Thursday, April 1, 2010
Boy do I love food blogging / photography, but it tends to make me too hard on myself when food doesn't turn out as pretty as the original book / magazine / blog photo. (I bet I'm not the only one this happens to 8p.) So I'm lucky my boyfriend P was around to remind me how much these orange hazelnut biscotto from this weekend rocked the flavor department (and without any eggs or dairy!), despite my accidentally baking them too hot (oops!).
In the words of the boy himself "the deliciousness outweighs the burniness." (um yea...he makes up words pretty often) These cookies were indeed fabulously infused with citrus flavor due to a whole orange's worth of zest. Plus with buttery hazelnuts and a melted chocolate coating, an already good thing became damned addictive. After gobbling up 3 in quick succession, P even asked me to set a limit for him. I took this to mean I had to eat the rest so that he wouldn't ;D...you agree?
This delightful (and resilient ^-^) recipe comes from the fabulous dessert cookbook, My Sweet Vegan, by Hannah Kaminsky, who is a prolific young baker and fellow blogger. She's kindly allowing me to share this recipe from her book. I hope you enjoy this yummy biscotti (avoid my missteps and yours will definitely look AND taste great), and watch for my cookbook review to come your way soon.
P.S. - It's P's birthday today. He's the calm to my frenzy, the root to my tree. Love you lots and hope you enjoyed the day, Sher!
Orange Hazelnut Biscotti (Vegan) [Printable Recipe]
From My Sweet Vegan
Makes 12 to 15 biscotti cookies
XIAOLU'S NOTE: To bring out the citrus flavor even more, I used a technique that if I recall correctly came to me from a Dorie Greenspan recipe. I rubbed all the zest into the sugar until everything smelled wonderfully of orange. I added this where the original recipe says to add sugar and skipped the step to add zest later.
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flax seeds [I used 1 1/2 tablespoons pre-ground flax seeds]
2 tablespoons water
Juice (about 1/4 cup) and [finely grated] zest of 1 orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees Celsius) and line a baking sheet with a silpat [silicone liner] or parchment paper.
Cream the margarine in your mixer until light and fluffy in texture [but don't let it sit out too long like I did]. Add in the sugar, beating until fully incorporated. Grind the flax seeds into a powder with a spice grinder, and whiz them together with water to form a paste. Add the flax seed mixture to your mixer, stirring well. Toss in the zest from your orange and mix again. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing lightly until relatively combined. Continuing with the mixer on a slow speed, dump in the hazelnuts, and slowly juice your orange into the mixer until it just comes together [I pre-juiced it cause I tend to be clumsy on the fly]. It may take more or less juice, depending on the variety of orange you use and how well you can squeeze your fruit! If the dough is still crumbly, grab another orange and extract just enough juice so that everything comes together.
Shape the resulting dough into a long, skinny rectangle about 1 inch tall by 2 inches wide by however long that ends up, and place it onto your prepared baking sheet. Slide the baking sheet into the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. The top of the biscotti loaf should be lightly browned, but don't panic if it seems a little bit soft and bread-like on the inside. Cool the biscotti for at least 5 minutes, and slice horizontally into cookies that are about 1/2 inch thick. Lay the slices down flat on one of their cut sides on the baking sheet, and return the biscotti to the oven for another 10 minutes. Allow the biscotti to cool completely.
Place the chocolate in a relatively shallow, microwave-safe dish that can accomodate the full length of your biscotti. In the microwave, melt your chocolate in 30-second intervals until it is completely smooth, stirring well after each interval. Dip one cookie into the chocolate and place it back on a silpat or parchment paper. Repeat this process with each cookie. Allow the biscotti to dry completely before moving them again.