Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Ah, biscotti… how I love you. I usually make biscotti cookies for gift giving, because if someone was going to give me a gift of baked goodies, I would want biscotti cookies. They are perfect to wrap up in a festive bag, tie up with some yarn or twine, and they look great. I think people assume that making biscotti is difficult or labor intensive. Well, I’d like to keep that mystery going, but I have to be honest… they’re so easy to make! For me, it’s one of the best and greatest recipes to make when you’re the mama of a little one. Much like yeasted bread, you can start the biscotti, walk away and come back to it when you have the time. Let’s face it, I have to do this a lot with my cooking and baking because I have a (almost) one year old who is basically attached to my hip (and I wouldn’t have it any other way).

For these cookies, I premixed the dry ingredients and the wet the night before (which is a great tip if you’re looking to save time on baking day). The next morning while Baby Hawk was napping, I pulled out the wet mixture from the fridge, and let it come to room temperature while I preheated the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and lined my baking pan with parchment paper. I gave the wet mixture a quick stir before very gently folding in the dry ingredients and then the chocolate chips. Then, I formed the dough into a long rectangle and patted it down very lightly with clean, damp hands. Pop it in the oven and bake it for 30 minutes. The dough should be slightly puffed up, with a few little cracks in it. Turn off the oven, remove from oven and let cool for about one hour. When you come back, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Farenheit. Carefully slice into long slices about 1/2 inch to an inch thick, and turn the biscotti’s on their sides. Bake for another 20-25 minutes until crisp but not too browned. Allow the biscotti to cool before eating for best flavor and crunch. I love to eat these cookies with strong [decaf] espresso.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Biscotti
makes about 16 biscotti cookies

Ingredients
1/3 c. + 2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. organic, non-gmo canola oil
2/3 c. natural sugar
2 Tbsp. molasses
2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. powdered lemon peel (or fresh lemon zest)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (Ghirardelli semi-sweet mini-chips are vegan!)

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and line a large baking pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, use a wire whisk to beat together the pumpkin, oil, molasses, sugar, flaxseed meal, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients: flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, lemon peel, baking powder, and salt. Very gently fold in the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. When the dough just starts to come together, add the chocolate chips. Form the dough  into a long rectangle and pat it down very lightly with clean, damp hands. Bake it for 30 minutes. The dough should be slightly puffed up, with a few little cracks in it. Turn off the oven, remove from oven and let cool for about one hour. Then, preheat the oven again to 300 degrees Farenheit. Carefully slice the baked dough into long slices about 1/2 inch to an inch thick, and turn the biscotti’s on their sides. Bake for another 20-25 minutes until crisp. Allow the biscotti to cool at least 10 minutes.

I have to give props to my biscotti-making teachers, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, from their cookbook Veganomicon. They made biscotti making easy, fun and a tradition of mine for the last 5 years at least. Definitely buy their cookbooks! And, if you’re thinking, “How many pumpkin recipes can this blog handle?” The answer is, a lot. Obviously. It’s no secret that I love pumpkin, and especially pumpkin desserts. This is yet another gem to add to the pumpkin recipe archive of mine. I’m quite proud of these! They really are the perfect biscotti, and extremely delicious. Make them as a festive fall treat; package two or three in a bag and deliver them with a hot latte to brighten someone’s day. I know I’d love that!

I’d also like to thank my little Baby Hawk for napping for most of this blog post! We’re practicing and preparing for our first ever time participating in VeganMoFo next month. I’m excited, I have a whole list of new and great recipes to share!



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Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Bread

September is here! Which means fall is right around the corner… finally! I’ve been on a pumpkin kick lately, which means there will be more pumpkiny recipes to come soon. Today’s post is my Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Bread! It’s perfect for fall!

This bread is delicious. It’s full of sweet cinnamon and pumpkin flavor. It’s very moist, slightly dense and has a nice cake-like crumb. In an attempt to cut back some calories, I used about half the oil a typical loaf cake would use and added some homemade canned diced apples that my Mom made. You can also use applesauce,  strained apple pie filling, or cooked diced apples that have been cooled.

I baked this bread in four mini loaf pans, which makes it perfect for gift giving. It tastes wonderful sliced as is, or toasted warm with a drizzle of agave or maple syrup.  Perfect for a breakfast or brunch treat with a cup of hot coffee, or as an afternoon snack with an iced chai tea latte. And now for the recipe…

Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Bread
makes 4 mini loaves

Ingredients:
1 – 15 oz. can pumpkin puree -or- 1 3/4 cups fresh pumpkin puree
1 c. canned apples -or- strained and mashed apple pie filling -or- cooked and cooled diced apples
1/2 c. organic, non-gmo canola oil
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 1/2 c. natural sugar
3 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
2 Tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 c. unbleached flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Lightly oil 4 mini loaf pans (6 x 3 x 2-inch size).
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, apples (or applesauce), oil, maple syrup, sugar, flaxseed meal, water and vanilla.
In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients: unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Then, combine the dry ingredients to the wet pumpkin/apple mixture and stir until just combined. You don’t want to over-mix!
Spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pans and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool before removing from pans.

After you make this bread, it’s sure to become a fall favorite year after year. I hope you love it as much as we do. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! I will be making this for my Mom’s annual Halloween family get-together. Does your family have a regular gathering for fall, autumn or Halloween? I can’t wait to take my son trick-or-treating for the first time; even though he’s too little for candy. I’m sure going to have fun dressing him up and seeing all the other costumes!