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Biscotti itself traces its origins all the way back to when it was the staple food of Roman legions; my gluten free gingerbread biscotti is merely its most modern (and I daresay, tastiest) incarnation!
In Latin, biscotto literally meant baked or cooked twice — fitting since these finger-shaped cookies are baked then baked again to dry them out, rendering them a sturdy form of sustenance with a long shelf life. Out of those utilitarian beginnings, the humble traveler’s food evolved during the Renaissance into the flavorful cookies we recognize today.
In Tuscany, the plentiful supply of almonds drove the creation of what many know as true biscotti (there, called cantucci, as biscotti merely means any crunchy cookie), but the idea of a crisp, twice baked cookie need not include almonds; it can take on any flavor you like.
My gluten free gingerbread biscotti embraces the aromas and spices of the season — nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and cloves — and like any good biscotti, is as perfect to dip in cappuccino or tea as it is in wine. Yes, I’ve dipped gingerbread biscotti in wine, and I highly recommend it.
While you do have to bake this dough twice, it just delays the gratification, it doesn’t make it complicated or difficult.
Simply roll the dough in a light dusting of gfJules Flour …
divide it in half …
pat each half into a semi-flat log and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar …
and once it’s baked the first time, remove to cool on a wire rack.
Then slice into biscotti and return to the oven for the second bake.
Literally the most difficult thing about this recipe is waiting for it to be ready to eat!
Since I’ve now made this recipe four times in the last week — at the strong urging of my family — I can tell you that this is a recipe loved by all ages. While this may blaspheme the true nature of biscotti, I’ll even suggest that some of the younger crowd might enjoy this treat once-baked. We may have tried that too.
Any way you slice it, no matter how long you bake it, this gluten free gingerbread biscotti will please. Tie it up in a pretty ribbon and give as a gift if you can part with some. My husband loves this recipe so much that it was his Valentine’s Day wish that I make more.
In other words, you just may have to double the recipe!
Preheat oven to 325° F (300° F convection). Mix butter and sugars together until light and fluffy -- approximately 2-3 minutes with a mixer.
Add applesauce (or eggs).
Grind almonds to make almond meal, then measure out to add to dry ingredients; whisk to integrate them together.
Stir into sugar mixture until smooth. Fold in sliced almonds and diced crystallized ginger, if using (but highly recommended!).
Roll dough ball in a light dusting of gfJules Flour just so it's not too sticky to handle.
Divide dough in half and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Dust the tops of each mound of dough and your hands with more gfJules Flour, if needed because it's sticky. Pat gently to form into two wide logs, approximately 1 1/4 inches high and 3-4 inches wide. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon-sugar mixture, if desired.
Bake for 35 minutes until browning on the edges and no longer so soft. Remove to cool on a wire rack.
Once cooled, use a serrated knife to cut each log across the wide side into half-inch wide slightly diagonal slices. Depending on how finely you chopped the ginger, it may be harder to cut through evenly, but it won't affect the taste.
Return to the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden and slightly crispy. They will get crunchier as they cool.
Once cooled, wrap tightly or store in containers sealed from the air to retain crunchiness. Return to a 200° F oven on a baking sheet for 5 minutes to restore crispness if they absorb moisture in subsequent days.
Makes approximately 16 biscotti.
Any time of year, this gluten free gingerbread biscotti will please!
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