Crunchy and delicious, gluten-free almond biscotti are perfect for dipping in a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet wine. And whilst these Italian-inspired cookies look rather fancy, they are very easy to make. Healthy biscotti with almonds (also known as cantucchini biscuits) are low in added sugar, and good for you too!
What you'll love about the recipe
- Deliciously crunchy and almond-y, these are perfect as a gluten free Christmas cookie
- Full of the goodness of almonds: rich in vitamin E, with fibre and protein. The protein and almonds make these healthy biscotti especially satisfying
- Low in added sugar. There's just a small amount of honey to sweeten these low-carb biscotti, so they are not overly sweet
- Gluten free, grain free and dairy free. Biscotti with almonds are also low in saturated fat and made without butter or oil
- You can vary the recipe to suit with optional add-ins
Ground almonds take the place of flour in these grain-free, gluten-free biscotti cookies. They add a lovely rich flavour.
Coconut flour adds a lovely natural sweetness (without tasting of coconut!). Although there's only a small amount in the recipe, a little goes a long way, as coconut flour is super absorbent. Measure the quantity carefully.
Whole almonds make these biscotti a real treat. You could use other nuts if you prefer such as pistachios or hazelnuts, but make sure they are unsalted.
Honey adds sweetness to these low sugar Italian cookies. You could use maple syrup instead if you prefer.
Egg binds the ingredients and is essential. I'm afraid I've never tried making this gluten free almond biscotti recipe with an egg replacer. Please let me know in the comments if you do.
Almond essence is optional. Although there's a lot of almonds in the recipe, using almond essence gives them more of a classic almond-y flavour. If you'd prefer a more subtle flavour, you could use vanilla instead.
A pinch of salt helps to bring out the sweetness, and baking powder adds a slight rise to the mixture. Make sure that your baking powder is gluten free.
You could add in little pieces of dried fruit such as cranberries, which would look very festive if you want healthy Christmas biscotti. You can also add a small amount of lemon or orange zest for a citrus twist which goes well with almonds.
If you're a chocolate lover, why not add some chunks of dark chocolate for the ultimate gluten-free Christmas cookie? Or dip the ends of the biscotti in melted dark chocolate.
How to make gluten free almond biscotti
This recipe is very easy to make, but a little different from most cookie recipes as classic cantucchini are twice-cooked. This gives them their extra crunchy texture.
Add the whole and ground almonds, coconut flour, salt and baking powder to a bowl and stir to mix.
Make a well in the centre, and add the beaten egg, honey and almond extract.
Mix with a fork until it starts to form a dough.
Form into two log shapes with your hands. They should be about 12 x 4cm. Then place them on the tray and flatten them so they are about 2 cm high (they'll become wider!).
Bake in a preheated oven at 160 (140 fan) for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Once cool, slice the logs diagonally into 1cm slices. Use a serrated knife and a sawing action as you'll need to cut through the whole almonds.
Bake for a further 20 minutes at 140 degrees (120 fan). Turn partway so that they brown evenly. The gluten free almond biscotti will still be soft when they come out of the oven but will harden up as they cool.
Serving and storage
When cool, transfer to an airtight container. They keep very well and will stay crisp for a week or two. You can also freeze biscotti.
Biscotti or cantucinni are traditionally served with a drink for dunking as they are quite a hard biscuit. In Italy where they originate from, they are often served as a dessert to dip in vin santo which is a sweet wine. But they are also ideal with coffee.
Gluten-free almond biscotti also make a lovely homemade gift, especially if you have a friend who is coeliac. Pop them in a clip-top jar and tie a pretty ribbon around the top. You could make up a little hamper with a bottle of sweet wine or some nice coffee. And maybe tuck in some of these cocoa dusted almonds or chocolate coconut truffles.
Frequently asked questions
Biscotti are twice baked, which makes them quite hard and crunchy. This makes them ideal for dipping or dunking, and also means that they keep well.
This gluten free almond biscotti recipe is made with all healthy ingredients. There's no wheat flour and no dairy - the fat in the biscuits is all healthy fat from the almonds. They are sweetened with just a small amount of honey and no added sugar.
Each of these healthy biscotti has just under one hundred calories (they'll vary slightly depending on the size and how many almonds are in each!). They are very satisfying because they're full of protein, fibre and healthy fats.
Yes, you can grind your own almonds to make gluten free almond biscotti. Simply add raw (unroasted) almonds to a high powered blender and blitz briefly until they turn to powder. Stop every few seconds and shake the blender. Don't over process as the almonds will start to turn to almond butter!
Other healthy treats with almonds
If you love the flavour of almonds and honey, try this irresistible healthy homemade marzipan. There's also lots of other treats which feature almonds.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Gluten Free Almond Biscotti
- baking tray
- baking paper or baking mat
- 150 g ground almonds
- 10 g coconut flour
- 75 g whole almonds
- pinch salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (140 fan). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Add the ground almonds, coconut flour, whole almonds, salt and baking powder to a bowl and stir together.
- Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg, honey and almond extract. Mix together with a fork until it starts to form a dough.
- Using your hands, form the dough into two logs about 12cm by 4cm. Place on the tray and flatten to about 2cm thick.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 30 minutes.
- Slice the logs diagonally into 1cm slices. Use a sawing action with a serrated knife so that you can cut through the whole almonds.
- Pop the slices back on the tray and bake at 140 degrees (120 fan) for a further 20 minutes.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
- Make sure that the baking powder that you use is gluten free.
- Use vanilla extract if you'd prefer a less pronounced almond flavour.
- You can also add dried fruits such as cranberries. Or try a little lemon or orange zest. Whole almonds can also be substituted with other unroasted nuts such as pistachios or hazelnuts.
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.