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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.

Print this page

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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Chunky Chocolate Cookies

January 14, 2014 Print this page

I first made a version of these cookies three and a half years ago with my friend, who lives in England. We must’ve made three or four dozen cookies…and they were all gone within fifteen minutes of being put on a plate. These are a much healthier version, with no gluten, grains, dairy, eggs, soy, or refined sugar.

Ingredients

Prep Time 2 hr 30 min
Cooking Time 8 min
Total Time 2 hr 38 min
Yield 15 cookies

2 cups of blanched almond flour

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

1 heaping tablespoon of ground coffee

2 tablespoons of tapioca powder

A generous pinch of salt

1/4 cup of coconut sugar OR maple crystals

1/3-1/2 cup of coconut nectar OR honey

1/2 cup of palm shortening OR unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup of roasted, salted almonds, chopped

1/4 cup of raisins (preferably organic)

1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the blanched almond flour, cocoa powder, ground coffee, tapioca powder, and salt until homogeneous and beginning to stick together, about 1 minute or a whole lotta pulses.

To the dry ingredients, add in the coconut sugar. Keep pulsing for 30 seconds more, then stop the food processor and get the wet ingredients ready.

Add in the coconut nectar and blend to combine for only a minute or so, then scoop in the palm shortening. Watch as your boring-looking bowl of powdery something-or-other becomes a sticky, wonderful dough!

With a spatula, scoop the dough into a mixing bowl. Fold in the roasted, salted almonds, raisins, and chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and place in the fridge for two to four hours.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using two large spoons or an ice cream scoop (I used a size 40), form balls of dough and place them on the prepared parchment sheets. Using the palm of your hand, flatten the dough slightly but not so it’s a pancake. I made 15 cookies in total.

Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, until just starting to feel firm. DO NOT BAKE ANY LONGER. Please. Just listen to me. The cookies won’t feel done, but they continue cooking once they come out of the oven.

Let cool for at least 20 minutes, then serve or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Please share with friends and family!


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Chunky Chocolate Cookies (gluten-free, vegan, paleo)

January 14, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Nothing says “YUMMY CHOCOLATE COOKIE HERE” like a giant stuffed penguin, don’t you think?

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Seriously.

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Nothing is getting between Hershey (my penguin) and his cookies. And I totally understand why.

After re-evaluating my philosophies on health and food, I’ve been very stressed out. So I turned to making cookies, because hey, who doesn’t like cookies?!

I first made a version of these three and a half years ago with my friend, who lives in England. We needed something to do, so…we made cookies, specifically the Chunky Chocolate Chipsters from A Baker’s Field Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies. Sure, we left out some ingredients (ahem, the raisins) and added a few others (M&M’S!!!), but they were still insanely, insanely delicious. We must’ve made three or four dozen cookies…and they were all gone within fifteen minutes of being put on a plate.

Granted, there were a lot of people around to eat the cookies, but still–they were gone FAST.

As soon as I got home, I ordered the cookbook, and throughout middle school, I was extremely attached to it. All of the recipes were loaded with several sticks of butter and multiple cups of sugar, but they were yummy…and always brought a smile to the face of whomever I made them for, which was (and still is) my main focus when I bake. I made the brownie recipe on Valentine’s Day for my science class.  I gave a chewy chocolate cookie to my eighth grade crush on his birthday and then proceeded to skip down the hallway. After baking a ton of the cappuccino biscotti, I brought in little packages of them for all of my favorite teachers, running around the hallways like a maniac to get them to everyone on my list.

I was always baking, always delivering. When I was bored, I’d make cookies. I used up quite a lot of butter and sometimes made a huge mess in the kitchen, but I was happy, and other people were happy, too. That was the important thing.

Now, I pride myself on being able to make the same delicious treats, only with more wholesome ingredients! Even if you don’t eat gluten, grains, dairy, soy, eggs, or refined sugar, you can still enjoy these tasty cookies. Don’t forget a glass of raw milk (oh my gosh, SO good), almond, or cashew milk to accompany these rich, chocolaty delights!

Ready to get baking? Good. Let’s get started.

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In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups of blanched almond flour, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder (the best quality you can get!), 1 heaping tablespoon of ground coffee, 2 tablespoons of tapioca powder, and a generous pinch of salt until homogeneous and beginning to stick together, about 1 minute or a whole lotta pulses.

