Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Maple and Toasted Walnut Biscotti

I have been thinking about biscotti lately, and found a number of intriguing recipes on-line, but they all contained eggs and butter.  This recipe is adapted from a Foodland Ontario recipe, but I have veganized it, removing cruel ingredients and replacing them with vegan ones.

These are wonderful biscotti, and are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.  I am going to make a batch to take to my veterinarian's office for a Christmas gift.  It's a great office that does so much for my furry boys.  On a side note, when my vet was newly qualified, he worked for a while for the federal government, inspecting welfare at slaughterhouses.  What he saw there turned him into a vegetarian.  That's food for thought. 

Maple Walnut Biscotti

1/2 cup (125 mL) vegan butter, at room temperature - I used Earth Balance from the tub
1/2 cup (125 mL) packed vegan friendly brown sugar
2/3 cup (150 mL) maple syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
Vegan egg replacer to the equivalent of two eggs - I used Ener-G egg replacer
2-3/4 cups (675 mL) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Maple Glaze
1/2 cup (125 mL) vegan friendly icing sugar
3 tbsp (45 mL) maple syrup

I used dark maple syrup for this because i find it has a more intense flavour and aroma, but you can use any maple syrup you like.  Some people prefer a more subtle maple flavour.  My local grocery store has an interesting maple syrup that is flavoured with blackberries.  I think that it might be fun to try this recipe with that maple syrup and maybe add some dried berries to the mix - but that is an adventure for another day!

First, things first: Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread one cup of walnuts on it.  Bake the walnuts for ten minutes until they look toasted.  Your kitchen will take on a delightful scent as the walnuts toast.  Take the walnuts out of the oven and let them cool.

Now reduce the heat of the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda and the salt. A light whisk or stir with a wooden spoon is all that is necessary here.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, combine the vegan butter and brown sugar until they are good and mixed, then add the maple syrup,  vanilla and vegan egg replacer.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until there are no pockets of flour left.  The dough will be fairly sticky.   Add the cooled, toasted walnuts and stir them into the batter.

Divide the dough in half.  On a lightly floured surface, with lightly floured hands, shape each half into a roll about 10 to 12 inches long, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about three inches apart from each other.

Bake them in the 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until they are a nice light golden colour. They should feel slightly firm to the touch.

Now further reduce the heat of the oven to 300 degrees.

When the logs have cooled enough to handle - about 15 minutes - transfer them to a cutting board, and cut them into 3/4 inch slices.  Stand the slices on their bottom so that the cut sides are to the side, not touching the bottom of the pan.  Make sure the slices are not touching - they should be at least 1/2 inch apart.  Bake them in the 300 degree oven for about 30 minutes. At this point they should be almost dry.  Let them cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the biscotti are cool, drizzle the maple glaze over the tops of them.  The glaze will be set in about 15 minutes or so.


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