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Chocolate-Covered Cherries

chocolate covered cherries

Growing up, one of my Dad’s favorite treats was a box of chocolate-covered cherries. I loved them too. Biting into the chocolate shell to reveal the sweet maraschino cherry inside was like opening a delicious present. But over the years, the boxed chocolate-covered cherries of old became less appealing. The quality went down, and they were more often a cheap chocolate shell filled with cherry-like goo. Next-to-none of the real thing.

While I certainly could have sought out a higher-quality confection from one of the fancy candy stores, I opted instead to attempt my own. I’ve made other candies – chocolate coconut candies, fudgepeanut butter cups, chocolate pecan pralines and more – so why not these?

Turns out, they were easier than I’d imagined. Making the fondant was a cinch, and without the testy nature of boiling sugar (like there is with pralines or caramels and such), this was a project I could do at my own pace and while working on other things in the kitchen without fear. The most difficult part in my opinion was remembering to set the cherries to dry out a bit the day before I wanted to make these – which really isn’t that difficult at all!

So whether you want to treat your Valentine this year to something special, or you just want to play candymaker in a new way, I encourage you to make your own chocolate-covered cherries! They’re sweet and delicious and well worth a little work.

Print Recipe

Chocolate-Covered Cherries (gluten-free, vegan-adaptable)

About 20 maraschino cherries (I used an 8 oz jar of these, as they have no dyes or corn syrup)

2 T butter or vegan buttery sticks (don’t use the vegan spread, as it has too much water), softened to room temperature

2 t agave nectar

1 1/2 T reserved cherry liquid

1/4 t almond extract

1 1/2 c powdered sugar

8 oz semi-sweet or dark chocolate (I used Guittard)

The day before you want to make your chocolate-covered cherries, drain the cherries from their liquid (reserving the liquid) and pat dry. Set on a wire rack inside the refrigerator to dry overnight.

The following day, to prepare the fondant, add the butter/buttery stick, agave nectar, reserved cherry liquid, and almond extract and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar, and mix on low speed until everything comes together in a ball around the paddle. If it’s too dry, add a few drops of cherry liquid. Too sticky, add a bit of powdered sugar. You want the texture to be a soft and malleable dough, but not sticky.

Scoop a small ball with the dough (about the diameter of a quarter) and roll in your hand. Flatten out the dough into a circle, and place a cherry in the center. Wrap the cherry with the fondant so that it covers the cherry completely, and roll between your hands to get rid of any seams or wrinkles and make it as round as possible. Place on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining cherries. Place sheet of cherries in the refrigerator or freezer for about 30 minutes while you prepare the chocolate.

Temper the chocolate: Prepare a double boiler. Once water is simmering, add chocolate to the top bowl/pot. Allow to melt and come to about 113-120 degrees F, stirring occasionally. Scrape chocolate onto a cool marble slap, and using a scraper, smooth out the chocolate and move it around the slab to help it cool. (alternatively, you can reserve some “seed chocolate” and add it to the warm chocolate to cool it down.) Once it’s about 80 degrees F, scrape the chocolate back into the double boiler. Allow to come to about 90 degrees F, stirring occasionally, making sure not to warm it too much. Then it’s ready for dipping.

Dip each cherry into the chocolate, rolling around to coat completely. Place the cherry back on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cherries.

You can store the cherries in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Over the next few days, the fondant will soften and liquefy a bit (this will slow down considerably in the refrigerator). My photo shows them still with a solid fondant – they’re still delicious that way too!

Makes 20 chocolate-covered cherries.

 

 

Gluten-Free Desserts of Christmas Past

chocolate-dates1

Chocolate Dipped Dates with Spiced Nuts

Typically each year I have more than one holiday recipe shared with you. This year, not so much. I feel terrifically behind this year, and haven’t even planned out my menu. All my presents haven’t even arrived yet (I ordered a lot online), and nothing is wrapped. I’ve purchased nothing for Christmas dinner. I suppose I should get on it before this weekend, when I’ll need to do my shopping along with the masses.

But if you’re ahead of me, as I’m sure many of you are, you’re finalizing your menu. Maybe you’re making Christmas cookies and treats with family this weekend. If so, here is a little round-up of past holiday favorites for your baking pleasure. As for me, I need to get back to my planning!

