Chocolate Dipped Hazelnut Biscotti

1 cup hazelnuts
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2/3 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup safflower oil, divided
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract
2 cups vegan chocolate chips

Place the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or until fragrant. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and increase the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees. Allow the hazelnuts to cool slightly, then place them on a towel, enclose them with the towel, and rub the hazelnuts with the towel to loosen their skin. Transfer the hazelnuts to a cutting board, roughly chop them, and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together both types of flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, place the maple syrup, 1/2 cups safflower oil, vanilla, and almond extract, and whisk well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Fold the chopped hazelnuts into the dough.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set one aside for later use. On the remaining cookie sheet, shape the dough into two logs that are 2 1/2 inches wide. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown and feel firm and dry. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, transfer the logs to a cutting board, and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices. Divide the slices between the two cookie sheets, standing them upright, and spacing them an inch apart. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until dry and crisp. Allow cookies to cool.

While the cookies are cooling, prepare the chocolate coating. In the top of a double boiler, place the chocolate chips and remaining 2 T. safflower oil, and cook over low heat until chocolate chips have melted. Stir the melted chocolate chip mixture until smooth. Dip one of the cut sides of each biscotti into the melted chocolate and then place them chocolate side up on a rack. When you have finished coating all of the biscotti, place the rack in the refrigerator to allow the chocolate coating to harden fully. Store the biscotti in an airtight container.

Yield: 20-24 biscotti


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