This recipe has a LOT going on, as the title implies. This is my version of the ever so crunchy Italian classic cookie, made vegan, and with hidden vegetables.
It is also made with spent grain. If you don’t know what spent grain is, don’t worry, this can easily be modified to use spelt, or another grain, in its place. If you’re like me and have a talented home brewer in your life, then you’re probably eager to hop on the spent grain train.
Spent grain refers to the leftover grains that have been stripped of most of their starches (as far as my loose understanding of the beer-making process goes). They are most often thrown away which is an absolute tragedy in my opinion. Baking with spent grain is a great way to recycle a brewing byproduct in a delicious and sustainable way.
The most convenient way to use them for baking is to dry the grains out in an oven at a low temperature for a few hours then grind it into ‘spent grain flour’ in a spice/coffee grinder or Vitamix. Then again it’s not particularly convenient as this process takes pretty much all day to do.
The result though, is a much nuttier, heartier flavor than its un-spent counterpart. You can use the grains wet (which I haven’t tried for this recipe but stay tuned) and use one cup in place of a cup of flour in your favorite bread recipe for a bit of added texture. Lots of possibilities with spent grain!
Okay back to these cookies. This recipe was born out of my desire to showcase spent grain, make a delicious dessert, and use up the sweet potatoes in my kitchen. I would say these qualify as pretty healthy, they use healthy grains, chia ‘eggs’, a vegetable, and have a drizzle of dark chocolate on top (you can drizzle with whatever you want, vegan as necessary).
If you don’t have sweet potatoes hanging around like I did, you can always use pumpkin in its place for a similar flavor.
Biscotti is fun to make, and this is recipe can serve as a base for experimenting with all different kinds of biscotti flavors.
Sweet Potato Vegan Biscotti (with Spent Grain!)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1 cup spent grain flour can sub with spelt flour or brown rice flour, or all-purpose
- 2 chia eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup coconut sugar can sub white sugar
- 3/4 cup sweet potato puree
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2-1 cup chopped walnuts optional
Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
In a medium bowl combine flours, baking powder, and spices
In a small bowl, combine sugar, vanilla, chia eggs, sweet potato and oil
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until incorporated, add in the walnuts if using
Remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough until no flour is visible, and it has become soft. Dough will be sticky.
Divide the dough into two equal parts and roll into logs about 3/4" high and 4-5" wide, depending on how long you want your cookies to be.
Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown
Remove both logs from oven and let cool on the pan for about 15-25 minutes
Once logs have cooled down, use a serrated knife to slice them into cookies, each about 1" thick
Line the cookies up on the baking sheet and return to the oven for another 12-15 minutes.
Remove the cookies and flip each one oven before returning to the oven for another 12-15 minutes.
Depending on your oven and the thickness of your cookies they made need an additional 5-10 minutes in the oven. They will not be crunchy immediately leaving the oven but will harden as they cool.
If desired, drizzle with vegan chocolate once cooled.