In this age of crazy consumerism, a handmade, homemade gift can set you apart from the store-bought crowd. Bonus points if your gift comes in cool, pretty and useful packaging. It may be ridiculously trendy to give things in Mason jars tied up with festive twine but that hardly detracts from the heartfelt nature of the gift. I love this trend and I am jumping on the bandwagon with a loud thud. Move over and make a little room for me, would you?
I love giving homemade baked goods during the holidays and I know they are always appreciated. But it can be tricky with the sort of gluten-free, sugar-free treats I like to make. In conventional goodies, sugar acts as something of a preservative, keeping them fresher for longer. Given the slightly more time-sensitive nature of some of my recipes, it can be better to give things as a mix and let the recipients have fun making them up on their own. Besides, then you can layer the ingredients prettily in a jar, tie them up with festive twine and feel like a homemade gift-giving rock star.
These chocolate hazelnut biscotti are a wonderful gift to give, either as a mix or fully baked. Made with Bob’s Red Mill hazelnut meal and whole dry roasted hazelnuts, they are naturally gluten-free and intensely chocolatey. They are healthy and wholesome but they don’t taste like it one little bit. Winning!
All you have to do is grab a few quart-sized Mason jars, layer the ingredients, find a cute set of holiday printables for the labels and recipe cards and tie it all up with a pretty bow. I found that forming a cone with a large piece of paper was the easiest way to layer the ingredients with minimal mess. It also helped me pour the next ingredient in without disturbing the layer below it too much. And all your giftees need to do is add some oil and eggs and bake them up.
You may want to keep one of the mixes for yourself; these biscotti are that good. As long as you let them cool completely in the oven, they will crisp up nicely and are perfect for dunking in your morning coffee or afternoon tea. Enjoy and happy holidays!
Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Mix
In a medium bowl, whisk together hazelnut meal, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Pour about half of the mixture into the bottom of a quart-sized mason jar. This works best if you use a piece of paper to create a cone through which to pour the mixture. Remove the cone and shake the jar to even the layer out.
Next layer the cocoa powder through the cone. Even it out by gently shaking. Layer the sweetener in the same fashion, then the remaining hazelnut flour mixture. Finally layer the chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
Instructions for the recipe card:
- 1 jar Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Mix
- 6 tbsp melted butter or hazelnut oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- Preheat oven to 325F and line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner. Transfer biscotti mix to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add butter or oil, egg and egg white and stir until dough comes together.
- Divide dough in half and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Shape into two low, flat rectangles about 4 inches by 8 inches. Bake 28 minutes or until slightly puffed and just set to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool 20 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300F. Carefully cut into 1-inch slices and lay cut-side down on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes and then gently flip slices over. Turn off oven and let biscotti sit inside until oven is cool.
Makes 20 to 24 biscotti
Carolyn Ketchum is the writer, photographer and almond flour wizard behind All Day I Dream About Food, a low carb and gluten-free food blog. Her mission is to prove to the world that special diets need not be boring or restrictive and that healthy dishes can be just as good, or better, than their sugar and gluten-filled counterparts. It’s astonishing what you can do with a bag of almond flour, a stick of butter, and a willingness to experiment. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest for inspiring ideas for the low carb, gluten free lifestyle.