November 1, 2008

Double Chocolate Biscotti

Although this website is in a blog format, when I first decided to put this page together, my intention was to simply provide a place for people with celiac disease and/or wheat allergies to find useful information that would make their lives easier.  When people are first diagnosed with celiac disease, it can feel pretty overwhelming.  It typically calls for a complete dietary change, and a lot more home-cooked meals.  Having the ability to go out to a restaurant with friends and family taken away from you can be pretty depressing, which is why I created the gluten free restaurant menu list that is located down the left-side column.  If you know anyone with celiac disease, or wheat allergies, or food allergies in general, let them know about that list.  And if you notice a page has been outdated, or has an "error" message, let me know so I can update it.

Besides the gluten free restaurant menu list on the left column, I also have a list of useful websites for people with gluten issues.  All of the main celiac organizations are there, as well as great sites like Traveling Gluten Free and Be Free For Me. Traveling Gluten Free is a database of gluten free eating destinations world-wide, which is a great resource for those of us who travel a lot.  Be Free For Me is a website loaded with recipes that are categorized by the food allergy/sensitivity they avoid.  It's a really cool site for anyone with any kind of food allergy. 

Now back to the FOOD!  Biscotti has lost it's intimidation factor with me. I used to think it was so hard to make, that only expert bakers could pull it off.  I now know that biscotti has to be one of the easiest baked goods to create, and the possibilities are endless!  I decided to quiet the angry chocolate monkey that is persistently on my back, by giving this recipe a double dose of cocoa.  Any high grade baking cocoa is usually safe from gluten, but it's important to read the ingredients in your chocolate chips for things like "modified food starch," "maltodextrin," and "malt flavoring." As a rule of thumb, the higher quality the chocolate chips/chunks, the less likely they'll contain fillers.  Chocolate is perfect by itself! Why anyone would contaminate good chocolate with artificial flavors and gluten-containing fillers is beyond me; but it basically comes down to money.  The less actual food ingredients it contains, the cheaper it will be to produce.

In this recipe, you can use chocolate chips or chunks depending on your preference.  You can also melt chocolate and coat the tops of each piece after the biscotti cools, thereby making it a triple chocolate biscotti!  However you do it, experiment and have fun with it:)  Food is all about sharing and sensual pleasure.  The joy is not only in eating the food, but also smelling it and looking at it.  Enjoy yourself, because that's what it's all about!

Double Chocolate Biscotti Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips or chunks

Baking Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside (I use canola oil spray)
  3. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl, and with your electric mixer, beat the butter on med to high speed for 35-ish seconds.
  4. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder to the mix. Beat until combined, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to get it all incorporated.
  5. Beat in the eggs until combined, and then as much of the flour as you can before it gets too clumpy.  Remove the mixer and stir the remaining flour by hand. Stir in the chocolate chunks or chips.
  6. Shape the dough into two 9-inch long rolls.  Place the rolls on the prepared cookie sheets and flatten them slightly so that they're about 1/2 to 1-inch thick.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on cookie sheet for 1 hour.
  8. Using a serrated knife, cut each roll diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices, cut sides down, onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees F. for around 8 to 9 minutes.
  10. Turn the slices over and bake for an additional 7 to 9 minutes, or until dry and crisp (be careful not to burn them!).
  11. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
  12. Make a cup of coffee for dipping purposes and enjoy!


Just So You Know...

The information presented in this blog is intended to educate and entertainment. However, I'm not a medical expert.  I also do not know absolutely everything about Celiac Disease.  What I do know has been learned through trial and error, research, and what has been taught to me by friends who also share my food-related affliction.  Please take the time to do your own research about Celiac Disease and gluten-related issues.  I have a list of links to useful resources along the left-side of this blog. Also, feel free to cross-check my statements. If you find contrary information, please let me know. Thanks so much for visiting Trav's Gone Gluten Free!