Spicy Gingerbread Cake

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake Balls

Chocolate Almond Fig Biscotti

Chewy Apple Cider Blondies

Candy Cane Marshmallows

Cranberry Multi-Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Coconut Candies and Peanut Butter Fudge

Nanaimo Bars

Chocolate-Dipped Dates with Spiced Nuts

Dairy-Free Fudge

Maple Pecan Freezer Fudge

Mexican Chocolate Pecan Pralines

Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle

Happy Holidays, everyone!

A Gluten-Free Mother’s Day Ebook

 

A Gluten-Free Mother's Day: Recipes for Moms by Moms from Attune Foods

Mother’s Day is on the horizon. Attune Foods wanted to help you make this year’s celebration extra special with a FREE ebook filled with recipes any mom would love.

They gathered eight incredible gluten-free, allergy-friendly mom food bloggers (including yours truly – and yes, I lumped myself into that “incredible” category – let’s just go with it…) and asked them each to develop a recipe to make the occasion deliciously memorable.

Within the pages A Gluten-Free Mother’s Day: Recipes for Moms by Moms, you’ll find gluten-free dishes with simple ingredients for breakfast in bed, brunch, recipes designed specifically for cooking with kids, and those you can make ahead of time. We’ve included something for every type of dietary restriction, too. Mom can choose her favorite and hand the recipe off to Dad, or she can bring her kids into the kitchen and let them help prepare a meal to celebrate her.

A Gluten Free Mother's Day from AttuneFoods.com

The recipes include:

  • Blueberry Breakfast Pudding with Granola Topping from Kim Lutz (vegan, tree nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free)
  • Turkey Strata Muffins with Orange Slices and Balsamic Glaze from Beth Hillson (tree nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free)
  • Corn Flake Quiche Lorraine from Karen Morgan (tree nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free)
  • Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Tart from Kelli Bronski (vegetarian, tree nut-free, peanut-free)
  • Blueberry Scones with Vanilla Lemon Sweet Cashew Cream and Homemade Blueberry Chia Seed Jam from Maggie Savage (vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, peanut-free)
  • Peanut Butter Crunch French Toast with Maple-Peanut Butter Syrup from Alta Mantsch (vegetarian, dairy-free, tree nut-free)
  • Chocolate or Carob Tart with Dairy-Free Whipped Topping from Adrienne Urban (vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free)
  • Strawberry Streusel Oatmeal Breakfast Cake from Kim Maes (vegetarian, dairy-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free)

I’m delighted to be a part of the creation of this ebook. Download your FREE copy of A Gluten-Free Mother’s Day: Recipes for Moms by Moms, and Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Scalloped Potatoes (Gluten-Free and Vegan) for So Delicious Recipe Contest

Who doesn’t love scalloped potatoes? While I’m not the biggest potato fan out there, (I could take or leave a regular baked potato, and mashed potatoes aren’t really a big deal to me. I know. What kind of crazy person am I?) I do love creamy, cheesy scalloped potatoes with their rich flavor and that lovely, browned top. But I can’t handle dairy anymore, so for the longest time, my life has been devoid of all scalloped potatoes.

That is, it was. This vegan scalloped potato recipe, now in my repertoire, is ready to go for all of those important meals (such as Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.) or even for a nice Sunday dinner.

I’m sharing this recipe (and entering it into the So Delicious Recipe Contest) so that perhaps you, too, can enjoy scalloped potatoes once again, sans dairy. These potatoes are what you crave in scalloped potatoes – creamy, rich, golden brown on top. Full of flavor without being full of cheese. In fact, I think it’s time I find a reason to whip up another batch. If I’m nice, I might decide to share. The jury’s still out.

Print Recipe

Scalloped Potatoes (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

About 3 lbs gold potatoes (Yukon Gold works well) peeled and sliced thin ( I used a mandoline)

3/4 c So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk beverage

1 c vegetable broth (chicken broth can be used)

2 T vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

2 T arrowroot starch

2 T sweet white rice flour

2 T nutritional yeast flakes

½ t onion powder

¼ t garlic powder

½ t dry mustard powder

¼ t white pepper

¼ t nutmeg

3 T mayonnaise (vegan mayonnaise to keep it vegan; regular can be substituted)

¼ c white wine

1 T lemon juice

Salt to taste

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish and set aside. (I used a dish that was 7X11 inches.)

Combine potatoes, coconut milk beverage and broth in a saucepan. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving milk mixture. (Use a sieve and a bowl underneath to catch the milk.)

