Gluten-Free Chocolate Biscotti

Gluten-free chocolate biscotti recipe
Gluten-free sugar-free chocolate biscotti.

A Cookie for Grown Ups

I was seriously jonesing for a crunchy coffee treat this week. But what could I make? Eating lower carb and lower glycemic means I'm eating no sugar, white flour or starches. The sweetest thing I've eaten in a month was the half of a frozen banana I tossed yesterday into a berry breakfast smoothie. Tasty, yes. But not exactly the chocolaty crisp indulgence I was daydreaming about.

As a side note to those of you following my posts on lower glycemic eating and wondering about sugar cravings and the South Beach Diet, I can report that Phase 1 is worth the two week tough love/low carb approach because it does reset your sweet tooth and diminish your gotta-have-it-now cravings for refined carbohydrates. And that's a big plus. It also banishes the carbohydrate bloat that many of us with celiac disease experience when we eat gluten-free starches. And that is a big plus. Pulling on a pair of jeans with a little room and give in the waist feels kick-ass great.

It is, however, very difficult to manage Phase 1 with multiple food allergies.

Where the unencumbered soul might eat one of Kalyn's delicious mini-quiche muffins or eggy casseroles for breakfast and Slow Roasted Tomato Hummus for a mid-afternoon snack, this intrepid gluten-free goddess was stuck popping cherry tomatoes. I admit up front- it was a humbling and hungry two weeks on a program where you are not supposed to go hungry.

My other disappointment was not losing as much weight as I had hoped to shed on the strict Phase 1. I lost two pounds. Upon deeper investigation I discovered that the stringency of Phase 1 works most dramatically on a different body type than I happen to inhabit (I'm a tall pear shape; if you're an apple body style you'll see more dramatic results in Phase 1).

So I've switched to Plan B.

A hybrid. I'm still eschewing- not chewing- refined carbs, high glycemic starches and sugar. But I'm also keeping an eye on calories and switching food choices to a more Mediterranaen Diet approach (less meat, more fruit and a wider range of vegetables- like SB off-limits carrots and butternut squash).

I discovered- to my pie-roll horror- I was eating way more fat calories on the South Beach plan because of my limited food choices. Too much high calorie beef and pork and salmon- for protein. And way too much olive oil. The olive oil problem is totally my bad. I never measure. I just pour from a handy little spout. Usually while chatting about how impressive Michelle Obama is or how sad I am that HBO cancelled John From Cincinnati and now we only have the first season on DVD to ponder and decipher- with all it's tantalizing clues and unfinished story lines. I don't know Butchie, instead.

When I started adding up the daily glugs of olive oil- Holy Mother of Fat Grams! Talk about hidden calories. I was eating 500 to 600 calories a day I never thought twice about. I gotta get one of those nifty olive oil sprayers.

Words of wisdom from my smart and trim-waisted husband? Don't limit your food choices so much that you deprive yourself, Babycakes, or you'll feel discouraged and cranky (Cranky? Moi?) and you'll reach for a bucket of popcorn or a fistful of fudge brownies because you've starved yourself into a low blood sugar feeding frenzy.

He has a point.

And so I've added fruit smoothies back into my menu- lower carb fruits like frozen wild blueberries and organic strawberries whipped with a cup of hemp milk- and I'm eating carrot sticks and sweet potatoes and butternut squash and apples (no one ever got fat eating carrots and apples, he tells me). So it's not exactly South Beach any more. But it is sugar free and refined starch free. I'm lower glycemic instead of low carb, I suppose. And I calculated my calorie output with my calorie input and my height and weight and all that numbers stuff to lose my extra pounds the old fashioned way- slow but sure. No magic pill or instant fix. Just common sense and an olive oil sprayer.

So back to my biscotti.

I decided to try a new mix of high protein lower carb flours and agave to make a lower glycemic cookie. Not an all-you-can-eat cookie. But a smarter cookie choice. A less sweet sugarless cookie for grown-ups. And guess what? If you're looking for a sugar-free treat that is chocolaty and crisp and dunk worthy- and if you've tamed your sweet tooth and don't expect a sugar high sexy explosion- this recipe just might tickle your fancy.

Gluten free biscotti recipe
Crunchy and not too sweet biscotti.

Chocolate Biscotti Recipe: Gluten-Free Sugar-Free

These biscotti are also vegan- no eggs or butter. But if you prefer using eggs in this recipe, choose two large organic happy free-range eggs instead of the egg replacer I used.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.


Whisk together your dry ingredients in a large bowl:

1 cup GF millet flour
2/3 cup GF buckwheat flour
1/3 quinoa flour
1/2 cup unsweetened organic cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg, to taste
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

Add in:

1/2 to 3/4 chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired

In a separate bowl, blend:

1/2 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening
2/3 cup organic raw agave nectar
1/3 cup sesame tahini or sunflower seed butter
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
Egg Replacer for 2 large eggs- I used Ener-G Egg Replacer made with warm water
2 tablespoons coconut, soy, nut or hemp milk, more if needed 


Scoop the creamed wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well until combined. The dough will be quite stiff- don't use a hand beater to do this, you'll kill it. Use a wooden spoon. Build up your upper body strength.

You want a hefty dough that sticks together but is not sticky or wet.

If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of hemp milk at a time to make it behave. (Note- If you've ever made Pamela's gluten-free brownies- this dough is similar in consistency- sturdy and thick.) When the dough holds together if you press it into a mound, it's ready.

Dump the mound of dough on to the prepared baking sheet and press with a rubber spatula- or your hands- to make a long log shape. You want a smooth, even surface, and a slightly flattened- but not too flat!- mound to the dough shape (make sure it is uniform and even- and the width and height your want your biscotti to be. Mine was about 4 inches wide and maybe 3 inches high; it will spread slightly when it bakes. (Keep in mind, you'll be slicing the dough crosswise later.)

Bake the dough in the center of a preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes- depending upon your individual oven temperature and the actual size of the dough log. The dough should bake up firm and be dry in the center when you insert a cake tester.

Take the dough log out of the oven and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes. Set your oven temperature low- 275 to 300 degrees F.

You're going to bake these babies twice.

When the dough log is cool enough to handle, hold it in place with one hand and a clean tea towel and slice it crosswise- cleanly and carefully!- with a large, very sharp serrated knife. You should end up with twenty biscotti.

Lay the biscotti on the parchment and bake them for 10 to 12 minutes or so- keeping an eye on them. You want them to crisp up a bit in the oven, but not burn.

Remove the biscotti from the oven and allow them to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, place them carefully on a wire cooling rack. They will crisp up even more as they cool.

Wrap the biscotti individually and store the them bagged in the freezer for best results- though you can keep a few on hand in the fridge to eat within a day.

Makes twenty biscotti.

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