To be honest, I was never fond of biscotti. The idea of baking a cookie twice made me shake my head incessantly in disappointment. I vividly remember watching Giada DeLaurentiis making biscotti on her show, and when she sliced the first baked “loaf” of biscotti, just to put it back into the oven and bake it past the point of being crunchy on the outside, and chewy in the inside, it infuriated me. I yelled at the television,”WHY?!? WHY would you do that? They’re fine just the way they are!“. I was that girl who had no right to talk, when she had no clue what she was talking about. I never gave home-baked biscotti a fair chance. Who was I to assume they’d taste like the stale store-bought kind?
I took the original recipe from ‘The Essential Baker‘ by Carole Bloom (looovee), and split the recipe to make two versions of this–one regular and one with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour in place of regular flour. The darker looking dough is the gluten free (the gluten free flour has a darker hue and silly me was shaping out the loaf on top of the hot oven, so it was melting, hence the considerably darker color).
This is one of those things that makes me ponder on how “baked fresh just this morning” can be very overrated, if you’re going to be eating it that same afternoon or evening. If only we let some things sit overnight before eating them, we would see a whole new side of flavors to something. These taste better the next day. I know, I know, waiting for them to bake is test of patience enough. Just saying!
Once the sweet aroma of coconut started wafting out of the oven, I began to get excited about these biscotti. The only reason I decided to try this in the first place is because A. I’ve been on a brownie baking binge, and though I could have continued baking them as long as my chocolate supply lasted, my boyfriend felt content with the last batch I made (I’ll write about that another time) and I knew he would enjoy something new. B. My bag of shredded coconut was waiting to feel more special than just being sprinkled on my toast with peanut butter or Nutella (don’t knock it until you try it) and the predictable coconut macaroons. When I saw this recipe in ‘The Essential Baker’, I immediately knew I’d use my little bag of macadamia nuts for it.
The gluten free version of these appears to bake quicker than the regular version. It darkens faster, but it actually needed a couple more minutes to bake the first time, because it was not cooperating with me when I was trying to slice it. They crumbled all over the place (as you can see). I baked for 22 minutes the first time, but next time I might go to about 25 minutes, and let them cool completely before slicing them.
As far as the overall taste, when I tried them immediately after they were baked, I could tell the gluten free version was heartier. It tasted more like a whole grain biscotti, but the grainier taste was very subtle. The coconut and macadamia were still present and it wasn’t overpowering at all. I actually couldn’t find anything wrong with it, and it complimented the sweetness so well so it wasn’t too sweet. It didn’t taste like you might expect something gluten free to taste, had you never tried it before.
The regular version did behave much better than the gluten free in terms of the end result color and texture, and the butter flavor was much more pronounced. It was also sweeter. Not too sweet, but sweeter. As much as I could tell the slight flavor difference after baking, I was thrown off when I tried them the next day and couldn’t tell them apart!
Once they fully cooled and especially after being wrapped in plastic wrap overnight, they were so SO good! They changed my mind completely on biscotti, and with the sweet flakiness of the coconut, and the light and nutty crunch from the macadamia, they are close to perfect. Close…but if you want to reach perfection, spread a generous layer of Nutella on top, and take a bite! Nom nom nom!
Coconut Macadamia Nut Biscotti Recipe – adapted from ‘The Essential Baker’ by Carole Bloom
Makes 2 dozen biscotti
Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 2 cups all-purpose or gluten free all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts (I had a bag of 1/2 cup, you can use 1 cup. I also chopped them a few extra times so they were in about 1/4 the original size)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Combine the flour, coconut, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of electric mixer or a large mixing bowl. Blend together on low speed briefly to combine.
2. Using a fork, lightly beat together the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl. With the mixer speed on low, add to the dry ingredients and blend together thoroughly.
3. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Dust your hands lightly with flour and shape each piece of dough into a loaf about 8 inches long, 2-3 inches wide, and 3/4 inch high. Place both loaves on baking sheet, leaving several inches of space between them.
4. Bake the biscotti for 22 to 24 minutes, until the loaves are light golden and set. Remove the baking sheet from oven and cool for a few minutes, then transfer to rack and cool for 10 minutes so that when you cut them into slices, they don’t fall apart.
5. Using a serrated knife, slice each loaf on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices (I did not cut mine on a diagonal…oopsies). Place slices on their sides on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-2 minutes, until firm and golden colored.
6. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the biscotti to racks to cool.
7. Drizzle with melted chocolate or spread with Nutella and enjoy!
Notes: You can use another nut instead of macadamia nuts! The original recipe uses almonds. You can try pecans, walnuts, or even hazelnuts instead. Keep these in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.