I have a confession to make. I love, love dipping a cookie into my morning coffee or for a tea break. But they can't be sugar-loaded cookies. That doesn't sit well with me. It has to be more of a biscuit.

Once I became aware of what's in most store bought cookies I started to make my own biscotti — Italian twice-baked cookies. In fact, I made so many, in so many varieties, that my former restaurant was named ... you guessed it: Biscotti.

This recipe is low in fat and sugar, gluten-free and spectacular. The recipe makes about two dozen mini biscotti, or a dozen large ones, and it can easily be doubled or tripled. If you're planning on making cookies in the next few days, add these to the mix. They make a great gift, and they stay fresh for weeks. They're so good and make a much healthier cookie than the store-bought varieties, so I don't feel bad indulging in one or two. They're my ritual when I want a little comfort.

Ingredients:

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  • 1.5 cups almond meal (plus a bit extra for your board)
  • 1/2 cup rice flour (right under the almond flour as the 2nd ingredient)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (GF — check the ingredients, because not all baking powder is GF)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 ounces butter
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (optional but this gives a nice balance to the almond flavor)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup cranberries

Instructions:

Cream the butter and the sugar.

Add the eggs, the extract and the zest, and mix.

In a separate bowl add the dry ingredients: the flour, the almond meal, salt, baking powder — mix and add to the wet ingredients.

Add the dry to the wet ingredients, along with the nuts and cranberries, and mix.

Dust your board with a bit of flour and place the dough on the board. Add a bit more flour if too sticky (you can also use other GF flour for this. I used white rice flour).

Knead until smooth and shape into a log that's about 3 inches wide and 1/2-inch deep (or for smaller biscotti: about 2 inches wide)

Place on a lightly greased tray.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree (Fahrenheit) oven for 30 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven and let them cool for 15-20 minutes.

Cut on the diagonal with a serrated knife about 1/2" wide.

Place standing up (with cut sides exposed) back on the tray and bake for an additional 10 minutes.


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