Monday, December 23, 2019

Guinness Cake Biscotti

If you love Nutella or Chocolate Guinness Cake, these Guinness Cake Biscotti are right up your alley! The stout adds a delicate richness to the crunchy cookies and the smattering of chopped hazelnuts adds texture.

The I saved the best of the biscotti for last for this year! Ever since our first trip to EPCOT in Disney World my sister and I fell in love with chocolate stout cake, and true to form I have made it at least 6 times since then for various birthdays and anniversaries. However, I haven't really used beer in other sweet applications. Bread was a natural fit for the brew (as I saw when making bread sticks out of the pizza dough in Lush: A Season-by-Season Celebration of Craft Beer and Produce, which is - surprise surprise - written by the same author who gave me the idea for these cookies) due to the natural yeasty notes in most (good) beer, but in cookies I always thought the flavours would be too strong and the amount of liquid too much for the batter. I was glad to be proven wrong!

Now I did (of course) take liberties with this recipe. The most obvious is that I veganized it completely, and omitted the fat (aside what what naturally in the non-dairy milk). For a cookie that is essentially baked till crunchy and dry enough to soak up a beverage, the oil or butter just isn't needed. I also used flaxseed to bind the dough and barley flour for added flavour (because it is beer after all). With those changes, I didn't even need to break out a hand mixer, let alone a stand mixer to do the work - a sturdy spatula was all that was required and the most time consuming part was chopping the hazelnuts! While you could certainly dip it in stout (I'm thinking longingly of a double chocolate one I had many moons ago) I know these would also be decadent with coffee or hot chocolate!

Guinness Cake Biscotti
Adapted from The Beeroness
Makes ~14
¾ cup sugar
½ cup vanilla non-dairy milk (I used Ripple)
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/3 cup stout beer (I used the classic Guinness, which is vegan)
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups flour
1 cup barley flour (or whole wheat flour)
½ tbsp baking powder
½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts 
melted dark chocolate, for drizzling
  1. Heat oven to 350 F (convection setting if you have it) and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or SilPat.
  2. In a bowl, beat together the sugar, milk, flax, beer, cocoa, espresso, salt and vanilla until well blended. 
  3. Mix in the flours and baking powder, then fold in hazelnuts.
  4. Scoop half of the dough onto each baking sheet and shape into a log that is about 8 x 2 inches. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes (35 if non-convection) or until slightly firm to the touch. 
  6. Cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes. 
  7. Cut diagonally with a serrated knife into ¾" slices. Return to the baking sheet, standing upright (if using convection) or cut side up for a standard oven.
  8. Bake until slightly crispy, about ten minutes, flipping the slices halfway through if using a standard oven.
  9. Turn off the oven and cool inside for 30 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.

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