Baking with B: Andi’s Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Biscotti

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Andi is a neighbor of mine and one of the people that I admire most in this world: she carries herself with such poise and grace that it almost makes me envy her; and you’d hate her for how smart, beautiful and accomplished she is except that she’s so kind-hearted you kind of have to love her anyways.

So when I was making my neighbors some goody bags for Christmas, I felt badly for excluding Andi because of her gluten-free diet. She’s always lamenting that she never gets to try any of the things that I make, so I decided it was time to make her something of her own.

Having not ever made biscotti before-combined with being unfamiliar with many of the GF flours out there- made me a little bit nervous. The results were golden and a little bit spicy, but for some reason retained a slightly chewy texture in the middle that was decidedly delicious, but decidedly un-biscotti like. (Psst. Here’s the part where you email me with your gluten-free, biscotti-making advice.)

Still, I liked them enough to try them again and include them in my baking repertoire. The almond flour gives it an even nuttier flavor that’s not too sweet, and it goes perfectly with a strong Italian espresso.

Andi’s Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Biscotti (makes 12)

(based on a recipe I originally found here)

2 large eggs

1/3 c. honey

zest from one orange

1 1/2 c. almond flour

2 tbsp arrowroot flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 c. dried cranberries

1/2 almonds, sliced

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, honey and orange zest and beat until frothy. Add flours, baking soda and sea salt to the bowl and mix until a dough forms. Add cranberries and almonds and stir to combine.

Spoon out dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and use fingers to shape it into a long rectangle, approximately 4×12 inches. (B’s Tip: The dough will be sticky, gooey and hard to manipulate so you can always use the back of a spoon that’s been dipped in cold water to help shape your rectangle.) Make sure to leave room on all sides as the dough will spread as it cooks.

Bake dough in oven that’s been preheated to 350F for approximately 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 hour. Once cooled, slice your log on a diagonal to get those long, angular biscotti shapes (about 1″ thick). Lay biscotti on their sides and return to oven for an additional 15-20 minutes until crunchy.

B’s Tip: Believe me, it’s hard to wait for the biscotti to cool before slicing them but trust me- they’re much easier to slice if you do and they need that drying-out time to get that crunchy consistency. Make the process go faster by placing your cookie tray on a raised cooling rack to get the air flowing underneath it, and keep them far away from your warm oven!

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-Flower-50Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Homemade Granola Bars

Granola, granola, granola. In all the forms, with all the flavours: nuts, fruit, chocolate. You name it, I’m addicted. I’ve never really met a granola that I didn’t like and I’m a firm believer that it tastes best with a healthy heap of thick yogurt, some fresh fruit, and a drizzle of honey.

But sometimes…I get lazy. And I get busy. And in the summertime there are some days that are just so beautiful that I feel like I’ll explode if I don’t get outside right this minute and enjoy the fresh air. Who has time for things like cleaning and showering and eating when there’s sunshine and a warm breeze waiting? (I’m joking; of course I shower.)

Mornings like these my dog, Gemma, is raring to go too, so I’ve taken to making a big batch of these whenever I can force myself to stay indoors to bake for an hour or two. Then it’s grab one of these and seeing where the morning takes us- to the park, along the boardwalk- the possibilities seem endless. Better take two along, just in case.

Homemade Granola Bars (makes 12-16)

2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal

1 c. sliced almonds

1 c. shredded coconut, loosely packed

½ c. toasted wheat germ

3 tbsp unsalted butter

2/3 c. honey

¼ c. light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

¼ tsp. kosher salt

½ c. chopped pitted dates

½ c. chopped dried apricots

½ c. dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter an 8×12” baking dish and line it with parchment paper. Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ. Reduce the oven temperature to 300F. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into squares.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-Flower-50

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.