into a six-inch square. Scatter half of the walnuts on the dough and press them into the surface. Roll the dough into a cylinder about 2 inches in diameter and 12 to 15 inches long.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place the roll of dough on the baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining dough. Brush the tops of both rolls with a bit of water.
Place in the oven and bake about 15 to 20 minutes, until firm to the touch.
Transfer to a cutting board, let cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and cut with a sharp knife into one-half-inch thick slice.
Place the slices to the baking sheet, laying them on their cut slides, and return to the oven.
Bake for additional 20 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through, until they are crisp and dry.
Allow to cool completely before storing or serving.
One vegan biscott[o] scores the following nutrition facts: 55 calories, 9.5 grams of carbs, 1.8 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of protein.
The Iron You