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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dark Chocolate-Chunk Plum Biscotti
We are so fortunate to have a dear family member named Eileen. She's a CPA and Tax Specialist, and she works very long hours trying to get everybody's everything in a straight line! She has a super sense of humor, is a pretty straight forward Gal that wouldn't think twice about telling one where they needed to head in. We adore her!
We had a great time a couple of weeks ago attending a surprise party one of her milestone birthdays.
There were about 30 people there and seeing the complete shock on her face was priceless. She always tells me that whatever I make is fantastic. So for her birthday I made her some delicious Dark Chocolate-Chunk Plum Biscotti which is finished with generous sprinkles of Demerara Sugar Crystals to include in her gift of some specialty coffee along with a cute "french" design stationary rack. It was really fun seeing her open all of the gifts, and they all seemed to be right on the mark of things she enjoys. The restaurant overlooked Laguna Beach (California), where we watched Dolphins and a few seals cavorting around pretty much 'cuz they were being watched I think. As if they new we all thought they were cute and couldn't help ourselves.
It was actually a big Birthday weekend for me. Due to some difficulties health wise for my husband and son, we had been unable to attend several family parties. So I baked up a storm for my sister Lisa, and Jared my nephew-in-law. I also made some of my Chocolate-Espresso Brownie Cookies for our dear friend Keith, and some Kahlua-Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème for Mark.
And for me, or um, us? That's a newly recent post - Chocolate Chunk-Tart Cherry Cookies! Yeah! They were phenomenally yummy.


Jeanne's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour  (one recipe makes 4 1/2 cups/660 g)
1 1/4 cups/170 g brown rice flour
1 1/4 cups/205 g white rice flour
1 cup/165 g sweet rice flour
1 cup/120 g tapioca flour/starch
scant 2 teaspoons xanthan gum

Whisk all together in a large bowl thoroughly. Transfer any remaining flour into an airtight       container and store in a cool dark place about 6 weeks, or refrigerate for about 6 months. (Mine never lasts long enough to worry about keeping it. I do keep it and all of my bulk flours in canning jars, and it might last 2-3 days before I have to make more!)

Dark Chocolate-Chunk Plum Biscotti    Makes about 3 dozen
Pre-heat oven to 325ºF
Line 2 jelly roll pans with parchment paper, lightly grease.

Ingredients: 

2 1/4 cups Jeanne's Flour blend, listed above
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt,               *if using table salt divide amount in half
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 1/4 cups dried plums, chopped roughly into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped roughly into 1/2 inch chunks OR you can use chocolate chips
Demerara Sugar for dusting

Method:
1. In a medium bowl combine the flour blend, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each one. Add in the vanilla.
3. Turn the mixer on low speed and add the dry ingredients in two batches, beating well after each addition, then beat on medium high speed for 6 minutes to hydrate the flours. 
4. While the mixer is on, add in the chocolate chunks, and plum pieces and beat in only until well distributed. You don't want to smash and spread the plum pieces as they are very moist.
5. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap or foil and gently kneed it into a cohesive piece. Hand kneed it into a flat disc, cut into halves, and form each one into 5-6 inches wide x 15 inches long x 1 1/2 inch thick. Place one log on each baking pan. Sprinkle course Demerara sugar over the tops of the dough logs and gently push it into the surface.
6. Bake both sheets for about 25-30 minutes, then let them rest about 15-20 minutes. Remove logs onto a cutting surface and cut into 1/2 inch wide slices with a serrated bread knife.  Place each slice on it's side onto the lined cookie sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Bake again for  10-15 minutes, just until it's very light brown and hard and dry. Flip the cookies over so the second side is facing up and bake again for about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to wire cookie trays and cool completely.


Enjoy!