Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Biscotti

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For weeks I've had it on my brain to come up with a recipe for Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Biscotti, and here it is!

I was recently interviewed for an article in Today's Dietitian magazine about the growing number of gluten-free flour options. It reminded me of one of my favorite yet underutilized gluten-free flours...hazelnut flour.  Plus, as I get older, I prefer desserts that aren't cloyingly sweet but have rich flavor and a substantive chewy bite.

This biscotti fits the bill.  You'll first notice the heavenly smell of hazelnuts and chocolate (just like Nutella).  The hazelnut flavor is rich due to using both hazelnut flour and adding in chopped hazelnuts for extra flavor and texture.  

I like using dark chocolate for the chips over semi-sweet or milk, but feel free to use the chocolate chip of your choice. If you need to avoid allergens, Nestle Tollhouse recently came out with their line of Simply Delicious dark chocolate and semi-sweet morsels that are made with just chocolate, cocoa butter and cane sugar.  

This is a gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free recipe so I was worried I wouldn't get that perfect textural balance between crispy and chewy.

I'm not worrying anymore.  I am beyond happy with the rich taste and balanced texture of this biscotti.  I hope you will be, too!

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Biscotti
gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, vegan

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups hazelnut flour
2 Tbsp. cassava flour
1 Tbsp. arrowroot
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp. non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum)
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/4 - 1/2 cup chocolate chips (choose milk free if you want a dairy-free, vegan recipe)

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Add the hazelnut flour, cassava flour, arrowroot, salt and baking soda to a food processor and blend until well incorporated.  Add the vegetable shortening and maple syrup and use the "dough" function to create the dough.  Use your hands to incorporate the hazelnuts and chocolate chips into the dough so that these ingredients are kept in tact.  If you don't have a food processor, you can do everything by hand in the same order of steps.

Divide the dough in two and use your hands to form two rectangles about one inch high. I like the ends to be the same width as the rest so was to create well-defined, squared-off corners.

Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and let cool completely, at least one hour. Using a sharp knife, cut length-wise or width-wise into 1/2 inch wide pieces.  I, personally, like the look of cutting length-wise, but cutting width-wise makes smaller portions.  Turn each piece over onto one of the sides that didn't face up in the first round of baking.  Lower the oven to 300 degrees and bake for approximately another 15 minutes (give or take a few) until the biscotti is firm and crisp.

Cool completely before serving.