Variety is key in my cooking and hosting life. I love to try switching things up and making an old favourite with a new twist. I also love to have options and all the colours and flavours in the food I create. It’s infuriating sometimes I’m sure for my family because I’ll make something and it will be a big hit and then I’ll make it again and I just can’t resist adding hemp seeds or maybe a dash of flax or changing the grain or fruit! My husband notoriously says “did you add hemp again?” Like I’m a big hippie? Geeze. (I kind of am. Shhhhh.) I can’t sneak anything by him. But what I can do is constantly create different options.
Biscotti is great because it lasts for bloody ever! And I love to have it around for when people pop over for coffee. We take our espresso quality (not my department!) very seriously in this family so naturally I have to take the biscotti making equally as serious (totally my department!).
Traditional biscotti is usually overly sweetened with a lot of sugar (more than you would imagine—often more than cookies so don’t be fooled thinking it’s the healthy-option when at the café.) This biscotti however, is absolutely the healthy option.
I always make a big batch to give some away and keep some at the ready for that special visitor.
2 c flour (light spelt works well or brown rice – if using rice flour add 1/4 tsp xanthan gum)
1 c flaked oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 c ground flax seeds (optional, makes it more breakfast-like and hearty)
1 c. chopped or slivered nuts — almond, pecan, walnut (if you have nut allergies in your family you could use more oats, quinoa flakes or unsweetened coconut flakes instead)
1/2 c brown rice syrup
1/2 c maple syrup
1 T pure vanilla
1 egg (optional) (add 1-2 T of water and a tsp ground chia if omitting/wanting to make animal-free)
dried fruit or chocolate (optional)
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately (leave the nuts or fruit out) and then add dry to wet mixture. Separate the dough into two (if you want to make two separate kinds, otherwise you can keep it as one ball of dough). Add the nuts and fruit mixture of your choice. In this case I made one batch with slivered almonds and the other with pecans and dried apricot. Sometimes I add 1/4 c of cacao powder to one and then gently fold the two together making a marble log of biscotti. (So fancy right!?)
On a parchment lined cookie sheet, make the dough into logs (2-4 depending on the size you would like your biscotti to be). Press a few table spoons of chopped nuts on the top of each log for pretty factor!
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 mins. Cut into strips and put back in the oven and bake each side for 7-10 more minutes.
Remove, let cool, drizzle with or dip in chocolate if you fancy. It’s a crunchy biscotti (not a soft cookie) so I recommend dunking in tea or coffee.
Say it with me now: Mamma mia, la vita è bella!