Clean out saucepan and add vegan butter. Melt over medium heat and add in arrowroot starch and sweet white rice flour, whisking for 30 seconds or so, to cook the flour. Add back the milk mixture, the nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, pepper, nutmeg, mayonnaise, and white wine. Continue to whisk until smooth. Continue heating and whisking until thickened. Remove from heat.

Layer about half of the potatoes in the bottom of your prepared baking dish. Pour half of the sauce over this layer. Press down the potatoes to make sure the sauce covers them all around. Add the remaining potatoes and pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Press again to ensure the sauce covers the potatoes.

Bake for an hour or until potatoes are browned on top and tender throughout. Serves 8.

Lamb Liver and Wild Game Terrine with Pistachios and Cranberries

Okay, okay, one more little offal recipe before we move on. This one’s a special treat, perfect for company, a date, a picnic (you know, for whenever spring might decide to show up) or even just a night when you want to stay at home and enjoy a simple but special meal, because all of the work is prepared in advance. The beauty of a terrine like this is that it looks impressive, but truly, is simple to put together.

What’s a terrine? Simply, it’s similar to a pâté, but the meat is more coarsely chopped. Pâtés often have finely ground meats and some variety of liver (like my chicken liver pâté) and are often spreadable. This terrine, in contrast, has some texture to it, and is best served sliced alongside a crusty bread, crackers, pickles, Dijon mustard, or other small, tasty little morsels. It’s traditionally a French dish, originally created not to impress guests at holiday parties so much as to act as a method to preserve meats prior to those days where refrigeration was common. Now, we can take advantage of the creativity of long ago and just use it for the “guest-impressing” factor.

What I love most about a terrine such as this is not only is it tasty, but it’s completely make-ahead. A couple of mostly unattended hours in the oven, and a stay in the refrigerator, and all you have to do prior to serving is slice it and set it on a plate alongside the condiments of your choice. This makes it perfect for entertaining, when you don’t wish to spend all of your time in the kitchen. I loved that I could bring some of it to work for lunch. It definitely made lunchtime something to look forward to!

You can certainly substitute to your heart’s content with this terrine. I used ground venison, boar sausage and lamb liver, as that was what I had on hand, but just about any ground meat and regular pork sausage will do, and beef or even chicken liver would work just fine here. You do want some source of fat, so don’t go too lean on your sausage or bacon. And a little tip – to be sure you have your spices balanced and that you have an adequate amount of salt prior to cooking, make a tiny little patty (about an inch in diameter) from the meat mixture and sear it in a skillet for a few minutes and taste it. If your meat is bland, bump up the spices a bit. This is my trick when making meatballs and meatloaf (which is actually a form of terrine!), and it works well in this instance too.

I opted to serve this terrine with cornichons, gluten-free crackers and a touch of coarse mustard.

Print Recipe

Lamb Liver and Wild Game Terrine with Pistachios and Cranberries (gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, paleo)

1 lb ground venison

8 oz lamb liver, finely chopped

4 oz bacon, finely chopped

6 oz wild boar sausage (fresh, not smoked)

Zest of 1 lemon

20 juniper berries, crushed and chopped

3/4 c dried cranberries, chopped (I used fruit-juice sweetened)

1/2 t ground black pepper

1/4 c cognac or brandy

2 T ghee or olive oil

1/2 c finely chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 T chopped fresh sage leaves

2 T chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/4 t ground cloves

1/4 t ground nutmeg

1 egg, beaten

3 T coconut milk

1/2 cup (about 4 oz) chopped shelled pistachios

10 oz sliced bacon

In a large bowl, combine the venison, liver, bacon, sausage, lemon zest, juniper berries, cranberries, salt, pepper, and cognac. Stir together well and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight to marinate.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat the ghee/olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add the herbs and spices and stir in, cooking for another minute. Turn off heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Remove the meat mixture from the refrigerator and stir in the onion mix, the egg, the coconut milk, and the pistachios.

Line a loaf tin with the bacon.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and press down. Fold over the bacon slices over the top, and add an additional slice or two if not completely covered.

Cover the terrine tightly with a double layer of foil. Poke a few holes in the top to vent.

Fill a 9″X13″ glass baking dish halfway with hot water and place the terrine in the center, making sure the water comes up about halfway along the sides of the loaf tin. Bake for about 1 1/2-2 hours or until a thermometer inserted diagonally into the center reads 155-160 degrees.

Remove foil and allow terrine to stand on a rack for 30 minutes to cool.