To the dry ingredients, add in 1/4 cup of coconut sugar OR maple crystals. Keep pulsing for 30 seconds more, then stop the food processor and get the wet ingredients ready.

Add in 1/3-1/2 cup of coconut nectar OR honey and blend to combine for only a minute or so, then scoop in 1/2 cup of palm shortening OR softened unsalted butter. Watch as your boring-looking bowl of powdery something-or-other becomes a sticky, wonderful dough! I swear, you’d never know it wasn’t wheat flour…

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…and hey, you could taste a little bit of it, too–there are no raw eggs to worry about!

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With a spatula, scoop the dough into a mixing bowl. Fold in 1/4 cup of roasted, salted almonds, chopped, 1/4 cup of raisins (organic, preferably…grapes are typically loaded with pesticides), and 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips.

Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and place in the fridge for two to four hours. You want the dough to cool down and firm up a bit, but not turn into a brick. Yuck.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. I guess you could use aluminum foil, too, but I really don’t like it for baking.

Using two large spoons or an ice cream scoop (I used a size 40), form balls of dough and place them on the prepared parchment sheets. Using the palm of your hand, flatten the dough slightly but not so it’s a pancake. I made 15 cookies in total, but you may get more or less, depending on how heavy-handed you are with the dough.

Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, until just starting to feel firm. DO NOT BAKE ANY LONGER. Please. Just listen to me. The cookies won’t feel done, but they continue cooking once they come out of the oven. You don’t want to eat dry, crumbly rocks now, do you? I didn’t think so. Your reward for living on the risky side of things will be delicious, moist cookies.

Let cool for at least 20 minutes, then serve or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Please share with friends and family!

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What’s your favorite kind of cookie? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Raspberry Crumble Bars

October 18, 2013 Print this page

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 45 min
Total Time 1 hr
Yield 12 medium-sized bars

FOR THE CRUST:

2 cups of blanched almond flour, plus more if too wet

1/3 cup of raw coconut nectar (can be substituted with maple syrup)

2 tablespoons of softened or melted coconut oil, plus more if too dry

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

A generous pinch of salt

FOR THE FILLING:

1/3 cup of raw coconut nectar (maple syrup can be substituted)

1 10-ounce bag of frozen raspberries (preferably organic)

3 tablespoons of chia seeds, ground in a coffee grinder or food processor

FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:

2 cups of whole, raw walnuts (sprouted or unsprouted–I prefer sprouted)

1 cup of blanched almond slivers

2-3 tablespoons of raw coconut nectar (maple syrup can be substituted)

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

A generous pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with coconut oil.

FOR THE CRUST:

In the bowl of a food processor, blend together the blanched almond flour, raw coconut nectar, softened or melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and salt. Process until homogeneous, about 1 to 2 minutes; your dough should be sticky to the touch but easy to form into a ball. If it feels too dry, add in up to 1 tablespoon more of coconut oil; if it feels too wet, add in up to 1/4 cup more of almond flour.

Press the dough into the prepared pan and spread out with your hands.

Bake until golden brown on top and firm to the touch, about 13 to 15 minutes. It’s important that it’s firm, but not over-baked: it’s going back in that oven! Place the crust the freezer to chill out while you make the raspberry filling.

FOR THE FILLING:

In a small saucepan, bring the raw coconut nectar to a slight boil over medium heat. Once bubbling, turn the heat down slightly and stir the frozen raspberries. Let cook over medium-low heat until the fruit is mostly broken down, about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally to help break it down.

Remove the raspberry mixture from the heat and stir in the ground chia seeds.

Let the raspberry-chia mixture sit for 10 minutes and stir occasionally.

FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the whole, raw walnuts, blanched almond slivers, raw coconut nectar, coconut oil, and salt. Pulse until coarsely ground, about 30 to 45 seconds. The topping should almost hold together at the touch but not be the texture of a dough.

TO ASSEMBLE:

Remove the base from the freezer, and spread the raspberry jam all over, leaving no spot untouched. Using your hands, crumble the topping into the pan, making sure to cover most of the jam.

Bake until fragrant and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely to room temperature before slicing and serving.


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