Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Good Stuff

I was off today so after my flute lesson & flute choir rehearsal this morning, I did a little baking. Well, really a lot of baking. Two things in one day is a lot of baking for me. So, about 2 hours in the kitchen (and reading while the baking was going on).

I like to make my own biscotti to enjoy with coffee every morning. Store-bought biscotti is too soft & too large; mine are about 2-3 inches long and narrow, the perfect size to go with my coffee. The recipe I use was originally from Prevention magazine eons ago and it called for eggs. I have “veganized” it. This is my top-secret super-delicious biscotti recipe that even my husband’s Neapolitan grandmother says is wonderful! It’s a little time-consuming (which is why I only make it on my days off), but so worth it!

1 3/4 C flour (I use unbleached white)

3/4 C sugar (I use turbinado)

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp flaxseed meal + 6 tbsp water= 2 eggs

1/4 tsp lemon extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup chocolate chips (I use Sunspire organic semi-sweet chips from Nutri-Foods)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet & set aside. In a mixing bowl, put the flaxseed meal & water in & stir to combine. Let that sit for about 3 minutes to thicken. Then add the extracts & sugar & blend for about 2 minutes. I use my stand mixer but a hand-mixer will also work. Then add the flour, baking soda & chocolate chips & stir with a spoon (not the mixer) to moisten all the ingredients. If it becomes too thick to stir, combine it with your hands. Form 2 logs, about 1/2 inch high and 8-10 inches long on the parchment paper/baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven (leave oven on) & let cool 10 minutes. Remove logs one at a time & on a cutting board, cut slices on a slight diagonal (with a long bread knife) into little logs. Put the little logs back on the baking sheet (I usually re-use the parchment paper, but you can add a fresh sheet) & bake for 12 minutes. Then turn them all over & bake the other side another 12 minutes. Let cool. I then store them in an old 1940’s canister lined with wax paper. They keep for several weeks. They are supposed to be hard & crunchy, so when you dip it in your coffee (or tea or hot chocolate), they soften for eating. This batch usually lasts for about a month, with 2 people eating them so, if you’re cooking solo, you’re set for awhile (unless you just can’t help yourself & eat more than one per day)!

After this, I made a sort-of scone recipe from The Everyday Vegan. It’s packed full of whole grains, nuts, & dried fruit. Delicious & good for you, what could be better?

Squirrely “Scones”

1 C ground oats (just take rolled or quick-cook oats, pulse in a food processor or coffee grinder, until it’s the consistency of flour)

1 C barley flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 C toasted pecans (I just used walnuts, & I didn’t toast them)

1/4 C flaxseeds

1/4 C sunflower seeds

1/4 C dried apricots (or raisins)

1/4 C chocolate chips (or carob chips or more dried fruit)

1/4 C sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 tbsp flaxseed meal

3/4 C soymilk (or rice milk)

3 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp canola oil (I used almond)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients EXCEPT flaxseed meal. In another bowl, combine the flaxseed meal with the milk & stir through. I let this sit for about 3 minutes to thicken. Then add the maple syrup, vanilla, & oil & stir through. Add the wet mix to the dry mix & stir until well combined. Let mixture rest for about a minute. Then drop large spoonfuls (about 1/2 cup each) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper & bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Test with a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven & let cool for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

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