… Stirring Memories of a Treasured Time!
I’ve had family living in Italy for a little over three years now. They’ve had so many remarkable experiences, traveled Europe and beyond, and started their young family in this foreign land. But now they return to the states to begin their next chapter in life. They’ve shared that they will miss so many of the wonderful adventures Italy provided them. I’m wondering if they’ll miss the biscotti – so I decided to make some in their honor. (It should ship well, and hopefully stir some treasured memories. Though I spent time in Italy when I was in college, I was silly enough to not like biscotti at the time … Imagine!)
I love biscotti too! I used to believe that all biscotti had to be extremely hard and dry to be true biscotti, but a few years ago I learned that an oh-so-slightly more tender version can fit into the Italian biscotti world with no shame. This Orange Coconut Biscotti can hold its head up high in the world of dunk-able cookies.
Just in case you’re not familiar with biscotti, traditionally it is not a sweet cookie. Biscotti is a twice-baked cookie with a firmness that is perfect for dunking. Biscotti yields its firmness to a tender but not mushy texture when it is dunked and soaks up all the rich and robust coffee or hot cocoa it is intended to pair with and absorb.
This gluten-free, dairy-free biscotti recipe does just that by using nearly the same base recipe as my Italian Biscotti – Revisited (with a couple of minor alterations). Here, the orange zest delivers a dominant flavor, while the coconut (which I can never get enough of) rounds out the zest’s brightness and adds a mellow sweetness. I especially like how the orange and coconut flavors allow for the buttery foundation of the basic biscotti dough to still come through.
In my experience, biscotti is typically not the most favored cookie of kids. If that’s the case in your house, remember that you deserve a special just-because, more-adult-oriented treat once in a while too. The good thing is, when you make these, your kids probably won’t devour them before the last batch is done baking … so there will still be some around when you’re ready to enjoy that much-needed cup of coffee in the morning with your Orange Coconut Biscotti as a reward for getting everyone out the door on those busy work and school days.
Happy dunking … and if you’ve ever been to Italy and enjoyed biscotti, hopefully this stirs some fond memories for you too!
Gluten-free Dairy-free Orange Coconut Italian Biscotti
- 2 1/2 cups (300g) gluten-free, all-purpose flour - I use Authentic Foods Bette's Gourmet Four Flour Blend
- 1/2 teaspoon guar gum – omit if your all-purpose flour blend contains xanthan gum or guar gum
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut – I use sweetened but unsweetened is fine too)
- zest of one large orange (about 2-3 Tablespoons)
- 6 Tablespoons non-dairy margarine - I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread - soy free
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder – I use Clabber Girl
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract - McCormick is gluten free
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine flour and guar gum. Whisk. Add shredded coconut and orange zest. Whisk to combine and distribute zest and coconut well. Set aside.
- 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 in flour mixture, 1/4−1/2 cup at a time, until all flour has been incorporated. Scrape down inside of bowl. 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. If it does, sprinkle in a little more flour, only a tablespoonful at a time. Stir well to combine.
- Spoon the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet in 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 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!
Do you love biscotti too? Do you prefer the traditional, very hard biscotti? Or one that is just a bit less “rough around the edges”?
*This post appeared first on DailyForage.com. Shared on Gluten-Free Fridays over at VegetarianMamma.com.
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