Almond and Chocolate Biscotti's

It's baking time again! Biscotti's are a twice baked Italian cookie or biscuit and oh so yummy! I haven't had a biscotti in about a year, so in my efforts of discovering GF versions of tasty treats, I followed Karen Morgan's recipe from the Blackbird Bakery to fulfill my cookie wishes (with a few minor adjustments).  In Italy these cookies are often served with a Vin Santo, a dessert wine, but here, I like to serve and dunk them in hot coffee or black tea. I hope you will too!

(makes 3 dozen)
1.5 cups sorghum flour
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup almond meal
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2.5 tsp pure almond extract
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
GF flour for dusting
1/4 cup slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 egg white, slightly beaten 
1-3 Tbs lukewarm water, if needed

Preheat oven to 375ºF and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

On a very large cutting board or pastry board, combine all of your dry ingredients by gently folding the ingredients in on themselves. Now carefully carve out a little well in the center and add three eggs, being careful not to allow any bits of shell to fall in. Add the almond extract and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract.

Using a steady, folding motion and a small wooden spoon, begin to mix your eggs and extracts, slowly pulling in the dry ingredients from the periphery. If your well begins to expand, just pull it back in with your hands. Continue to mix until all of your dry ingredients are incorporated.

Knead the dough several times, dust your work surface with additional sorghum flour and then knead several times more. Add the blanched almonds and knead again until they appear to be evenly distributed. Divide your dough into two sections. Set one section aside. Flatten the other section of dough  and then add the ¼ cup dark chocolate chips, cocoa powder, the remaining 1 egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to the other section. Knead until smooth. The dough should be firm and soft at this point but not overly dry. If the dough cracks add 1 Tbs lukewarm water to soften. Divide your dough into four sections (cut each half in half) and then carefully shape them into 12” long logs. Place each log onto your prepared cookie sheet, side by side.

Take your lightly beaten egg white and brush the tops of each log. Bake at 375ºF for 20 minutes. Remove biscotti logs from the oven and using a serrated knife, slice them into ½” thick diagonal slices. Lay the cookies flat on the cookie sheet, lower the oven temperature to 225ºF and bake for 30 minutes more to dry the biscotti out completely. 

Remove from oven, transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. 
More Blackbird Bakery Recipes can be found here: http://www.theartofglutenfreecooking.com/2008_01_01_archive.html

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