Gluten-free Dairy-free Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Posted by on Dec 28, 2017 in Breads, Breakfast, Christmas, Cookies, Featured | 0 comments

…”Tender” Taking Precedence Over “Tooth-Breaking”!

Gluten Dairy Free Cranberry Walnut Biscotti by Connie Veilleux / DailyForage.com

I hadn’t made biscotti in a while. Too long, in fact. I’d forgotten how the texture of this particular biscotti recipe is just the right combination of the expected dry, crunchy biscotti with the unexpected “tooth” of tenderness.

I’m personally not a fan of those extremely crunchy Italian treats. I can never get past how hard they are.

Yes, I know, they are supposed to be that dry and crunchy to hold up to the dunking process.

But, darn it, I like to nibble on the whole slice without always dunking, and without the consequences of chipping a tooth. I like to go back and forth. Get a little crunch, then get a little tender. If you’re a hard-as-wood style biscotti lover, no offense intended. Just saying.

Years ago, before a lifestyle overhaul of constant recipe creation and adaptations – you know the scenario, right? – where every kind of flour is on your counter (all gluten-free, of course) so you can determine which flour gives the best texture and flavor, at least in that particular recipe. And you’ve got copious amounts of notes on papers strewn on this counter and that counter, to be sure you haven’t missed a trial of ingredient here, or a measurement or note there. Can you picture it? Do you live it? (I hope I’m helping to remedy that real-life experience for you by doing all the trials so you don’t have to.) Anyway, I digress. Back to what I was actually getting to …

… Years ago, I loved baking a recipe for American-Style Biscotti from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion Cookbook. It was perfect! Tender, crunchy, dunkable (but not required). Until it wasn’t, because it wasn’t “safe” any longer. So I had to make it perfect in a gluten-free, dairy-free version. I was damn excited about my recipe adaptation efforts and results in my Orange Coconut Biscotti. I’m still proud of that one.

The holidays seemed to trip a memory of that biscotti recipe. Don’t ask why. I couldn’t tell you if I had to. Funny how the mind works in mysterious ways. Anyway, I dusted off that recipe (well, not literally because the recipe was on my computer, but figuratively okay) and decided to give it holiday season flair. Hence, the cranberries and walnuts.

There’s a process – steps to follow – to achieve the perfect tender biscotti . Nothing difficult, but good steps to include to get the best out of your efforts.

Cream the vegan butter and sugar together. If you try to soften the vegan butter before adding the sugar, the results will be harder to achieve. The sugar helps to soften the fat and bring it to a smooth consistency more quickly.

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti vegan butter and sugar by DailyForage.com

Cream the vegan butter and sugar together.

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti creaming step 1 by DailyForage.com

Continue mixing until you achieve a smooth consistency and sugar has dissolved.

Add eggs and vanilla and continue mixing (scraping down bowl a few times) until the batter has become smooth and light in texture.

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti by DailyForage.com

Add the eggs and vanilla and continue mixing. Scrape down sides of bowl a few times between mixings.

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti creaming step 2 by DailyForage.com

Beat well after the addition of eggs and vanilla until texture becomes light and smooth.

Chop dried cranberries and walnuts and stir them into your flour mixture. This will keep them suspended in the dough and evenly dispersed during baking.

Fruit & nuts for Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cranberry Walnut Biscotti by DailyForage.com

Chop dried cranberries and walnuts and stir them into flour mixture. This will keep them suspended in the dough and evenly dispersed during baking.

Gradually add the flour/fruit/nut mixture to the wet ingredients. Continue blending on low speed until well combined.

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti mixing process by DailyForage.com

Gradually add the flour/fruit/nut mixture to the wet ingredients.

Continue mixing on medium-high speed until dough is well combined and holds together.

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti dough by DailyForage.com

Continue mixing on medium-high speed until dough is well combined and holds together.

When dough has been well mixed, it will have a stiff, slightly sticky consistency.

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti well-mixed and stiff dough by dailyforage.com

Well-mixed dough will be stiff.

Scrape your stiff dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. It will want to stick to just about anything it touches, so be patient (have a drink standing by if need be). 😉

Ready to spread Gluten-free, Dairy-free Cranberry Walnut Biscotti dough by Daily Forage

Place dough in a “sort of” line on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

To make the spreading and shaping process easier, have a glass of water handy to dip your spatula and/or fingers into occasionally. You don’t want to make the dough soggy, but moist tools and fingers reduce the stickiness and enable you to smooth the dough into the correct shape and make it not quite so gnarly on the surface (though much of the roughness smooths out during baking).

