The Retro Mom

Bringing your grandmother's comfort food out of her recipe box and into your gluten-free kitchen

Cheap Biscotti Ruin $17 Coffees

Every time I lose a piece of biscotti into the abyss that is my ridiculously expensive $17 coffee, I get sad. It’s soon to be gone forever. Dissolving quickly just like sugar, because that’s what it is mostly made of, I frantically stab it with a spoon hoping to salvage a few chocolate chips. It never works. I’m left with a coffee cup full of crumbs.

Don’t dunk, you admonish me! I cannot resist, I shyly say back. Coffee, tea, hot cocoa, chai – it was all made for dunking something sweet into! It practically jumps out of the cup onto the biscotti! No? OK, how about “coffee beckons to my biscotti like the sea to a…..”, no, that’s not it either.

OK, maybe I don’t pay $17 for a coffee. But……I will admit that coffee prices at that shop and other places have just gotten out-of-control. My husband doesn’t get buying expensive coffees. Why would you pay that much for water flavored with dirty murkiness?  In 2002, before all the coffee craziness hit, I walked out of a small coffee shop in Oregon with my small latte and I heard a then 3 year-old Padme say:

“Mommy, is that a $5 cup of coffee?”

Thanks to Lando Calrissian for teaching her that……..we all had a good laugh, and I had a good coffee.

Being dairy-free and avoiding soy like the plague, I don’t but $17 coffees anymore. Or even $5 coffees. I can’t go in to that shop and enjoy a sugar-filled-with-the-faintest-whisper-of-what-used-to-be-coffee in it. Bitter? No. But, I am more picky about my coffee now. I buy good, dark, decaf French Roast coffee and make it strong. A bit of almond milk, and some coconut sugar and I’m good. And I do enjoy a pat of Kerrygold butter in my coffee. Really. I do. It’s just good.

So besides having something to float in my coffee, I love something to dunk in my coffee. And yes, even in my wine.

My all-time favorite biscotti was one that I used to buy almost daily when I was in college, and worked at Nordstrom. I worked right next to the coffee bar. A coffee bar with biscotti. Lemon biscotti, dipped in white chocolate. If I close my eyes, I can still remember how it tasted. I know, food dork. But it was just that good. No, I’m not even going to try to replicate that. Yet. In my gluten-filled days, I made a pretty good version of caramel-chunk chocolate-dipped biscotti. A local coffee shop used to buy batches of it each week, and sell out. Yes, it was good. No, I’m not going to try to duplicate that one either. Some things are better left to the gluten-eating world. But…….in the gluten-free world, the biscotti options are pretty weak. There are a few packaged bars, but they are either 1)very, very overpriced and filled with a bunch of unnecessary stuff or 2)they are filled with dairy, butter and eggs or 3)both a and b. I choose to reject their version of overpriced, delicate biscotti.

And since I am prone to biscotti breakage, it might be better if I didn’t pay $2 per biscotti and then lose $1 of it to the bottom of the cup. It just makes me sad.

Enter Pinterest! Now, I’m happy again! Pinterest is magical! Pinterest is inspirational! Pinterest is every.thing.

I get so happy looking through Pinterest – it sets my mind blowing in all sorts of directions! This week it was biscotti.

But, it had to have the right qualities – rock solid to the touch, dunkable but spongelike so it absorbs the beverage, yet it couldn’t fall apart after being in said beverage for 10 seconds. Challenge accepted.


What would you say to……

Double Chocolate Grain-Free Biscotti

Would you say yes? Good! Here you go:

You will need:

1 cup of either Cashew Meal or Almond Meal (these can also be labeled as cashew or almond flour)

1/4 cup of Tapioca Flour

1/2 cup of cocoa powder, the darker the better!

1/3 cup of chocolate chips, we use Enjoy Life Mini-Chocolate Chips

2 tsps. vanilla flavor (this is vanilla in glycerin, not alcohol – it will taste and smell more mellow than vanilla extract)

1/3-1/2 cup of sugar (we used coconut sugar, it has a richer taste)

3 tbsps. oil or shortening

1-2 tbsps. of almond milk, if needed, or whichever substitute you like

Here’s how:

1. Preheat your oven to 325.

2. Regrind your nut flour if possible in a coffee grinder, for the smoothest possible texture. If not, it will still work great!

3. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your baking sheet. Alternately, you can heavily grease your baking sheet.

4. Measure and mix all ingredients together, all at once. Just toss them in and stir a bunch! If it does not lightly stick together as a mixture (as in barely holding together), add the milk sub 1 tsp at a time.  You want dry biscotti dough – not cookies dough! It will start like this, but will mix together, just keep stirring:

biscotti batter

5. Pat onto your baking sheet and smooth into a long, log.

biscotti log

6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until brown around the edges. The biscotti should be firm to the touch, but not solid. Be careful not to let it burn!

7. Pick up the parchment paper and biscotti all at once, and transfer to your counter. With a very sharp knife, slice into long pieces. How thick you want them is up to you!

sliced log

8. Turn all of the biscotti on it’s side, and bake for another 5-10 minutes on one side until it feels firm. Turn the biscotti over on the other side and bake for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Really. The longer you let it cool, the more it will dry out and be dunkable!

biscotti done

9. Make some coffee.

That’s it! Enjoy some crunchy, dunkable-for-10-seconds biscotti! Your mileage may vary, but I almost got 13 seconds of dunking time.

Awesomely awesome dunking time.


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