My mother is the queen of Christmas cookies. As a child, I watched her spend hours piping out spritz cookies, unloading bags of chocolate chips, and being covered in flour during her Cookie Marathon Weekend. She’d participate in cookie exchanges, and provide a sugar fix for the family while we stayed up all night on Christmas Eve, waiting to go to Midnight Mass. My favorite cookie to watch her make (and to eat) was a cherry and pistachio biscotti cookie dipped in white chocolate. I had no idea how was able to make them so perfect each time, and I told myself that one day I would recreate the cookie.
When I went gluten-free nearly six years ago, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to enjoy holiday baking (or eating) again, or at least not make desserts as delicious as my mother could. Since then, I’ve learned to recreate many of my favorite holiday recipes to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and more. Family and friends have no idea the desserts are gluten-free, and I get to share the holiday festivities with them! In honor of my mother’s biscotti, I created a perfectly chewy yet slightly crunch biscotti with cranberries and chocolate chips, and then dipped in chocolate.
This cookie would be perfect for coffee and tea after a holiday meal, or for breakfast in the morning. If you’re not a big chocolate fan, you can omit the chocolate dip, or see the variation below for Orange Cranberry Biscotti. It’s important you use finely ground almond flour (instead of almond meal) for this recipe so that you get the right texture for this cookie. I used coconut sugar for the cookie because I love the flavor and it gives the biscotti a golden color, but regular sugar will work as well.
Cranberry & Chocolate-Dipped Biscotti
- ¾ cup Almond Flour
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. Tapioca Starch/Flour (or substitute Arrowroot Starch)
- ¼ cup White Rice Flour
- ¼ cup Butter (softened)
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. Sugar (I used coconut sugar) + additional for dusting
- ½ Tbsp. Coconut Flour
- ¾ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 Egg
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- ¼ cup Dried Cranberries
- ¼ cup Chocolate Chips (I used mini chips)
For Chocolate Dipping (Optional):
- ⅓ cup Chocolate Chips
- 1 tsp. Coconut Oil or Butter
- In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, rice flour, coconut sugar, coconut flour, and ¼ cup of the tapioca starch. Slowly mix in the softened butter and vanilla extract and mix with a fork or spoon until everything is well incorporated and there are no lumps. In a small bowl, beat the egg and then mix it into the batter until everything is well combined. Add in the baking soda and mix. Fold in the cranberries and chocolate chips and let the dough sit for 5 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Dust the parchment with ½ Tbsp. of the tapioca starch and spread it out over the parchment. Take the other ½ Tbsp. of the tapioca starch and rub it on your hands over the bowl with the biscotti dough. You should be able to pick up the dough and roll it into a ball without it sticking a lot to your hands. If it is sticking a lot, dust another teaspoon of tapioca starch over the batter and try again. The dough will be loose, but should hold itself together without sticking to the bowl or parchment.
- Lay the dough out on the parchment and shape it into a slightly flattened rectangular log (the center will puff up slightly once baking). My dough was approximately 4 inches by 10 inches in size. Avoid making the log much wider than 4 or 5 inches or it will be difficult to cut later. Sprinkle the top of the dough with additional sugar. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the underside of the biscotti just start to look a little brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Carefully cut the log into biscotti shapes about ¾-1” thick. The cookies will feel slightly crumbly, but will firm up with the next step. Separate each of the cookies slightly on the parchment and return to the oven for an additional 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let fully cool.
- If you would like to add a chocolate drizzle or dip the biscotti in chocolate, melt the chocolate chips and butter or coconut oil in a small pan or microwave. Once the biscotti are fully cool, dip them into the chocolate or drizzle the chocolate over them. If the biscotti is not firm enough when you are trying to dip them into the chocolate, you can also place them in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to help them firm up. Let the biscotti rest on a new sheet or parchment until the chocolate cools.
Variation: Don’t like chocolate? No problem! Make Orange Cranberry Biscotti by swapping out the ¼ cup chocolate chips for zest from a small orange.