I’ve partnered with The Hershey Company for this post. I’ve been a long-time fan of their products and am so excited to share them with you!
Want to take a recipe from ordinary to something really special? It’s easier than you think. Even if baking isn’t your strong suit, you can do this. Let’s talk about how.
For our purposes, I’m going to walk you through how I took a Plain Jane chocolate biscotti recipe and gave it a big punch of wow. Before I do, I want you to know that this didn’t always come naturally to me. The simplicity of it clicked when my very successful professional cake decorator friend laughed about her menu. She said they had a white cake - and to make it into a spice cake she threw in some spices. To make it into lemon cake, she added lemon zest and a little juice. Orange spice cake? You guessed it - orange zest and spices.
Simple enough, right?
So, when I wanted to give my biscotti a new level of wow, the first thing I did was decide if I wanted to add any flavors. I am a sucker for anything that’s orange and chocolate, so that was my first choice. Then, I decided to dip the cookies in chocolate. It’s an extra step but it adds a layer of interest and sophistication.
The final touch? I wanted to sprinkle something into the chocolate and since I already had orange and chocolate in the cookies, I opted for toasted walnuts. The cookie and the chocolate are sweet so I wanted to add a little contrast with the slight bitterness from walnuts.
The end result? A cookie that will steal the show. These are perfect for your holiday cookie tins - and everyone will be in awe of your cookie-baking prowess. Don’t take my word for it, though. Go ahead. Make this gluten-free biscotti.
Before you do though, let’s chat other flavor pairings for chocolate. Maybe you want something a little different than orange, chocolate and walnut? Here are some ideas for you:
What’s your favorite chocolate flavor pairing?
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Put the melted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup and mix on medium until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Add the vanilla and orange zest and mix well.
Sift together the gluten-free flour blend, cocoa, baking powder, guar gum and sea salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix on low just until combined and a dough forms. Turn the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Form the dough into an 11-inch x 3-inch log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the log is firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 - 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Transfer the cooled loaf to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice the loaf into 1/2 inch pieces at a 45-degree angle. Lay the slices flat on the baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10- 12 minutes. When the cookies are done, they should be firm all over and yield slightly to gentle pressure. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Toast the walnuts in a small pan over medium heat for 5 - 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Place the toasted nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until the walnuts are finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl.
Place the chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between. When chips are mostly melted, stir until they are completely melted and the chocolate is smooth. Overheating the chocolate will cause it to become grainy.
Dip the end of each cookie into the melted chocolate, using a small offset spatula to remove any excess. Sprinkle the melted chocolate on the cookie with the ground walnuts and let sit until the chocolate is firm. The amount of time needed for the chocolate to become firm varies based on room temperature. To get the chocolate to set up quickly, pop the cookies in the refrigerator for several minutes.
Once the chocolate has set, store the cookies in an airtight container.
*Note: Guar gum, stabilized brown rice flour, tapioca flour and potato starch can be sourced online or at your local health food store. Many health food stores are willing to order specialty products if they aren’t a part of their typical stock.
Recipe created for The Hershey Company by AmyGreen.me