Place terrine still in its mold in a cleaned baking dish. Place a piece of parchment paper cut to fit over the top of the terrine, and place another same size loaf tin (or piece of wood or heavy cardboard cut to fit, wrapped in foil) on top of paper. Put 2-3 unopened cans (I used some cans of coconut milk – always on hand at my house!) on top to weight the cooked terrine. Chill with weights for at least 4 hours. Continue to chill terrine, with or without weights, for at least 24 hours to allow flavors to meld.

To serve, place loaf tin in a baking dish with an inch or so of hot water for about 2 minutes. Run a knife or offset spatula around the inside edge of the mold. Tip the mold to drain any excess liquid, and then invert over a cutting board. Let stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, and then slice and serve.

Red Velvet Pancakes with Maple Cashew Cream

Need a Valentine’s Day breakfast idea? Or just want to sneak some healthy vegetables into your unsuspecting child’s diet? Moist, fluffy, and bright pink-red, these little darlings are sure to please.

Personally, I love sneaking healthy ingredients into foods. My favorite meatloaf recipe is one that hides some carrot, celery, and ground chia or flaxseed. I’ve made spaghetti sauces with simmered and pureed carrots in addition to the usual tomato. I’m always a fan of tossing spinach in my smoothies (although most of the time, the green color doesn’t ”hide” so well…) And I’ve hidden beets before in chocolate truffles. So why not hide beets in pancakes in plain sight?

These days, most red velvet cake recipes obtain their bright-red color from artificial food dye. I’m not a fan of artificial dyes, so I opted to go the old-fashioned way – get my red color from beets! As long as you take care to keep the batter as acidic as possible, the beets should retain their red color in the batter even after cooking. So rather than using lots of baking soda (too alkaline), I used baking powder and eggs for lift. I also only used a touch of cocoa powder (not dutched – again, dutched is too alkaline) to keep the pancakes bright. The result?

Beet-red pancakes – literally! Fluffy, moist, lightly sweet, barely chocolate-y pancakes that tasted marvelous. Of course, they were even more marvelous with a drizzle of homemade maple cashew cream sauce, and a little more maple syrup on top as well. While they’ll be sure to bring smiles to the faces of any little ones, I will admit they made excellent fuel for a good run in some cool, drizzly weather afterwards.

Print Recipe

Red Velvet Pancakes (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1/2 c chopped roasted beets (I peeled and cut 2 large beets into 1-inch chunks and roasted in the oven for about 40 minutes)

3/4 c coconut milk

2 T water

2 eggs

1/4 c coconut palm sugar

1 t vanilla extract

1/2 c tapioca starch

1/2 c brown rice flour

1/2 t salt

2 t baking powder

1 T cocoa powder (not dutched)

1/4 t guar gum

Place the chopped beets, and coconut milk in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Add the water, eggs, coconut sugar and vanilla extract and puree until well-blended and smooth.

In a medium bowl, add the tapioca starch, brown rice flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, and guar gum. Whisk together until blended. Add the flour mixture to the food processor and process again until smooth.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Grease with a little coconut oil if desired. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the skillet and spread out to about a 4-inch circle with the back of a spoon. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the edges look like they’re starting to dry. Carefully flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve pancakes with Maple Cashew Cream and maple syrup.

Makes about 8 pancakes.

Maple Cashew Cream (gluten-free, vegan)

1 c raw cashews, soaked for a few hours

1/3 c water

juice of 1 lemon

2 T maple syrup

about 1/2 t salt

2 T maple syrup

Drain the soaked cashews and place in a high-powered blender along with the water, the lemon juice, maple syrup, and the salt. Blend on a medium-low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides, until smooth. Add additional water as needed to thin the cream if needed. Store remainder, refrigerated, for 3-4 days.

This post has been linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake Balls

Well, just in case you didn’t manage to finish all of that spicy gingerbread cake that I shared the other day, I have a solution. In fact, this might be such a tasty solution, you might hide away half of that cake just for this purpose. Or heck, even make a whole cake. I won’t judge.

Not when there are cake balls at hand.

These may look fancy and complicated, but I assure you, they’re not. And of course, while in this instance, I used gingerbread cake, you could simply apply this process using any cake you choose. Same goes with the frosting used in the cake balls – I used some of The Spunky Coconut’s chocolate date frosting I had left over (Did you know it freezes well? I often freeze leftover frosting, for you never know when you need just a little!) from another cake I made a few weeks ago, but you could use any frosting you desire. These cake balls are all about taking advantage of what you’ve got, and making the most of it.

In this instance, I think the combination of gingerbread and chocolate definitely added up to more than the sum of its parts (which were darn tasty to begin with!). Before these cake balls came to be, I’d never combined chocolate and gingerbread. Now, I think I’m going to forever combine the two. What a dream combination. These cake balls aren’t overly sweet, and not too rich, but they’re decadent enough to satisfy. Of course, after taking these to my office to share around, I’ve had some confess to me they’ve had several. Hearing this from regular gluten and dairy-eaters, this is music to my ears.

Print Recipe

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake Balls (gluten-free, dairy-free)

½ of a baked gingerbread cake

½ t ground cinnamon (optional, but helps to boost that “gingerbread” flavor once the chocolate mixes in)

½ t ground ginger (optional, but helps to boost that “gingerbread” flavor once the chocolate mixes in)

¾ c your favorite gluten-free chocolate frosting (I used The Spunky Coconut’s Chocolate Date Frosting)

About 5 oz dairy-free bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Sprinkles or candied ginger for decorating (optional)

 

In a large bowl, crumble the cake with your fingers. Add the cinnamon and ginger and mix in. Add the frosting and stir into the cake crumbles until everything is smooth and comes together well.

With your hands, roll the cake balls into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. You can do so by placing a double boiler (or as I do, place a metal bowl over a small saucepan with about 2 inches of water) to simmer over medium-low heat, and place all but about an ounce of the chopped chocolate into the bowl. Melt the chocolate, stirring. Finally, add the remaining chopped chocolate and stir until melted completely. Reduce heat to the lowest setting.

Remove the cake balls from the freezer, and one by one, dip into the chocolate, rolling to coat completely. Place back on the baking sheet, and top with candied ginger or sprinkles before the chocolate hardens. Repeat with the rest of the cake balls.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. They should stay firm out of the fridge, but the chocolate may go a touch soft if you have the heater cranked in your house.

Makes about 2 ½ dozen.

Spicy Gingerbread Cake

For just about my entire life, I have never been much of a cake person. Most cakes, in my opinion, were dry, and much of the store-bought variety had tooth-achingly sweet frosting. Mostly, I preferred pies and cookies as my desserts of choice. For most every birthday, my Mom would instead make me an angel food cake, one of the only cakes I truly liked.

Fast forward to gluten-free adulthood. During my adult life, I’d managed to enjoy a few other cakes that I rather enjoyed, but I didn’t really spend much time thinking about cake until I went gluten-free. And then, suddenly, cake seemed like a good idea! Not only good, but great!

Only now, cake wasn’t so easy. Oh sure, there are mixes out there, and some aren’t half-bad. But if I’m going to make cake, I want it to be superb. Heavenly. It doesn’t have to be all dolled up with frosting, or even have to be complicated at all. But it has to deliver.

So here we are, and it’s almost Christmas. I’ve seen gingerbread everything around lately, and the allure of those spices were calling my name. So I set to work making a gingerbread cake. The first rendition failed – it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good enough to relish. I wanted a cake I would be glad to share with family and friends alike. So after more trials, I arrived at this.

A gingerbread cake so light, airy, but yet full of rich molasses flavor and spicy cinnamon and ginger. I was amazed that I could make such a light cake with only one egg, but there it was in all its glory. With a sprinkle of powdered sugar, it was definitely fit for any holiday get-together. Personally, I could see it being the perfect little treat after dinner, in front of a fire with family, a cup of coffee in hand (decaf for me, thank you!).

If for some reason you don’t manage to finish it all, don’t despair. Because, you see, my friends, this cake does double-duty. Leftovers can be made into fancier holiday fare. Stay tuned, for more gingerbread goodness is to come!

Print Recipe

Spicy Gingerbread Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free)

½ c tapioca starch

¾ c teff flour

¾ c brown rice flour

1 ½ t guar gum

1 ½ t baking soda

½ t baking powder

1 T cinnamon

1 T powdered ginger

¼ t ground cloves

½ t salt

1 c raw turbinado sugar (or coconut sugar)

6 T blackstrap molasses

½ c maple syrup

1 large egg, room temperature

10 T vegan butter, room temperature

1 c water

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan and set it aside.

