I had an amazing weekend and I hope you did too. Is your Christmas shopping done? Mine sure isn’t! No, this weekend was not full of shopping as it probably should have been. This weekend I was busy in the kitchen whipping up some delicious (and healthy) gluten-free Christmas cookies, like these Meyer Lemon & Almond Biscotti.
But that’s not all I did! I also had a five hour food photography lesson with Brent Harrewyn from Hoverfly Photography (make sure to check out his amazing food portfolio, isn’t it stunning!?). Brent was gracious, patient and showed me the ins and outs of food photography. I’m excited to take what I learned and translate it into my work on the site. I’m jittery just thinking about it! What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Now, onto the cookies. As Christmas is just a little over a week away, I decided I would dedicate the next five days to cookies. A week full of cookies. Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free quinoa cookies. Yes, that’s right. Each and every one of the recipes this week will feature quinoa. Why you may wonder? Not just because I love baking with quinoa, but also because quinoa is the greatest and it makes everything taste better.
Biscotti is a traditional Italian baked good that will forever remind me of Christmas. A family friend makes them every year and delivers two bags to my house around Christmas time. I usually opt for nutty chocolate flavors, but I had some meyer lemons in my fridge that were just screaming to be used. So this Meyer Lemon & Almond Biscotti was born.
I used this recipe for inspiration, but used my own touches to make it healthier and suitable for my allergies. I chose whole grain flours, raw honey and coconut sugar as my sweeteners, and went for heart-healthy almonds for some extra crunch. The result was scrumptious. A lightly sweetened, lemony cookie, toasted to golden brown perfection. I enjoyed my biscotti along side a steaming cup of green tea and plan to have one for breakfast tomorrow morning with my daily dose of lemon water. Yum, yum!
In addition to these lovely little cookies, this week only you can also pick up your very own copy of Baking with Quinoa, for only $4.29 (over 50% savings)! It’s time to get inspired this year and make your holiday baking healthier by using quinoa!
- 1½ cup sorghum flour
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup quinoa flakes
- ¼ cup flaxseed meal
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1½ teaspoon guar gum
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
- ½ cup raw honey
- 2 large eggs
- Zest and juice of 2 meyer lemons
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup slivered almons
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fit with the paddle attachement, beat the oil, sugar and honey together until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the zest, juices and flavorings, mixing well.
- In batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until fully incorporated. Stir in slivered almonds.
- With wet hands, transfer the dough to the baking sheet and shape into a 13" x 3" loaf. Smooth with your hands.
- Bake the loaf for 30 - 35 minutes until the top has started to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes, or until it's cool enough to handle. Cut the cookies into slices using a very sharp serrated knife. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet, cut sides up, and bake for 15 minutes longer, flipping them over after 10 minutes.
- Cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
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