As a child of gourmet food brokers, I grew up surrounded by amazing food, immersed in the “foodie” culture, and truly blessed in the realm of delectable delight, without realizing this gift. I certainly did not take the good food for granted, but as a child, I believe I was simply unaware of how good this food to which I was constantly exposed really was.
The saying, “you get what you pay for,” I believe, rings true in just about every arena of life – food is no exception. After leaving for college, graduating, and my parents’ retirement, the access to all of this great food dwindled. My awareness of the gift of my rearing in terms of culinary and gourmet exposure became dramatically clear when I was forced (I know, forced) to purchase my first bottle of extra virgin olive oil. Accustomed to simply picking what I needed off the shelf in the home office without even thinking, I walked into my local gourmet food shop and about fell over with the shock of the sticker price of my preferred choice. Aye-yai-yai! Well, “you get what you pay for.” I now re-work my budget so that much of it is surprisingly food-focused. I like good food, and feel that my body deserves it.
Back to my childhood. Samples galore. Exposure aplenty. Biscotti – one of my favorites La Tempesta Biscotti, to be exact. Because this was simply an item that was regularly in the cupboard, to me it was simply a cookie. Not until my older youth did I discover that this crisp, crunch mouthful was actually intended for dipping in coffee. No matter, it remained, and still does, to be on the top of my list of little snacks. I like the hard crunch – I love it, in fact. And, I like that the “dipping cookie” is not overly sweet. It satisfies me, pleases me, and, in my opinion, requires no dipping at all!
Now that I refrain from consuming grains on a regular basis, as well as refined sugar – again, my body deserves the best – the challenge (or rather, welcomed experiment and opportunity) arose to create this treat my way.
Cardamom Scented Biscotti
2 ½ cup blanched almond flour
2 Tbsp. arrowroot or tapioca starch
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. dried orange peel
½ cup date paste
1/3 cup slivered almonds (or pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
¼ cup currants (or other dried fruit)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine almond flour, arrowroot powder, salt, baking soda, and spices. Pulse until well combined and then add date paste & pulse until dough forms a ball.
Remove dough from food processor and add in almonds and raisins with your hands or a spoon.
Form 2 logs with the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and cool for 1 hour.
Cut the logs into ½ inch slices on the diagonal with a very sharp knife & place on baking sheet. Lower oven heat to 300 F and bake slices for about 12-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit for 20 minutes to set, cool and become crispy.