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti dough by dailyforage.com spread on baking sheet

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti dough spread on baking sheet and smoothed with water to shape.

Once dough is properly shaped, smoothed, and looks something like this, it is ready for the first bake. Bake on center rack of preheated 350ºF oven for 22-25 minutes.

Daily Forage Cranberry Walnut Biscotti dough ready to bake.

Dough is shaped, smoothed, and ready for first bake.

Your Gluten-free, Dairy-free Cranberry Walnut Biscotti will feel solid (not hard) and should have a blonde color after the first baking.

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti after first bake by DailyForage.com.

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Cranberry Walnut Biscotti after first baking step.

Between first and second bake, reduce heat on oven to 325ºF. Allow loaf to cool on baking sheet 5-10 minutes (no longer). Use a serrated knife to gently cut slices of biscotti, wetting and wiping clean the knife between slices if necessary. Slide pieces apart for good air flow and even baking during second bake. If you try to move the sliced biscotti more that just a nudge or so, you’ll likely end up with a pan full of crumbled biscotti. Be patient and gentle. You’ll get to the nibbling/dunking session soon enough, I promise. Don’t worry about removing the crumbs that crumble off during slicing. These will bake up golden brown and are fabulous on dairy-free ice cream!

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Cranberry Walnut Biscotti by DailyForage.com after second bake.

Between first and second bake, use a serrated knife to gently cut slices of biscotti. Slide apart for even baking during second bake.

Return sliced biscotti to oven (now set at 325ºF) and bake another 25 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and gently slide the biscotti-covered parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Allow biscotti to cool and rest for 10 minutes, and your steps are complete. It’s time to dive into these cranberry and walnut laden Italian cookies.

These just say Christmas and winter to me. Do they say that to you?

Gluten Dairy Free Cranberry Walnut Biscotti by DailyForage.com

I’m pleased to say in this new biscotti version the textures and flavors are perfect again. If you’re a want-a-little-tender-want-a-little-crunch biscotti type, you’ll want to add this Gluten-free, Dairy-free Cranberry Walnut Biscotti recipe to your baking repertoire.

Gluten Dairy Free Cranberry Walnut Biscotti by Connie Veilleux / Daily Forage

And, for all biscotti lovers – crunchy or crunchy-tender – Happy Dunking!

Gluten-free Dairy-free Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Servings: Makes about 16 slices.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes
Baking Time: 55 minutes total, 25 min at 350ºF, 5 minute rest, 25 minutes at 325ºF
No
Gluten
No
Dairy
No
Soy
No
Peanut

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (200g) gluten-free all-purpose flour - I use Authentic Foods Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend
  • 3/4 cup (100g) superfine brown rice flour - I use Authentic Foods
  • 2 teaspoons psyllium husk – omit if your all-purpose flour blend contains a binder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder – I use Clabber Girl
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped raw walnuts
  • 6 Tablespoons vegan butter substitute - I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Sticks – soy free
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, combine flours, psyllium husk, and salt. Sift in the baking powder. Whisk well. Add dried cranberries and walnuts. Whisk to combine and coat cranberries and walnuts so they distribute well through the dough. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, or large mixing bowl with a strong hand mixer, combine vegan butter substitute and sugar. 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. Keep mixing until the mixture is nearly homogenous. 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 stiff and will hold its shape.
  • Spoon the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet into a single, long "log". Shape with wet fingers or wet spatula to form a rough log approximately 12 inches long, 3 inches wide, and about 1 inch thick. The purpose of the wet fingers or spatula 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, if desired. Honestly, most of the cragliness of any rough surfaces will smooth out during baking.
  • Place baking sheet on middle rack of a preheated 350ºF oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, keeping log and parchment still on pan, and let rest for five to ten 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 (heat knife under hot running water, then dry, to make slicing easier). Separate slices by gently sliding them apart, allowing some air space in between each slice. Don’t worry about the crumbs. I leave them on the pan to continue toasting. These make tasty toppings over dairy-free ice cream or pudding. 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 re-sealable plastic bag.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

 

 Other recipes you might enjoy:

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Oat-free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-free Dairy-free Almond Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-free Dairy-free Smokey Tart Cherry Date Cookies

Smokey Tart Cherry Date Cookies

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