I grew up eating my mom’s homemade biscotti, but in our house it was called mandel bread. Most people are familiar with the long, thin, dry, crunchy Italian cookies called biscotti. The word biscotti means twice (bis) and cooked (cotti), for these twice-cooked Italian almond cookies.
Mandel bread is basically the Ashkenazi Jewish version of biscotti. The word mandelbrot means almond (mandel) and bread (brot) in Yiddish. In America, these thin, slender cookies became known as mandel bread. However, until I looked up the difference between biscotti and mandel bread, the only history that I was familiar with was the memory of these cookies from my childhood.
It had been about ten years since I’d had mandel bread simply because I’ve never tried to make a gluten and dairy free version. But a few days ago when my mom asked what she could bring to our Mother’s Day brunch, these cookies came to me in a flash….and I asked her if she could create a gluten and dairy free version for me.
And did she ever! They taste just like the cookies of my childhood!
For those of you familiar with gluten and dairy free baking, the challenge is in maintaining moisture and helping them stay together (I always say, gluten is like the “glue”). But with these cookies, their signature texture is dry and crumbly, which gluten and dairy free baking does incredibly well naturally 🙂
Mom’s Chocolate Chip Almond Biscotti
by Judy Gass
2 eggs plus 1 egg white
¼ cup honey
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut palm sugar
2/3 cup melted and cooled coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. orange extract
½ tsp. almond extract
2 cups almond flour
1 ¾ cups of Pamela’s all purpose gluten free, dairy free Artisan flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ cup slivered almonds
¼ tsp. sea salt
¾-1 cup Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels
- Preheat oven to 340 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.
- In a different bowl, mix all wet ingredients together except for the coconut oil.
- Add the dry ingredients into wet ingredients, mix again and then incorporate coconut oil until everything is well mingled. Mixture will look oily but it will bake dry and crisp.
- Divide the dough into two and shape into two loaves, about 4” wide and ¾ to 1” thick each. (see picture 1, below)
- Bake for about 25 minutes, on the middle rack, until golden brown around edges. (see picture 2, below)
- Let cool for about 10-15 minutes and immediately slice into ½ – ¾ inch thick pieces.
- Place the slices back into a 300 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until desired crunchiness. (see picture 3, below)
- Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.