biscotto arancione

every time a customer at my job orders a biscotto with their espresso, i seethe with jealousy. so crunchy and badass, they hurt your mouth if not dunked in hot coffee first, biscotti just seem like the perfect afternoon snack. far more sophisticated than a cookie, and less decadent (i.e. gross and fatty) than a croissant, with just the right amount of sweetness to elevate the ritual of early p.m. coffee time to new heights. my store carries gilda's biscotti, a cutie pie (no pun intended) bakery run out of philadelphia, and though i love gilda and her mission, her biscotti are certainly not vegan. once when she came in to make a delivery, i asked her if she'd ever considered trying an egg-less version of her wares, and she admitted that she had not. in fact, she said she thought it might not even be possible.

gilda dearest, i strongly urge you to never say such things to crafty vegans. we interpret each "it's not possible" as a very real challenge, not only to our baking skills but to our diet in general!
and so darlings, i present to you (courtesy of the biblos, veganomicon), "biscotto arancione" - everything sounds a little fancier in italian, right?:

these elegant babies are crunchy as hell with a gorgeous balance of sweetness, citrus-ness, and chocolate-ness. and guess what gilda? the recipe is surprisingly simple. so read on, bake up a batch, and relish a quiet afternoon moment, sipping black gold and leisurely leafing through an issue of italian vogue.

biscotti arancione aka orange biscotti (from veganomicon - isa, we heart you!)

- preheat the oven to 350 F. grease up a baking sheet, or line your crappy old baking pan with a silpat, like i did!

- whisk 2 tbsps ground flaxseeds into 1/3 cup of orange juice.

- mix 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup canola oil and 1 tsp vanilla extract into the OJ mixture til pretty well combined.

- sift in 1 and 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour, 2 tbsps arrowroot powder, 2 tsps baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt, and stir up until a nice dough forms.

- fold in the zest of two oranges (i used blood oranges) and 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips or pieces. knead with your hands to incorporate this stuff evenly.

- spread the dough onto the pan and form with your hands into a rectangle that's approx. 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. it does not have to be a perfect rectangle shape.

- bake for 28 minutes. the rectangle should puff up and look a little crackle-y.

- cool (in the pan), on a wire rack for half an hour.

- once cool and being very careful, transfer the biscotti loaf to a cutting board and cut it into strips that seem like good biscotti shapes and sizes to you. put them back on the pan.

- crank up the oven to 375 F and bake the biscotti again for another 12 to 15 minutes. double baking is what gives them the extreme crunch factor.

- let them cool, then eat three.


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