… Biscotti Can Be Enjoyed in a Gluten Free, Dairy Free World!
I really like a good biscotti. But I am very particular about the texture. Some might say I’m a biscotti snob. I find most biscotti is much too dry and hard, even stale tasting, for my personal preference. I can hear you saying, “That’s the point of biscotti…to be hard so it can easily be dunked into coffee and not turn into mush.” I know. But I believe biscotti can be full of flavor, firm enough to hold its signature shape (but not so stale and hard it’s tough on the teeth), and provide a wonderful “dunk”, all from the same slice of twice-baked Italian cookie. And our biscotti recipe is gluten-free (and can be made dairy-free as well). So make sure your favorite coffee is on hand when these revised Italian treats are ready to be served at your home. And let me know if this biscotti turns you into a “biscotti snob” too?
Baking time: 55 minutes total, 25 min at 350, 5 minute rest, 25 minutes at 325º
Makes about 16 biscotti
6 Tablespoons margarine (I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread for a dairy-free recipe)
2/3 cup superfine granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (Argo is gluten free)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (McCormick’s is gluten free)
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour - it contains milk powder making this recipe not dairy free)
Pre-heat oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a stand mixer, or large mixing bowl with a strong hand mixer, combine margarine, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Blend on low until combined, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until sugar/margarine mixture has lost most of its graininess. Add vanilla extract to eggs. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until mixture is well combined, though it may still have a slightly curdled appearance. Reduce speed to low and add flour, 1/4−1/2 cup at a time, until all flour has been incorporated. Scrape down sides. Mix on medium to medium-high speed until mixture is smooth. The dough will be soft but should hold its shape. Test by taking a spoonful and dropping it onto a baking sheet. The dough should not spread or ooze out of place.
Spoon the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet into a single, long shape. Shape with wet fingers or wet spatula to form a rough log approximately 14 inches long, 2 1/2 inches wide, and about 3/4 inches high. The purpose of the wet fingers is to prevent sticking to the dough, not to create a wet dough. Use water sparingly. The log will be flat on top (it will dome as it bakes). Smooth the surface again with wet fingers to make it uniform in texture.
Place baking sheet on middle rack in oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, keeping log and parchment still on pan, and let rest for five minutes. Turn oven temp down to 325º. With a serrated knife, gently cut the log diagonally into approximately 16 slices. The edges will be tender and the log will compress if too much pressure is applied. Slice gently. Separate slices by gently sliding them apart, allowing some air space in between each slice. Return baking sheet to 325º oven and bake for another 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let biscotti rest until completely cool. Store in airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Dunk away!
Note: For additional flavor varieties, try these substitutions:
– substitute vanilla with 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, add 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel
– to original recipe add 1/2-1 cup chopped pistachios and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
– create your own flavor combinations by substituting extracts, adding dried fruits, herbs, etc. These additions shouldn't change the texture of the biscotti.