Vegan Orange-Basil Biscotti

My theory is that biscotti exists solely to make your coffee taste better than it did before (when it was all alone).


As I've probably said before, Northern California is green and gorgeous..


And if it's not enough that my neighborhood is booming with spring flowers and the most lively trees I've ever seen, I also have an orange tree on my new front lawn! 

Today, I was laying in the grass enjoying the beautiful weather when three children and their father asked if they could pick some oranges from our tree. Oh my, words cannot do justice in describing the way their faces lit up every time an orange was plucked from a branch. 
"We're going to make orange juice! And then you can come to our house to have some," the little boy proclaimed. The way him and his sister cradled oranges in their arms and shared some with me just about melted my heart. 

So if you think the little guys were the only ones getting excited about oranges, you should probably know about how thrilled I was too. Oranges, as many as I want, right in my front yard, right in the palm of my hands!?



 Unlike the young boy and his family, orange juice was not my first thought (nor is it my last).
Instead, I wondered how I could use orange zest in something I had been craving for a while: biscotti. 
But before I get more into that, one of my new roommates is a forestry major with potted fresh herbs, which I was all over when I found out that I am welcome to use them. 
If you didn't know, basil is an herb that goes really well with orange, hence the orange-basil biscotti.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but this biscotti is one of the first recipes that I have developed on my own without inspiration from another site! Yay! 
With that being said, if you try these, please comment and let me know how they turned out!


Orange-Basil Biscotti 
Yield: 12 cookies

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds 
  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/3 cups almonds, chopped 
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar 
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • zest of one orange
  • 4 large basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries 

Method:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together water and chia seeds. Place in refrigerator and let rest for 10 minutes until gelatinized. 
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper or a silpat.
  3. Evenly place chopped almonds on a pan and into the oven to toast for 10 minutes, stirring them around after the first 5 minutes. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, and ginger. Set aside
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together raw sugar, melted coconut oil, orange zest, chopped basil leaves and the gelatinized chia egg. 
  6. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix/knead until a dough forms. (If the mixture is too dry, add one tablespoon of water or non-dairy milk at a time until the the dough comes together). 
  7. Form the dough into a rectangular log and use a knife to lightly score lines on the dough 1/2" apart.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 300 degrees and slice along the scored lines. Place cookies on the cut side and back into the oven for 10 minutes or until crispy and golden.
  9. Let biscotti cool and store in a sealed container for up for up to a week (to dunk in your coffee every morning). However, nothing beats the crispiness of a just-out-of-the-oven biscotti.



Once you run out, your coffee will never taste the same again. 
(Easy fix=just make more!)

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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall