It’s Burwell General Store Recipe Swap time again! And a holiday swap at that!
Quick catch-up for newcomers: About 13 months ago Christianna over at Burwell General Store started a recipe swap with Lindsay of Rosemarried, where she gives a recipe to a group of bloggers and we all change at least 3 things about the recipe. With the coming of the second year we’re now a group of about 25 bloggers and just changed over to our second book, “The Second Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places”. While I’ve cherished “All Day Singin and Dinner on the Ground”, there’s something momentous about changing books. The swap has been one of my favorite discoveries since starting this blog, and I look forward every month to seeing what the group has come up with, as well as connecting regularly on what’s inspiring us in and out of the kitchen. Check out their posts on the little frog link below, and my Recipe Swap category for more!
This month, with the craziness of the holidays, Christianna gave us something classic: the Toll House Cookie. I got all mushy and sentimental when I saw the recipe. Because for as long as my little dusty heart can remember my mother has kept her recipes, in bits and pieces, in a Toll House recipe book. Its plastic brown cover contains so many recipes that we played with over the years, and many that are still favorites in our family. Before the internet food world, before this blog, before I knew of single-origin chocolates, the science of baking gluten free, and became what some people might call a “food snob”, there was that book.
One of my favorites as a youngster was my momma’s biscotti. Crisp and full of mini chips, she made several variations for her abundant plate of holiday cookies. As I had to gluten free myself, she started adapting some of the recipes. Or, at least, she tried. It was sort of a running joke for a while between my siblings and I that she would attempt to make foods that I could eat, and then upon running down a list of ingredients she’d slap her head and go, “ah, sh*t!”. Including the first time or two she made me “gluten and dairy free” biscotti; then realized she used regular chocolate chips.
But, as I did, she practiced and learned. And now hers is one of the few houses I can go to and know I will eat, and I will eat well.
So I wanted to take this classic Toll House Cookie recipe and make it into a biscotti. And while no other biscotti will ever give me the same satisfaction as one made by my mom, these are pretty perfect. Crispy, flavored with almond, perfect for dunking in sweet wine (an Italian recently told me that’s the way to do it), coffee or a glass of chilled almond milk (or cow, for you lucky dairy people!).
Happy Holidays, Swappers. And, thanks, mom. I love ya more than my luggage (10 cookies if you name that movie).
Oh, and mom, if you read this… Christmas is coming… hint hint. And yours, please, not mine.
– Jacqueline, The DB
Chocolate Almond Biscotti
Makes 18, Adapted from the Toll House Cookie and Toll House Biscotti recipes, with some dusty love.
Notes: I grew up with denser, harder biscotti, so to replicate that I baked the roll until it was slightly underdone, then cut and toasted it. If you want yours crispier and a bit drier, bake completely before toasting. I’ve made this recipe both ways with success. Also, you can swap so many things in and out of this recipes: try cranberries, dried fruits, other nuts, go wild!
- 2 cups starch-heavy gluten free flour (mine was 1 cup brown rice and 1/3 cup millet and 2/3 cup arrowroot)
- 2 Tbsp Sweet Rice Flour, plus more if the dough seems sticky
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (or 1 Tbsp flax seed if you’re avoiding xanthan)
- 1 Tbsp Mesquite flour (totally optional)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, soft
- 5 Tbsp white sugar
- 5 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment or Silpat, or lightly grease.
Pour almonds on a second, dry, sheet and toast in the oven while preparing the biscotti. Check occasionally so they don’t burn, and remove when slightly golden in color. (They will look all pale one second and like Troy after the horse in the next, so keep a close eye. A toaster oven works too.)
In a medium bowl combine flours, gum, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Add eggs one at a time, beat to incorporate. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. With the mixer on slow, add flour and beat to combine, increasing speed to incorporate. Mix in nuts and chocolate chips.
With floured hands, roll into a 12-inch log and place on prepared sheet (or longer if you want smaller cookies). Round top slightly. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cracked on top and slightly firm. It shouldn’t be cooked completely, so the center should seem a tad underdone.
Remove to cooling rack and cool for at least 10 minutes. Slice into into 1/2 inch slices and gently slide onto cookie sheet, cut side down. They will be a bit crumbly, so use a spatula to gently flip them on the sheet. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until crisp and brown. Cool completely before serving.
Enjoy with or give to someone you love!