recipes for great vegan + gluten free eats

double chocolate hazelnut biscotti

double chocolate hazelnut biscotti

I’m always sad on Sunday. No matter what is going on in my life, no matter my schedule, no matter if it is winter, spring, summer, or autumn, I am always sad on Sunday. It’s not so bad in the mornings, but by the mid afternoon it creeps up, slowly infiltrating my mind and body. It’s also not as bad as it sounds, and in a way, I find comfort in it. It’s not a depression; it’s a sadness, a melancholy. And it is always there. I know it’s coming, it doesn’t show up uninvited at inconvenient times like anxiety and depression. It is dependable in the sense that I know exactly when it will be there, so I can prepare for it. I can’t remember what age it started, likely when I was a child in elementary school. I think it could have been the dread of having to start a new week, getting out of bed before the sun, being forced to sit in a room not doing anything, not learning anything. Essentially re-living the same week over and over again.

After high school, I thought my Sunday sadness would be no more. Not only did I love University, sometimes I didn’t even have classes on Mondays. Mondays were no longer Mondays. My weeks were no longer structured around a five-day period that I dreaded. I liked going to class, or getting up to go to work. But my Sunday sadness, being its dependable self, remained. And I know I am not a unique case here, Sunday sadness, or the Sunday night blues, is a real thing.

Over the years, I have come to learn how to use my Sunday sadness to my benefit. Instead of fighting it, I try to manipulate it. I’ll use it to my benefit. I’ll do things that I get pleasure from but do not always have the time to do. They’re things I might feel guilty doing during the week. But on Sunday, I know I am not going to accomplish anything if I fight the sadness. And so, I’ll watch a movie by the fireplace. Something that I have seen before, something comforting, like a Hitchcock film or something Film Noir. I might read a book while sipping on a glass of wine. I’ll cook a nice dinner, or bake something for dessert.

Sometimes, I combine these things. I’ll put on a movie I have seen before, one that isn’t too loud but loud enough to fill up the empty noise around me. I’ll have a glass of wine, and I’ll bake. I love this biscotti recipe because it is easy enough to make that it won’t seem daunting, but it also takes a fair bit of time that I normally just don’t have. It is perfect for Sunday nights when I get the chance to slow my life down a bit, and just co-exist with my sadness.


double chocolate hazelnut biscotti

makes 16 to 20
active time: 20 minutes  ~ total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

I was always intimidated by biscotti growing up and never tried to make it until a few years ago. The idea of having to double bake a cookie made it sound all too complicated!  One day, I decided to tackle Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s biscotti recipe in Veganomicon and it was amazing. This biscotti recipe took instruction and inspiration from Isa’s version, but has extra chocolate and is gluten free! These double baked, double chocolate vegan and gluten free cookies are perfect for dunking into coffee.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup non dairy creamer*
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 3/4 sugar
  • 1/2 oil, vegetable or canola
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups Bob’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 corn starch (or arrowroot)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate, chopped**

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a mixing bowl, combine the creamer and ground flax.  Let it sit for a few minutes while you gather your other ingredients.
2.  Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla into the flax mixture and mix well.
3.  Sift in the flour blend, cocoa powder, corn starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt and mix until just combined.
4.  Add the hazelnuts and chocolate. Not all the hazelnuts and chocolate pieces will stay in the dough, but you can stick them in after.
5.  On a parchment lined baking sheet, shape the dough into a rectangle of 4 x 14 inches and about 1 inch thick.
6.  Bake the dough for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let the dough cool, about 30 minutes.  While the dough cools, turn your oven up to 375.
7.  When the dough has cooled, take a large knife to cut the log into slices.  Be gentle, but not too gentle.  The dough will crumble a little bit.  The best way to cut the dough is in one swift motion.
8.  Place each biscotti on its side (as shown in the picture) and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let the biscotti cool completely before serving (or don’t wait, but the biscotti will still be a little soft!)

Notes:

*  You can use a regular almond, soy, or coconut milk but I have found greater success using the creamer.
** I chopped up some Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks but feel free to use a chocolate bar or even just chocolate chips.

 



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