Double Chocolate Biscotti

I finally made biscotti for the first time in my life and was glad to know that my converted recipe turned out on the first try. The recipe is converted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook: Celebrating the Promise (ISBN 978-0-696-23511-5). Enjoy!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Cool Time: 1 hour
Yield: about 24 cookies
 
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup gluten free flour mix
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chip pieces
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with silicone mat.
Beat butter with an electric mixter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and xanthan gum. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in eggs until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour and chocolate pieces.
 
Divide dough in half and shape into two 9-inch-long loaves. Place loaves on prepared cookie sheet; flatten slightly until about 2 inches wide. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near ceters comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet for one hour. (For easier slicing, wrap cooled loaves in plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.)

 Preheat oven to 325°F. Use a serrated knife to cut each loaf diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Place each slice on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Turn cookies over and bake for another 7 to 9 minutes or until crisp and dry. Cool.

These are really good for dunking in coffee or hot cocoa… enjoy!

Betty Crocker has Gone Gluten Free!!

Photo copyright 2009 General Mills. (www.bettycrocker.com)

I first stumbled upon the news that Betty Crocker was introducing two cake mixes, a brownie mix and a chocolate chip cookie mix in July. I was ecstatic. First I find that General Mills changed their recipes for five of the seven Chex cereals to be gluten free and now Betty Crocker (who is owned by General Mills) helps to increase the awareness of Celiac Disease and the difficulties of living a gluten free life. Growing up, I loved using Betty Crocker cake mixes for all celebrations but when I was diagnosed, I lost that. Now I don’t have to worry.

After months of keeping an eye out for these mixes with no luck, I just happened to catch the words “gluten free” from the top shelf in the baking isle in my grocery store. I couldn’t believe that it was there staring down at me and on sale no less. The box of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix cost me about $3.50 (normal price was about $5.50). I had to try it. Tonight was the night.

I regret to say that I did not follow one of my own tips. ALWAYS read the recipe and directions in their entirety before beginning. What can I say, I like telling people that you learn more from failure than you ever will from success. I failed to read the high altitude instructions and while the brownies turned out AMAZING they don’t hold together very well. I do live at 4140 feet in elevation and have gotten so used to converting recipes and making everything from scratch that I completely forgot that mixes tend to have high altitude (3500 – 6500 feet) directions. Please follow them. I promise I will next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time.

Photo copyright 2009 General Mills. (www.bettycrocker.com)

The thing I love the most about mixes is that they are very easy and are meant to be a last minute thing designed to taste as if you slaved over the oven for hours and hours. These brownies give you that feeling. They are crunchy around the edges (the best part in my opinion) and moist in the middle. They even come with small chocolate chips mixed in. Betty Crocker even gives you recipes on their website to give you an idea of how to alter the mixes for even more options of what these mixes can offer. My next concoction will be the Peppermint Patty Brownies. I will let you know how that turns out. Promise. I’m already thinking about making some with chopped nuts and/or dried cherries. Ideas, ideas.… So many variations, so little time.

While I’m very hesitant on trying new gluten free products when they hit the shelves, I must admit that these are some of the best brownies I’ve ever had… gluten free or not.