Monday, December 17, 2012

Vanilla Almond Biscotti

Since my family blended, each winter holiday season has had me concoct at least one type of biscotti to give out with the wrapped gifts. For the most part, this is a practical move on my end - being hard and dry cookies anyways, it's hard to tell how long they've sat around, and with one "base" recipe you can create any combination of flavours you could care to. Because of their inherent "purposely stale" state, they're also extremely hard to mess up - if the dough is dried out looking when you slice into it, it simply means you don't have to keep the oven on as long on the second bake!

I wound up making three types of this crunchy Italian-inspired biscuit this year, all in small batches so I could give out a variety all at once. I've already told you about the Cacao Coconut Biscotti with Pistachios, which was definitely the most exotic of the three, but I think today's Vanilla Almond Biscotti were my favourites. In university, Special K Vanilla Almond cereal was my breakfast every morning, and often made it's way into the TV lounge as a crunchy, satisfying snack too. I had long considered myself a "chocolate only" person, and one who hated sweet cereals, but I became an addict.

Vanilla Almond BiscottiI decided to try and recreate the slightly sweet, exotic crunch of that cereal in these cookies, piling on as much vanilla flavour as I possibly could and amping up the wholesome "breakfast" feel with rolled oats and whole wheat flour. The almonds lent just the right amount of richness to the cookie along with their crisp, toasted texture, and while the cookie themselves is vegan I took it upon myself to frost the sticks with melted white chocolate* and crust them with even more almonds! After all, it is the holiday season, so why not go all out?

*Note: you can get vegan white chocolate as well, I just didn't have any on hand

Vanilla Almond Biscotti
Makes 10
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup oats
½ cup vanilla sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup slivered almonds
Vanilla Almond Biscotti¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat.
  2. Whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and almonds.
  3. Pour in the almond milk, then add the vanilla seeds, oil and vanilla extract. Stir well - dough should be very stiff but cohesive.
  4. Shape into a flattened log and place on the sheet.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.
  7. With a sharp, serrated knife (I used my mom's awesome CUTCO bread knife), slice the log on a bias, arranging the pieces (cut side down) back on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip carefully and bake for another 10 minutes.
  9. Cool completely - they will crisp as they cool.
  10. These are delicious dipped in white chocolate with slivered, flaked or ground almonds on top.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 182.7
Total Fat: 6.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 44.9 mg
Total Carbs: 29.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g
Protein: 3.0 g