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Orange, Ginger, and Pistachio Biscotti (gluten-free + vegan)

December 25, 2014 1 Comment Print this page

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Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you all have had a nice couple of days relaxing with family and friends.

After spending a grueling few weeks of non-stop homework, tests, and papers from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I am finally enjoying a reprieve in sunny St. Lucia where I have clocked more hours sunbathing in a hammock than I think I ever have before. Of course, this wonderful illusion of not having to do anything will come crashing down in a few days when I return home to the land of studying for midterms and learning about buffers for AP Chemistry, but for now, both my mind and body are in paradise.

Although I am still dreaming about the crunchy deliciousness that are these biscotti…

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I came up with these when I was trying to decide what cookies to make for my teachers this year. I wanted something fun and slightly sophisticated–no chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin here! I then arrived at biscotti, which I decided to flavor with orange and ginger for a slightly-sweet, slightly-citrusy, slightly-spicy flavor profile. With almond flour as the base and pistachios added in, these had a wonderful note of nuttiness as well.

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If you’d like to change up the taste, it’s easy with these cookies! Simply a spice or extract, a citrus fruit (or slightly-acidic fruit), and a nut, and you’re good to go. How about almond, lemon, and vanilla? Walnut, grapefruit, and star anise? Macadamia nut, pineapple, and coconut? You get the idea. Just play around with your favorites and you’ll wind up with a lovely treat. 🙂

Biscotti may sound intimidating, but no need to fear–they’re actually quite easy to make! Simply pulse together the dry ingredients…

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…add the wet ingredients, then fold in the nuts with a spatula…

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…form into a log…

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…bake until golden brown, let cool, slice, and bake again! Easy as that for a lovely treat that still maintains its fancy edge.

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Orange, Ginger, and Pistachio Biscotti

Ingredients

Prep Time 2 hr
Cooking Time 40 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 15-20 cookies

3 cups of blanched almond flour

3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder

1-2 teaspoons of ground ginger

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

A pinch of cinnamon

1/2 cup of honey or coconut nectar (if you want it to be vegan)

3/4 cup of pistachios, chopped

The zest of 1 large orange

1/3 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice

1/3-1/2 cup of crystallized ginger

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, arrowroot powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon several times until no clumps of almond flour remain.

Next, add in the liquid sweetener and orange juice and pulse until a sticky ball of dough forms. If the ball doesn’t hold together, add more arrowroot powder and almond flour one teaspoon at a time. If the ball seems too dry, add a little more orange juice (if you have it) or just a teaspoon or so of water. At this point, you should also taste the dough and see if it needs more sweetener or ginger–there are no eggs to worry about, so just go for it!

Remove the blade from the food processor and, using a good spatula, fold in the pistachios, orange zest, and crystallized ginger.

Scoop the dough out of the food processor and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and, using your hands, shape it into a log that’s approximately 12″ by 9″ and isn’t flat as a pancake. Use a rolling pin if you need to to flatten the top.

Bake until the log is lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let cool to room temperature–this will take 1 to 2 hours, and the longer the wait the better.

Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the log lengthwise (so from shorter side to shorter side) into 15-20 cookies. Turn the oven heat down to 300 degrees and place the cookies back on the baking sheet with one of the lighter sides facing up.

Bake for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side. If the cookies begin to seriously brown, turn the oven heat down to 275 or 250 and/or flip them over a little earlier.

Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Dip in a good cup of coffee and enjoy!


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What is your favorite holiday cookie? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Orange, Ginger, and Pistachio Biscotti

December 25, 2014 Print this page

If you like something crunchy with notes of nuts, citrus, and spice, then these cookies are for you! Don’t get intimidated by the name–biscotti just means “twice-baked.” These are a breeze to make and taste SO. GOOD. Make a bunch for the next time you have coffee with friends or would like to give a gift to someone. (Adapted from this recipe.)

Ingredients

Prep Time 2 hr
Cooking Time 40 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 15-20 cookies

3 cups of blanched almond flour

3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder

1-2 teaspoons of ground ginger

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

A pinch of cinnamon

1/2 cup of honey or coconut nectar (if you want it to be vegan)

3/4 cup of pistachios, chopped

The zest of 1 large orange

1/3 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice

1/3-1/2 cup of crystallized ginger

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, arrowroot powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon several times until no clumps of almond flour remain.

Next, add in the liquid sweetener and orange juice and pulse until a sticky ball of dough forms. If the ball doesn’t hold together, add more arrowroot powder and almond flour one teaspoon at a time. If the ball seems too dry, add a little more orange juice (if you have it) or just a teaspoon or so of water. At this point, you should also taste the dough and see if it needs more sweetener or ginger–there are no eggs to worry about, so just go for it!

