Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tigernut (Chufa) Biscotti

It's biscotti time again! I find it ironic that every year, I choose to make the cookies that technically last the longest at the very end of the baking spree - after all the shortbreads, drop and sandwich cookies, candy and fudge, granola and tarts are packed up and in various stages of either being consumed or stored. Biscotti - in all its various incarnations over the years - has remained a clear favourite in both the family circle and the friends I gift the crunchy sticks to.

The recent years have seen a definite upswing in the presence of food restrictions I'm baking for - it seems like everywhere I turn somebody is avoiding eggs, meat, nuts, soy, sugar, corn and - the biggest "baddie" of all - gluten. While I have my own thoughts as to these (usually) self-imposed restrictions - for instance I only know of 5 people who require a gluten free diet every day for life, no exceptions, no cheating - I do my best to cater to them because, as a foodie and nutritionist, I can. Gluten free baking isn't overly complex for me any more, but in the craziness of the holiday rush, simple is often best! This particular recipe is inspired by Ricki Heller's Grain-Free Hazelnut Biscotti with Cinnamon Glaze and the resulting cookies are  gluten, egg, Tree Nut, refined sugar, peanut, soy and corn free (if you use Corn-Free Baking Powder). Just because I could - and really, the flavour was fabulous paired with the tigernut flour - I tossed in a glug of Butterscotch Schnapps for good measure! They don't need any sort of frosting or chocolate to sing on their own, but a cup of mocha on the side? You're on!

Tigernut (Chufa) Biscotti

What allergies do you cook or bake for over the holidays (or everyday)? What's your go-to dish?

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Tigernut (Chufa) Biscotti
Makes 10
¼ cup  coconut flour
1.6 oz (a generous ½ cup) ground chufa (aka TigerNut flour)
2 tbsp potato starch
¼ cup psyllium husk powder
½ tsp Corn-Free Baking Powder
¼ tsp nutmeg
pinch fine sea salt
¼ - ½ tsp gluten free liquid stevia
⅔ cup half-and-half cream (for dairy free, use canned coconut milk)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 fl. oz butterscotch schnapps (make sure yours is GF (like Dr. McGillicuddy Intense Butterscotch) if needed)
coarse or raw sugar, for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
  2. Combine all the ingredients just until blended and uniformly moist, but not sticky-wet (it should stick together when squeezed but may not form a ball while mixing).
  3. Turn the mixture onto the cookie sheet and, with wet hands, shape the dough into a flat log about 8 ½” long and 3” wide.
  4. Coat generously with coarse sugar and, using a bench scraper or a sharp knife, cut along the log on a diagonal into 10 pieces.
  5. Gently move the biscotti apart so they are positioned upright with at least 1” of space between them.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, until edges just begin to brown. Reduce oven to 350F.
  7. Turn each piece over onto one cut side and bake for 12 minutes, then turn over and bake another 12 minutes.
  8. Turn off heat and leave the biscotti in the oven 1 hour.  
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 78.7
Total Fat: 3.4 g
Cholesterol: 5.8 mg
Sodium: 5.8 mg
Total Carbs: 11.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.9 g
Protein: 1.2 g