In a large bowl, combine the tapioca starch, teff flour, brown rice flour, guar gum, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, Add the sugar, molasses, maple syrup, egg, and vegan butter. Turn on food processor to blend, stopping to scrape down sides. Add the flour mixture and continue to blend. Last, add the water and pulse to incorporate at first. It will be lumpy to start, but once you’ve pulsed the food processor a few times, then turn it on to blend the water in completely. Blend until smooth.

Scrape the batter into your prepared pan and smooth it out. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Sprinkle powdered sugar over for serving.

You are welcome to try to remove the entire cake from the pan, but personally, I enjoyed slicing it directly in the pan, and serving the slices straight from there.

Gluten-Free Holiday Progressive Dinner Next Week!

Stay tuned, for next week, we’ll be having quite the gluten-free holiday party! I, along with five amazing gluten-free bloggers, will be co-hosting a Gluten-Free Holiday Progressive Dinner. So be sure to stop on by each day for tantalizing gluten-free holiday recipes. What’s more, there will be chances for PRIZES each day!

What’s a progressive dinner, you ask? Traditionally, it is a dinner party that begins at one house, where the first course is served. Then the party travels to another house to enjoy the second course, and continues to the third house for the third course, and so on. It’s kind of like a potluck dinner, only with travel involved. However, in this instance, we will be instead hopping from one blog to the next on successive days to enjoy each gluten-free course. This makes it essentially a week-long virtual dinner party – and we’ve thrown in a few prizes besides!

Be sure to follow along each day next week so you can enjoy each course along with us.

Monday, December 10 – Hallie of Daily Bites will share an Edible Gift

Tuesday, December 11 – Kim of Cook It Allergy Free will share an Appetizer

Wednesday, December 12 – Alta of Tasty Eats At Home (that’s me!) will share a Side Dish

Thursday, December 13 – Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake will share Main Dishes

Friday, December 14 – Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs will share a Dessert

I’ll be sharing the links to these courses each day via Facebook and Twitter too, so be sure to stay tuned! We wouldn’t want you to miss a dish OR a chance to win a prize!

 

Chocolate Almond Fig Biscotti

Years ago (in the pre-gluten-free days), I didn’t get biscotti. Why would anyone want what amounted to, in my mind, a stale cookie? Fast forward to present day, where I love a crunchy, not-too-sweet treat to accompany a cup of coffee or tea, especially if it’s studded with dried fruit and nuts. I suppose over time, one’s tastes can change! But now, since I no longer eat gluten or dairy, biscotti are a rare occurrence.

So I made my own.

These are a perfect holiday treat either for yourself, family, or friends. Make some as an evening dessert, a breakfast treat, or wrap them up and give them as edible gifts. They’re gluten, dairy, and egg-free, and are sweetened slightly with honey (which could be substituted with agave nectar to make them vegan), making them friendly for just about anyone’s diet. The combination of chocolate, almonds, and dried figs is indulgent without being overly rich. And while I’m not usually a fan of dipping any cookie, I must say, these are quite satisfying dipped into a cup of coffee.

I might just have to have another.

Print Recipe

Chocolate Almond Fig Biscotti (gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, vegan-adaptable)

1 1/4 c blanched almond flour

1 T + 1 t unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutched)

2 t tapioca starch

1/4 t salt

1/4 t baking soda

5 T honey (for vegan, use agave nectar)

3 T chopped almonds (I used roasted Marcona almonds, but any will do)

3 T chopped dried figs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor, add the almond flour, cocoa powder, tapioca starch, salt and baking soda. Pulse to combine. Add the honey and pulse again until the dough comes together in a ball. Remove the dough and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (you’ll be using this as your workstation as well as the baking sheet), and press the dough together with your hands (kind of like kneading dough, but not nearly as strenous!). Add the almonds and figs and mix in with your hands too. The dough should be barely moist enough to come together. If it is too moist, add a bit of tapioca starch. If too dry, add a sprinkle of water.

Once the almonds and figs are mixed in, pat the dough together on the baking sheet into a log about 2 1/2 inches wide and 10-12 inches long. Place in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool on the baking sheet for at least 30 minutes. Lower the oven to 300 degrees.

Once cooled, slice the dough with a serrated knife into pieces about 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal. Separate out the biscotti onto the baking sheet and bake again for 10-12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before serving.

Makes about 10-12 biscotti.

Want more gluten-free holiday cookie ideas? Join us this Wednesday, December 5, 2012, at 8PM EST for a Live Chat at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community! We will be swapping gluten-free holiday cookie recipes!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.