Remove the blade from the food processor and, using a good spatula, fold in the pistachios, orange zest, and crystallized ginger.

Scoop the dough out of the food processor and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover it with a layer of plastic wrap and, using your hands, shape it into a log that’s approximately 12″ by 9″ and isn’t flat as a pancake. Use a rolling pin if you need to to flatten the top.

Bake until the log is lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let cool to room temperature–this will take 1 to 2 hours, and the longer the wait the better.

Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the log lengthwise (so from shorter side to shorter side) into 15-20 cookies. Turn the oven heat down to 300 degrees and place the cookies back on the baking sheet with one of the lighter sides facing up.

Bake for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side. If the cookies begin to seriously brown, turn the oven heat down to 275 or 250 and/or flip them over a little earlier.

Let cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Dip in a good cup of coffee and enjoy!


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Chocolate Chip Biscotti with Chocolate Mousse (gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo)

May 7, 2013 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Sometimes, you just need dessert. No, not want, NEED.

Pizza? Eh, I can live without it. Chips and Cheetos? No problem. But dessert, especially chocolate…? Uh, I’m not giving either up anytime soon.

The quantity of sugar I used to eat was really what caused my weight to swell. Instead of having a little piece of candy or a bite of someone else’s dessert, I’d eat half a bag of those Dove dark chocolate squares or multiple slices of cake at sleepovers and parties. I craved the sweetness…and bad.

I went many months without eating dessert, saying no to squishy cafeteria cookies and pie at Thanksgiving. Eventually, I weaned myself off of sugar, like the good healthy disciple I am.

But that was no fun. I’d bake cookies or brownies for my parents or friends and never taste a bite! One day, I decided that enough was enough—I wanted dessert again.

Now, however, I consume my sweets healthfully. I bake completely gluten-free and mostly dairy free, sweetening only with small quantities of raw honey or coconut sugar. I have a reasonable portion on Saturdays and Sundays and save really decadent treats for vacation and special occasions. 

I love making my dessert and enjoying it, too. And you know what? So can you! In my opinion, a homemade baked good here and there is an important part of any diet…just in moderation. So, if you’re looking for a tasty weeknight or weekend project, try recreating these two incredible desserts. 

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The biscotti were inspired by Gather, one of my new favorite cookbooks. (Yes, I chased the UPS truck to attain my copy.) If you haven’t already taken a peek, definitely check it out.

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Do not use tinfoil, or else you will have crunchy silvery bits in your cookies.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1 egg, 1/3 cup of raw honey, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract on medium (for me, about setting 4) until homogeneous, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 2 cups of blanched almond flour, 1/3 cup of arrowroot flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Break up any clumps with your hands.

Using a scoop or measuring cup, add about 1 cup of the dry ingredients at a time to the wet ingredients and mix until well-incorporated, about 3 minutes. Then, with a spatula, fold in an additional 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder and 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips. (I used Enjoy Life, but you can also use 3 ounces of chopped dark chocolate.) 

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Dump all of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and with your hands, flatten it into a 1-inch thick circle-ish-rectangle-thing. It doesn’t have to be perfect!

Bake until golden brown on top but not solid as a rock, about 20 minutes.

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Allow the circle-ish-rectangle-thing to cool for at least 15 minutes, then slice it into eighths. Flip the cookies on their sides so the inside is facing up, and bake for another 15 minutes.

Once beginning to brown on the insides, decrease the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want your biscotti.

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Immediately upon exiting the oven, drizzle the cookies with some melted dark chocolate (I only needed about an ounce to give them a proper coating.) Don’t be stingy…be like Jackson Pollock!

You could always eat these biscotti with a strong espresso and call it a day, but I don’t recommend eating one without this chocolate mousse. It’s insanely easy to make; just do it!

In the bowl of a food processor, blend 4 eggs until airy and pale yellow, about 3 to 4 minutes. Because you’ll be eating the eggs raw, buy the freshest product possible, even if it costs a little extra.

While the eggs blend, melt 4 ounces of dark chocolate in a small saucepan or in the microwave with 30-second intervals. I used Alter Eco Blackout Chocolate, which is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free.

To the eggs, pour in the melted chocolate, 2 tablespoons of strong decaf coffee (not caffeinated, or you’ll be bouncing off the walls), and 1/3 cup of palm shortening. Blend until the consistency of a thick sauce, about 3 minutes, then drizzle in 2 teaspoons of raw honey. Mix for 1 minute more before evenly dividing it between 4 6-ounce ramekins.

Let chill for at least 2 hours (preferably longer) before serving. Top with a dollop of coconut cream and/or fresh fruit to serve.

What dessert is your weakness? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!


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