I know I must sound like a broken record by now, but it’s worth repeating that I’m not a baker. Not by any means. I’m just no good at it and don’t really enjoy the process. So when I bake something and it doesn’t come out tasting like burnt toast, I chalk it up as a win!
These Paleo Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti are going into that column, right under my Paleo Banana Bread and Paleo Pumpkin Pie. The latter two have been made by hundreds (maybe thousands?) of readers and as shocking as it is, I feel like maybe there’s hope for me in the realm of baked goods after all! And then I’m brought right back down to reality the second I get out the measuring cups and spoons.
I should also mention that the only reason you’re even seeing a recipe for these Paleo Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti is because when my friend Sara from TheKitchenSinkBlog.com asked me if I would join a cookie exchange with a few food bloggers in the Toronto area. Obviously I said yes, because Sara is a delightful person and because part of me wanted to test my baking prowess. You see, I was just coming off of a high from baking another successful batch of my Banana Bread and wanted to see if I could diversify my portfolio a little.
I was selected to deliver my cookies to Sonia, from SaltnPepperHere.com, who, though not full-fledge paleo, does restrict the consumption of grains and refined sugars when she cooks for her family. Sara said it was a ‘random’ draw but I’m not buying it sister! This was rigged – and I’m not complaining because my grain-free cookies would probably go over better with someone who is already used to paleo baking. But first, I needed a recipe because I didn’t have one! So, I got to work the only way I know how when it comes to baking: googling like a crazy person.
Lo and behold, I stumbled across a recipe for Paleo Cranberry Almond Biscotti by Lisa of Downshiftology.com. I follow Lisa on Instagram and know she makes delicious paleo treats that are both easy and delicious. A quick look at the ingredients (all of which I already had on hand) and knew that this was right up my alley. I baked a batch of her biscotti exactly as written. They were delicious. No kidding, you should make them!
Then you should make my version with Chocolate and Hazelnuts, because they’re very similar and equally good. Probably because most of the measurements and ingredients are the same, with a few minor changes. For one, I decided to use a combination of hazelnuts and chocolate because I associate both with the holidays. I also replaced the honey with coconut sugar because I like a drier, crunchier biscotti. Lastly, I swapped the lemon zest with orange zest.
The point is, once you get the basic formula down you can start to play around with the added flavours. I already have ideas for a pistachio one. Maybe with some matcha? Who knows!?
I really liked the finished product. It’s crunchy, not overly sweet, and has a great nutty flavour with a touch of chocolate. Like I said, it’s a win. And if you wrap it up in a bow, it makes for a pretty nice holiday gift. Just make sure the recipient doesn’t have a nut allergy!
Paleo Biscotti with Hazelnut and Chocolate
(makes approx. 14 biscotti)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp dried vanilla beans (I use Bulletproof brand)
1.5 tsp orange zest
1.5 cups almond flour
2 tbsp arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine himalayan pink salt or fine sea salt
1/2 cup hazelnuts
25gr high-quality dark chocolate – roughly chopped (Bulletproof makes an excellent one)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add hazelnuts. Set onto the lower rack of oven and preheat to 350F. **Note: this step will allow you to toast your nuts while you wait for the oven to come to temperature. Remove nuts when they are warmed through. Discard skins, roughly chop and set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add eggs, coconut sugar, orange zest and vanilla beans. Whisk vigorously until frothy and well combined – 2-3 minutes.
- Add almond flour, arrowroot starch, baking soda, and salt. Stir until combined using a silicon spatula. Add chocolate and chopped hazelnuts – stir to combine.
- Transfer batter to a sheet pan lined with a greased parchment paper (use ghee or coconut oil here). Form batter into a rectangular shape approximately 4″ x 12″. **Tip: the batter will be very sticky and hard to manipulate by hand. Instead, fold the sides of the parchment paper overtop of the batter and flatten with your hands or a rolling pin.
- Transfer to oven and bake 18-20 minutes, or until golden. Remove, let cool and slice into 1″ slices.
- Lay cookies flat on their sides and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes or until slightly firm. **Note: the biscotti will continue to firm-up after baking.