A crumbly, dunkable gluten-free dark chocolate dipped cranberry pistachio biscotti recipe with a healthy spin so you can feel good about sharing them with those you love (or keeping all to yourself!) this holiday season.
Happy Healthy Holiday Cookie Friday!
I have to say that this idea to share a new cookie recipe each week is pretty genius— mostly because I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the excuse to eat all the cookie dough.
The things that I do for you guys!
This week I’m SUPER pumped because I’m sharing my signature Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti recipe. That said, whether you celebrate Christmas or not I know you’ll LOVE these cookies. And if you missed last week’s cookie recipe, find it here.
Biscotti are without a doubt one of my favorite cookies.
I love that they are crumbly and meant to be dunked in a hot cup of tea or coffee. I also love that while flavorful and sweet, they are usually not too decadent.
Meaning they are completely appropriate for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or a light and simple dessert. A really good biscotti should be crumbly but not so much so that it falls apart when you pick it up. But if it does? Best. Banana ice cream/smoothie bowl topping OF YOUR LIFE. Trust me.
Ideally, you want your biscotti to be both firm and crunchy while still having some softness.
It’s a delicate balance.
And these biscotti check all the right boxes.
I think one of the reasons that I love making biscotti is that I really enjoy the process of shaping the two logs, slicing them, and then coating them in chocolate. Sure it’s not as simple as a drop cookie, but the extra effort is totally worth it—especially during the holidays because biscotti make an impressive, homemade gift.
These biscotti are also absolutely delicious without the additional chocolate coating and in fact, one of my most loyal taste testers—a fellow dietitian with a serious passion for baked goods and chocolate—said she thought adding chocolate might overpower the pistachios and cranberries.
Chocolate never really hurts anything, does it?
HEALTHY HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA
Biscotti has been my go-to holiday party gift slash hostess favor slash I-bring-these-to-anyplace-I-can. In fact, I’m planning to bring them to a Christmas party we’re going to on Saturday, which is a really good thing because my husband and I have been having a hard time staying away from these bad boys.
I’ve made variations of these biscotti for cookie swaps, thank you and hostess gifts, and used to leave some out for houseguests back when we had a second bedroom for that type of thing. My recommendation is to place a few of the cookies in a clear cello bag safe for food use, tie it with a pretty ribbon, and attach a few tea bags. You’ll totally feel like Martha Stewart and I promise the recipient will be impressed at both your thoughtfulness and presentation.
Another super cute way to gift these biscotti is to buy a cute mug with the lucky recipient’s initial on it (Anthro always has the best initial mugs this time of year) and fill it with some of the biscotti. Take a larger cello bag and do the same thing—wrap the biscotti and the mug all together and tie with ribbon.
Healthy holiday gift giving made simple.
OK so what makes these “healthy” biscotti better than traditional recipes?
This recipe contains millet, almond flour, and cornstarch.
I bake with almond flour all the time and love the slightly sweet flavor it lends to baked goods. Personally, I’ll only bake with this brand because I love how light and fluffy it is. Other almond flours tend to be too mealy and can really weigh down the final product. Go with the five-pound bag—you won’t regret it!
For the rest of my baked goods, I really like Bob’s Redmill. They make excellent certified gluten-free alternative flours and grains and I’ve always been impressed with the quality and flavor.
Have you all ever used millet in a recipe?
I think it has a slightly nutty flavor that goes really well with almond flour. I also like it because out of all the cereal grains, it has the highest amino protein acid profile and iron content. It’s also rich in phosphorus and B vitamins. It’s gluten free—obviously—and has a high alkaline ash content making it easier to digest.
Millet flour is distinctly sweet and lends a dry, delicate cake-like crumb to baked goods. Because almond flour can be a bit heavier in texture, I think pairing it with millet makes excellent crumbly yet crunchy biscotti.
