Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Mocha Biscotti
So, something you should know about me. I’m a bit of a coffee fanatic. I’ll look for just about any excuse to infuse coffee into a recipe. Which is exactly what happened here. First, I was simply looking for a recipe to use up all the extra hazelnuts I had laying around. Then before I knew it I had the jar of espresso powder out. It’s like I was possessed by a coffee demon for a moment.
It turned out to be an excellent choice though. Because: Coffee + Dark Chocolate + Hazelnuts = Magic. Especially when in biscotti form so they can be dipped in even more coffee. You simply can’t go wrong. Unless you just don’t like coffee, in which case… What’s wrong with you???
Totally kidding, of course (kinda). If you don’t like coffee, you can totally leave out the espresso powder (not that I’m saying you should). I mean, I will most definitely judge you for it, but you do you (I guess).
Now, about the biscotti. I’ve been making non-vegan biscotti for years. I actually make some nearly every single year to send to family at at Christmastime. Since I got the holiday baking bug, I decided to try my hand at making vegan biscotti.
It was a total success. Well, at least after a couple tries. First, I simply took my regular recipe and just substituted applesauce for the eggs. The texture wasn’t quite right the first time around, but after some recipe tweaking, I totally nailed it.
These biscotti can obviously be enjoyed year-round. However, I think they would be absolutely perfect for the holidays. You can take them to holiday cookie exchanges or give them to friends and coworkers as gifts.
Onto the recipe! As always, if you try these, tag me on Instagram @Bitchy_Baker or use the hashtag #BitchyBaker.
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Mocha Biscotti
Yield: 16-20 Biscotti
Total Time: About 90 Minutes
1 cup whole, raw hazelnuts
1/2 cup vegan butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened, plain applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping teaspoon espresso powder
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped (or use chocolate chips)
1 cup of chopped dark chocolate for dipping (optional)
Toast and Skin Hazelnuts: roast the hazelnuts on a baking tray at 350 F for around 15 minutes. The hazelnuts should be fragrant and just starting to become more brown, the skins will appear slightly blistered. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and immediately pour them out onto a kitchen towel. Wrap the hazelnuts in the towel and allow to set for a few minutes. Then rub the hazelnuts around in the towel to remove most of the loose skins. Pick the whole hazelnuts out and set aside to cool completely, discard the skins. Once cooled completely, chop the hazelnuts roughly into small pieces. I chose to pulse mine a few times in a food processor. Set aside until ready to use.
Make the Dough: Whisk together the melted butter, sugar, applesauce, vanilla and espresso powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix together until combined. The mixture will be stiff. Add in the chopped hazelnuts and chocolate. Knead the dough a couple times to combine.
Form the Loaves: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment. Divide the dough in half. Form each half into somewhat narrow, slightly domed loaf. Mine were roughly 3-4 inches wide and about an inch tall. Make sure the loaves are a couple inches apart on the tray. They spread and puff slightly.
Bake the Loaves: Bake at 325 F for about 35-40 minutes. The loaves should be ever so slightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Cut the Biscotti: Raise the oven heat to 350 F. Once the loaves are cool enough to handle, carefully cut into 3/4 inch thick slices using a very sharp serrated knife. Place the biscotti back on the baking sheet.
Second Bake: Bake the sliced biscotti at 350 F for about 10 minutes. Flip halfway, return to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. You may bake them a little longer if you like your biscotti extra crispy. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Dip: Melt dark chocolate over a double boiler. Alternately you can melt the dark chocolate in a microwave at 30 second intervals. Dip the ends of the biscotti in the melted chocolate however you would desire. Play on parchment to set.
Enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container. They should keep for up to a week.