Here’s a festive cookie everyone will love: gluten-free vanilla biscotti dipped in chocolate, then garnished with chopped dried cranberries and salty pistachios.
Light, crunchy biscotti can be flavored to taste (think almond, vanilla, lemon, rum), or enhanced with dried fruit, chips, or nuts. And if you’re busy as can be these days, they’re an ideal cookie to bake and keep on hand: They stay fresh for weeks at room temperature, ready to bring out when unexpected guests drop by.
I love to dip these vanilla biscotti in melted chocolate, then garnish them with chopped cranberries or pistachios. But feel free to come up with your own combinations of holiday cheer!
- 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups “exact substitute” gluten-free flour*
*Gluten-free baking used to involve a series of hard-to-find ingredients: tapioca starch, xanthan gum, rice flour, etc. Happily, these days you can purchase gluten-free flour that’s a simple 1:1 substitute for the wheat flour in most recipes. Specific brands to look for include King Arthur Flour’s Measure for Measure, Cup4Cup, and Bob’s Red Mill’s 1 to 1.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
Beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and baking powder together until smooth. Beat in the eggs, then the flour to make a stiff but sticky dough.
Divide the dough in half, and place the two halves on the baking sheet. Using wet hands, shape each half into a long 9” x 2” log about 3/4” tall. Straighten and smooth the tops of the logs as best you can; keeping your fingers wet helps.
Bake the biscotti for 28 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and let the two logs cool for 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325°.
Use a sharp knife to cut the logs into slices about ⅝” to ¾” wide. Be sure to cut straight up and down; cutting at an angle will cause your biscotti to topple during their second bake.
Place the biscotti, on edge, back onto the baking sheet.
Put them back into the oven, and let them bake for about 30 minutes, until they feel very dry and their cut sides are beginning to brown slightly around the edges.
Remove the biscotti from the oven, and let them cool completely right on the pan. Once they’re completely cool, melt chopped white chocolate (or semisweet chocolate chips) in a double boiler; or in short bursts in the microwave. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate; better to warm it slowly and gently, stirring occasionally to help things along.
Dip half of each biscotti in the chocolate, then garnish with finely chopped nuts, dried fruit, toffee bits, mini chips, or whatever sounds good to you!
Yield: about 2 ½ dozen biscotti.
(Full disclosure: This recipe was inspired by one from King Arthur Flour, where I work as senior digital content editor.)