Cornstarch is an important addition to this recipe as it helps produce a tenderer cookie. I think that adding the corn starch to the non-gluten flours helps make it less dense and rise a bit more. If you can’t eat corn-based products, you can always substitute tapioca or arrowroot flour.
ALLERGEN FRIENDLY INGREDIENTS
In the past, I used butter and refined sugar but since I don’t cook with sugar anymore, I had to also experiment with finding the right sweetener. Honey works really well in this recipe but you could also use maple syrup if that’s what you have on hand.
If you tolerate butter, you could easily use butter instead of coconut oil. Just be sure to pick an organic, grass-fed brand like Kerry Gold or whatever you can find at your local market.
So pour yourself a cup of tea and head to the kitchen my friends.
It’s biscotti time!
Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Pistachio Christmas Biscotti
gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free
Yield: ~20 biscotti | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 45 minutes (baked twice plus the chocolate dunking)
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1 cup millet flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbs coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup raw local honey
2 large eggs*
2/3 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios (reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner.
- Roughly chop cranberries into smaller pieces and place in small bowl with warm water to soak for 10 minutes. Drain cranberries, discard water, and pat with a paper towel and set aside.*
- Sift all flours and dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat wet ingredients (vanilla, honey, coconut oil, and eggs) on medium until well combined and slightly creamy.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to mixing bowl and continue to beat on low until the dough forms. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Add the cranberries and pistachios and beat on low to incorporate. You could also fold them into the dough with a spatula.
- Using a spatula, separate the dough into two. Use your hands to shape two rectangular logs—roughly 8-10 inches long x 3.5-inches wide x 1-inch tall. Don’t stress about this part—these are just loose guides. (You could also make three or four even smaller logs to create mini biscotti, which are also a lot of fun!)
- Bake for 20 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely (about 15 minutes).
- Place the cooled cookie logs on a cutting board and use a serrated knife to cut them crosswise into 1/4-1/2 inch slices.** I like to cut mine on an angle as I think it gives you a longer cookie plus a prettier shape.
- Arrange on the cookie sheet and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Remove the biscotti once the edges are slightly browned. The cookies may still feel a little soft but they will harden substantially as they cool.
For the chocolate coating:
1 bag stevia-sweetened dark chocolate chips (or other high quality dark chocolate)
1/4 cup chopped pistachio pieces
- Place a piece of wax paper beneath a wire rack and set aside.
- If you have a double boiler you can use it to melt the chocolate, otherwise make one using a small pot filled with water and an oven-safe glass bowl on top. You could also melt the chocolate in the microwave if you like.
- Dip the top edge or the full tip of one end of the biscotti into the chocolate and carefully transfer to the wire rack. You could also sprinkle the chocolate with crushed pistachio dust.
Dough can be chilled overnight if needed.
*I recommend soaking the cranberries in warm water for about 10 minutes prior to adding them to the dough. This is not totally necessary but I find that it plumps them up and makes them easier to cut. You could even get crazy and soak them in a flavorful liqueur or amaretto—the alcohol bakes off as they cook so you won’t end up with drunken biscotti. Yum!
**Be extra careful when slicing the logs into biscotti, as this is when the cookies are the most delicate and likely to crumble into pieces. Be sure to use a very sharp serrated knife and wait for the dough to cool completely. Lightly chopping the pistachios and cranberries before adding them to the dough also helps. Once the cookies are baked and cooled for the second time, they will firm up substantially.
And if you don’t have time to wait for the biscotti logs to cool before slicing them for the second bake, you can always do that the following day (or even a few days later). All you have to do is let the cookie logs cool and store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to slice and bake.
I hope you enjoy these biscotti and if you make them, please tag your creations #honestlynourished and be sure to mention me @honestlynourished so I can give you a big ‘ol high five.
There’s still TWO more weeks of cookies coming atcha so stay tuned and wishing you a happy (and healthy) holiday season!
Have you ever made biscotti? What’s your favorite holiday cookie memory?