Pistachio, Cranberry & Chocolate Biscotti [Vegan & Gluten Free!]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 12
Prep: 30 mins
Cooking: 40-45 mins
Tools: Chopping board, food processor, spatula, mixing bowl, baking tray, parchment paper, rolling pin and a sharp knife.

Notes:

Delicious biscotti! Generally we cannot have coffee shop or store bought varieties because they contain egg and/or milk powder, but these types of trivialities have never stopped us before. Baking without eggs, milk and/or gluten has never been easier!

We’re not in the habit of making these delicious, crispy Italian biscuits very often, but we happened to make our first batch five Christmases ago and fancied some again. We found that they were relativity easy to make, although you do need quite a few ‘tools’ and they will take just over an hour of your time, but it cannot be helped as they are ‘twice baked’. Under baking creates a chewy biscuit, which will occur if you try to cook the dough ‘faster’ at a higher temperature (it won’t work!) or for a shorter time at the recommended temperature; there are no short-cuts! 

Nuts and dried fruits are our favourite combination of biscotti ingredients. We’ve never used chocolate before, but added a delicious ginger-based one this time; it’s a messy business! After baking, the chocolate smears and although delicious, it looks rather unsightly! If we ever fancied using chocolate again, we’d omit it from the dough and then dip one of the baked (and cooled) biscotti ends into some melted chocolate instead; it could then cool and set in the fridge and not all over our hands!

We think that combination of xanthan gum and the aquafaba worked a treat. The biscotti (when sliced) slightly crumbled on the ends, but we think that this was possibly down to the fact that there were a few too many added ingredients and/or our GF was predominately rice-based! As these biscotti do not rise as much as ‘standard’ ones, perhaps there is less room for added ingredients?! Don’t get us wrong, the combination was delicious, just maybe a little congested- but that is also down to your own personal preferences! As gluten free products go, they do not turn into saw dust and have a good crunch, but maybe they need one to two minutes less in the oven? 

You’ll notice that although nicely baked they look a bit anaemic; typically the added ‘egg’ in biscotti would provide a nice golden hue as it bakes. As these are vegan, you could try baking them with a darker sugar and/or spices to help give yours more colour!

None the less, they are lovely baked goodies that go perfectly with a nice cup of tea or strong coffee (we wouldn’t want you breaking a tooth after all!), and with Christmas and festive parties around the corner, they would also make a great, edible gift!

So although we wouldn’t recommend eating then daily (there’s about 3 tsp of sugar per biscuit and slightly more with the chocolate!), they’ll definitely be great for keeping your Christmas momentum going; enjoy one mid-morning on Christmas when you are hard at work preparing your delicious festive feast!  

Have a good weekend everyone and happy baking! 😀

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++50-60g   Deshelled Pistachios
+++++++++++++++40g          DF Dark Ginger Chocolate, about 4 squares (*optional)
+++++++++++++++125ml       Aquafaba (chickpea brine!)
+++++++++++++++120g         Unrefined Golden Cane Sugar
+++++++++++++++1 tsp         Vanilla paste
+++++++++++++++340g        Self raising Gluten Free Flour*
+++++++++++++++1/8 tsp     Salt
+++++++++++++++1 tsp         Baking Powder (or 2 tsp if you’re using a plain GF flour!)
+++++++++++++++1/2 tsp     Xanthan Gum
+++++++++++++++50g          Dried Unsweetened Cranberries
+++++++++++++++NB: *If using standard baking flour, you may need less of it.

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Place the nuts onto a chopping board and roughly chop them. If using, place the chocolate onto the chopping board and chop it into small pieces. Tip: We’d recommend that you chop these ingredients smaller than we have shown here!

 

 

2. Open and drain the chickpeas into a colander over a large bowl, reserving the brine. Tip: You can use the chickpeas in a tasty recipe! Remove ½ cup of the brine (the aquafaba!) and transfer it into a food processor. Add the sugar. Process until it’s uniform in colour and ‘frothy’. Add the vanilla paste. Pulse to combine.

 

 

3. Place the flour, salt, baking powder and xanthan gum into a large mixing bowl. Stir to thoroughly combine.

 

4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.

 

5. With the food processor running, add the flour mixture a little at a time until all of it has been added and the mixture comes together, forming a slightly tacky dough.

 

 

6. Using a spatula, transfer the dough into the mixing bowl. Add the nuts, chocolate (if using) and the dried cranberries. Use your spatula and fold the ingredients evenly throughout the dough.

 

 

7. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll it out into a long and narrowish log about 12″ X 3½”.

 

Transfer it onto the baking sheet. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 25 mins.

 

 

8. After 25 mins, reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC/325ºF and then remove the baking tray. Place it onto a cooling rack and allow the dough to cool for 10 mins.

 

 

9. Transfer the ‘cooled’ dough onto a chopping board. Using a sharp or segregated knife (we used a bread knife!), gently cut it into about ½” thick slices (diagonally). NB: We got about twelve pieces.

 

 

Place the slices back onto the baking tray (cut-side down).

 

 

10. Place the tray back into the oven and bake for 8-10 mins. Remove the tray and turn the pieces over. Place the tray back into the oven. Bake for a further 8-10 mins or until lightly tanned and crispy. Remove. Transfer onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before eating. Tip: You may have to adjust the baking times; we baked ours for 10 mins on each side, but would definitely aim for 7-8 mins next time (as least with our gluten free bakes!). All of our ‘standard flour’ bakes have cooked perfectly at the recommended times!

