Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hazelnut biscotti

Just the name is enough to bring you visions of Italy, isn't it? Biscotti.....its got such a nice ring to it.   Though I haven't been lucky enough to visit Italy yet, like many, I have had a chance to appreciate how beautiful the land is thanks to the many wonderful shows centered on Italian cuisine. I was first introduced to biscotti at DH's cousin's house as an accompaniment to the morning coffee, and we've both been hooked ever since. Once I turned vegan though, I started missing them. Veganomicon, the great cookbook, to the rescue! This recipe uses flaxseed (in place of eggs) which lends a great nutty texture to the biscotti, while also adding Omega-3's to your diet.
These biscotti are as simple as they are elegant. Just the wonderful flavors of vanilla and hazelnut, mingling together to create a heady aroma that makes you want to inhale the biscotti before you devour it. They are crunchy, but not so crunchy as to warrant a visit to the dentist, if you know what I mean. They are a great treat to go with your morning coffee or your lunch box. Plus, since they are twice-baked, they will last longer than traditional cookies. So, bake these up on a weekend and they are yours to enjoy for the following week. That is, if they make it past the weekend!

Ingredients (for 18 biscotti) (recipe adapted from Veganomicon)
1 and 2/3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp flaxseed powder
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup hazelnuts

The first thing to do is toast the hazelnuts. To do this, preheat your oven to 350 F. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 min.. Watch carefully in the last few minutes, as they will quickly go from toasted to burnt. When they are done, set aside to cool. Once they are cool, you can rub them together to get the peels off. Then, place the hazelnuts in a zipper bag and pound the nuts with a rolling pin, to end up with finely chopped hazelnuts.
Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with silpat. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond milk with flaxseed and whip with a fork for a minute. Then add the oil, sugar and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cornstarch. Now, add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just mixed. Add the hazelnuts and mix well into the dough. Now, shape the dough into a rectangle, about 3-4 inches wide by 10-11 inches long. Bake at 350 for 25-27 minutes, until the sides/bottom start to crisp up and the biscotti log puffs up a little. Now, set aside to cool for  30-40 min..  Meanwhile, increase the oven temperature to 375 F. Make sure to let the log cool. The cooler the log is, the easier to handle it will be. Once cool, use a long serrated knife (I used my bread knife) to make 1/2" wide slices. Lay the biscotti on the cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 min. until they crisp up to the desired level. Then, remove from oven and cool in the sheet for 5 min. Then, transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely and transfer to an air-tight container.


  1. hey vidya, summma kalakkarel.. really mouthwatering recipies..keep writing good luck..

  2. Hazelnut biscotti sound absolutely delicious, Vidya. Would love one-- or a dozen-- to dunk into some hot coffee right now! And no, vegan is definitely not weird-- it's rather hot. :)
    Thanks for your question at Holy Cow!-- it's a good one and one I've gotten in the past from other readers so I am going to answer it on the blog soon. Keep an eye out.

  3. @ Sudharshan: Thank you, thank so happy you like the recipes. Yes, hope to keep writing more :)
    @ Vaishali: Thank you so much, Vaishali. Means a lot coming from a blogger I admire so much. I've learnt so much from your blog that I'd be very happy to send you a dozen biscotti :). Hope to spread the word about veganism. I'll definitely wait for your answer on Holy Cow!