I don’t know what it is about biscotti, but most people seem to love ‘em or leave ‘em. For most of my life, I fell into the latter. Then again, for most of my life, I didn’t see many biscotti. But when I did, I’d easily pass them up for something richer, chewier, and a heck of a lot sweeter.

I must be getting old. Or more likely, my taste buds are becoming more refined. Because this batch of biscotti is quickly dwindling. If I didn’t make myself get down to serious business, there wouldn’t have been any left to photograph.

The cookies themselves may not be overly sweet (and that sweetness comes from nutrient-dense coconut sugar), but I’ve found that I don’t need much in the way of sweetness when rich, nutty almond flour is used for both structure and flavor (full of fiber and good fats, might I add). Besides, there are chewy bits of cranberries and then the whole thing is dunked in dark chocolate (did someone say antioxidants?), the perfect contrast to the nutty base. All of that sums up to one addicting good holiday cookie - and one that I don’t feel guilty about munching on during any random afternoon.

I kind of like this getting old thing.

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Gluten Free Chocolate-Dipped Cranberry Biscotti

Yield: About 18 cookies

Light and crunchy biscotti made of almond flour, studded with chewy cranberries and coated in rich dark chocolate.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups (280 grams) blanched almond flour
1/2 cup (64gm) arrowroot starch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup (60gm) coconut sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries

3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, arrowroot starch, baking soda and salt until no lumps remain.

In another bowl, beat together the eggs, coconut sugar and almond milk with an electric mixer until it lightens in texture and color, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low speed until blended. Fold in the cranberries with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the batter onto the sheet. With wet hands, shape the dough into a rectangle about 15" long and 5" wide. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 300ºF. Cool completely, about 25 minutes.

Using a sharp, serrated knife, slice the log into 1/2" pieces and arrange them cut side-up on the baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes, turning halfway through, until browned and crisp. Cool completely.

In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt the chocolate, maple syrup, and coconut oil, stirring until smooth. Pour into to a shallow bowl or plate. One by one, dip one side of each biscotti into the chocolate, and place dipped side-up on parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set.

Store biscotti in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com

Disclaimer: Oh Nuts! provided me with almond flour and cranberries for this recipe. No additional compensation was received.