 

Enjoy!

 

Store your spare biscotti in an air-tight and resealable container; it’s best consumed within seven days. Alternatively you can individually wrap the biscotti in kitchen film and then store them in an air-tight container or freezer ‘baggie’; freeze for up until 2-3 months and defrost thoroughly before eating.

 

Have you ever made biscotti before? What’s your go-to flavour(s) and tips??

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Gingerbread Men [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: 36-38 cookies*
Serves: 30
Prep: 10 mins
Chilling Time: 45 mins- overnight
Cooking Time: 7-13 mins
Type: Dessert
Tools: Small dish and fork, food processor, silicone spatula, large mixing bowl, wooden spoon, kitchen film, baking trays, parchment paper, rolling pin, cookie cutters, cooling racks

Notes

Christmas doesn’t need to be complicated, especially when it comes to enjoying some free from goodies! So we’ve gone and created a simple and tasty gingerbread recipe (vegan & gluten free) that anyone can throw together with ease!

Perfectly ginger and fantastic for those that love a one-bowl recipe! Well, technically it’s two bowls (or one bowl and a food processor!); we’ve advised to premix the dry ingredients (separately) to ensure everything is thoroughly combined; no nasty lumps of baking soda please! 

The dough is great for ‘cookie-cutter cookies’ and is best suited for cookies ¼ cm thick; if you roll the dough out thicker or thinner, adjust the baking times accordingly! *We managed to roll and stamp out: two large cookies, seventeen medium cookies and fifteen small ones! 🙂

It’s good to note that a quarter of the dough makes about eight to ten cookies and you shouldn’t need more than three baking trays to bake them. We’d recommend baking them for slightly longer if you prefer a harder/crisper cookie (we baked ours for eight minutes) and to place a dish of water at the base of your oven to prevent the top surfaces of your cookies from extreme cracking! This is a tip that we acquired last year after producing some really ugly cookies (haha)! One last nugget of baking wisdom- everyone should listen to some Christmas music whilst making these! #neverbakeinabadmood (…Your cookies will taste terrible!) 

Watch this space as we’ll be providing you with a few more Christmas recipes over the next week!

Happy baking everyone! 😀

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Prepare the ‘flax eggs’! Place 16g flaxseed and 6 tbsp of water into a small dish or bowl. Stir to combine. Leave to rest for 5mins.

Very gelatinous after 5 mins!

 

 

  • Meanwhile, place the margarine and sugar into a food processor (or use a mixing bowl if you do not own one). Cream together; pulse the food processor or (if using the traditional method) use a large wooden spoon or spatula. Add the date syrup, cream and vanilla paste. Process (or mix) until combined. Tip: the mixture might look curdled, especially if your margarine is not as room temperature, but this is OK!
  • Add the flax eggs into the food processors pour spout whilst it’s still running. Process until combined.

 

 

Place the flour, ground almonds, baking soda and powder, xanthan gum, ground ginger, cinnamon cloves and nutmeg into a separate mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Mix until thoroughly combined.

 

 

  • Spoon in the flour mixture into the food processor’s pouring spout (with the machine still running), a little at a time until the mixture comes together and is thoroughly combined.
  • Carefully remove and transfer the dough onto a sheet of kitchen film. Wrap and seal. Place into the fridge and refrigerate for 45 mins (or overnight if preferred). Tip: the dough will ‘firm up’ and is easier to use once refrigerated. 

 

 

When you are ready to roll and cut out the cookies, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.  Line 2-3 baking trays with a sheet of parchment paper.

 

On a clean, floured surface, place 1/4 of the dough. Re-wrap the remaining dough and place it back into the fridge to help stop it from drying out. Knead the dough slightly and then gently roll it out until its ¼ cm thick. Cut out your gingerbread men or any preferred shapes! Tip: use a palate or large knife to gently loosen any ‘stuck’ pieces of dough from your counter surface.

 

 

Transfer the shapes onto the baking trays leaving at least a 1 cm gap in between the cookies. Tip: If you have thick and thin cookies, try to keep them on two separate trays to have cooking ease! Place the trays onto the middle and lower oven shelves. Bake for 7- 13 mins, depending upon on how hard you want your cookies! Tip: Place a large-ish oven proof dish with water at the bottom of your oven just before baking to help prevent the top surface of your cookies from cracking!

 

 

Remove the trays from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking trays for 5 mins (they will continue to ‘firm up’). Transfer onto cooling racks. Allow to cool for further 10 mins before eating; they will continue to firm up as they cool.

 

Enjoy!

 

Store the cookies in an air-tight and resealable container and consume within 5-7 days. Alternatively wrap in some kitchen film and freeze in an air-tight and resealable kitchen ‘baggie’ or plastic container; defrost and consume within 4-6 wks.

 

Nutritional info/(approx. for 30 servings): 97 Kcal, 1.2g Protein, 15g CHO, 5.3g sugar, 3.6g Fat, 0.7g S/Fat, 0.1g Salt
NB: 1 Serving is approx: 2 small cookies, 1 medium or 1/2 a large.

 

**Recipe updated: 19/02/16