Nutty Chocolate Chip Biscotti (GF, DF)
Pistachios, hazelnuts, and pecans speckle this grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free biscotti.
For the printable recipe PDF click here.
I have no idea why, but come December, biscotti are always on my mind.
They don't have to be any Christmasy sort of flavor profile to make it to my Christmas baking list. My old faithful recipe is basic chocolate chip with just a hint of cinnamon.
I used to make them every year, but never tried a paleo version. This year, I figured it was time to give them a paleo makeover.
We replaced traditional flour with cassava, butter with coconut oil, and jazzed things up a bit with cardamom, nutmeg, and three kinds of yummy nuts. I was having a hard time deciding between hazelnuts and pistachios, but my baking partner, Monster 1, firmly believed we should use both . . . and pecans. She insisted on the nutmeg, too. We think our teamwork produced something pretty delicious. We hope you'll agree!
The dough comes together fairly easily, though you may have to use a little elbow grease to work the nuts and chocolate chips in if it's too much for your mixer to handle.
After forming two dough logs, I like to roll them in coarse turbinado sugar for visual interest, extra crunch, and just a tiny bit more sweetness.
This dough won't spread very much, so it's important to flatten the logs a bit to get the right shape. After several trials, we found the best way to prevent crumbling when slicing the cooked logs is to score the dough before baking. Using a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts, just where you want your final cuts to be. Make sure to extend the cuts down the sides (not captured in the photo below), but don't cut all the way through.
After the first bake, you'll want to wait about 30 minutes before transferring the log to a cutting board and slicing the biscotti apart. As you slice, it helps to sort of hold the log in place with your other hand, right next to where you're slicing.
Transfer the slices to a baking sheet carefully to avoid crumbling during the transfer.
If you do have some crumbles, these make great "vulture treats" to feed to any monsters circling the kitchen in hopes of cookie nubbins. If you end up with a container full of crumbles (accidentally or on purpose), toast them up and sprinkle them over vanilla pudding, mousse, an Italian zabaglione, or whipped coconut cream. YUM!
Here's what you'll need:
2 ½ cups cassava flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine salt
¼ tsp each cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg
1 cup sugar (I use organic)
5 T coconut oil
½ tsp each almond and vanilla extracts
3 large eggs
¼ cup turbinado sugar for rolling
⅓ cup each toasted, semi-finely chopped pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios
⅔ cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips
Here's what you'll do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cassava flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, coconut oil, and extracts on medium-high speed till somewhat fluffy and creamy, scraping down the bowl as needed. Because of the relatively low fat content, it won’t be as creamy as most doughs at this stage. Add one egg at a time, beating on medium speed between each one just to combine.
With the mixer off, add about ⅓ of the dry ingredients, then beat on the lowest speed just to incorporate. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients, ⅓ at a time. This is just so that the dry ingredients don’t fly all over the place when added.
Add the toasted nuts and chocolate chips. You may have to do this manually with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula if this causes your mixer to labor too much.
Turn the dough out onto a silicone mat or large piece of parchment paper on the counter and knead a few times to make sure the nuts and chips are all well-incorporated.
Divide the dough in half and form each half into an 11-inch log. Roll each log in 2 T turbinado sugar, transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and flatten to about a 1-inch thickness.
Use a sharp knife to score each log diagonally across the tops and down the sides where you would like your final cuts to be, not cutting all the way through. The cuts should be about 1-inch apart.
Bake the scored logs at 350 for 25 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 30 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Carefully transfer each log to a cutting board, and slice the biscotti along the scored lines, holding the log in place with your other hand right next to where you are cutting, to help prevent crumbling. Some crumbling is to be expected.
Carefully transfer the cut biscotti back to the baking sheet, placing cut-sides down.
Bake at 300 for 10 minutes on each side (20 minutes total), or if you do not wish to risk crumbling when flipping them, just cook for 15 minutes total without flipping. Be aware that in this case, one side may be a bit more toasted than the other.
Allow biscotti to cool completely on the pan, and enjoy! Store biscotti in a sealed container at room temperature for up to one week.
For the printable recipe PDF click here.