Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Expat's Oven: Low-Gluten Biscotti Cookies

In May, I started a blog series based on what goes down in my kitchen. And then I sorta forgot that I'd intended to make it a semi-regular series. My bad! I recently got a gentle reminder from somebody who likes to reap the benefits of my kitchen, so I started to take pics of my adventures again. Cause I'm a visual learner. Maybe you are too. 

Soooo, today I bring you the second installment of The Expat's Oven!  Hooray! Cheers, applause! Recently, I tweaked a chocolate chip cookie recipe to make them low-gluten (cause there's WAY too much wheat gluten in processed foods these days! Even if you're not allergic or averse, it's good to limit your intake) and they turned out light and crispy and fantastic! They reminded me a lot of biscotti, so I made a pot of coffee and dunked one in and oooo la la they were delightful! 

The Expat's Oven: Low Gluten Biscotti Cookies 

Preheat your oven to 180*C.

1. Start by stirring together 1 1/2 c. traditional baking flour (aka the normal wheat stuff), 1 c. tapioca flour, 1 t baking soda, and 1/2 t salt. 

I've found salt a few different ways in Korea, so just to give you an idea what to look for at the store, that's the pic on the left. 

I bought the tapioca flour on iherb, of course. It's one of many gluten-free flour options. Tapioca flour has a leavening property that I didn't know about til I baked with it, which made the cookies much crispier and lighter than your average chocolate chip recipe. 

2. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the dry ingredients for a little fall flavor (doesn't it feel great outside these days??)

3. In a separate bowl, blend together a cup of canola oil and a cup of packed brown sugar.

4. Blend 2 eggs into to the oil and sugar, adding them one at a time.

Egg one. 
Egg two.
5. Add a teaspoon each of vanilla extract and almond extract, both easily found on iherb, and blend. They EVEN offer fair trade vanilla, so you bet I'm all over that. Say no to slave labor and/or wage slavery in food production! 

Almond extract is my favorite surprise ingredient in any recipe with chocolate. Almonds and chocolate perfectly compliment one another! It adds a little amaretto pizzazz to your final product and people never can figure out just what is so amazingly different. It's my secret weapon (not that I can keep a secret, y'all, I tell everyone every time). It's my faaaavorite!

6. Add the dry ingredients to the oil/sugar/eggs/extract mixture and mix on med/high until it's a uniform consistency. The tapioca flour will make the batter a little thinner and more sticky than a typical chocolate chip dough, like glue, but don't worry. That's just the difference in flour properties.

You might think to yourself that you could make a wicked-sweet chemistry lesson out of this, since baking is all about chemical reactions and the various chemical properties of each ingredient factor into the results, but you don't teach science anymore, you teach English, and besides, you only taught science for a month two years ago, plus you don't really have time for that... moving on...

7. Fold in a cup of chocolate chips. This time I used Nestle dark chocolate chips, which are delicious, but I only used them because I haven't found fair trade chocolate chips on iherb yet. Hopefully they'll stock them sooner rather than later! I could always buy fair trade chocolate bars and just chop them into chips, but I haven't done that yet.

[Are you wondering why I make such a big deal about fair trade everything? If you're interested in fair trade (or just wonder why I'm such a freak about it), check out this post and/or this one, which both talk about this investigation. Also see this documentary. My church in College Station did a lot of research and edified one another on the "we're all neighbors so let's love one another accordingly" aspect of fair trade and ethical production practices, and I'm so thankful that I see the world in this light now days. Viva la chocolat! No viva la cruelty.]

8. Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough about 5 cm apart on parchment paper (aka paper cooking foil in Korea). Bake them delicious balls of chocolatey goodness at 180*C for about 10-14 minutes, or until the edges are brown.

9. Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes before you test one. While they're cooling, take a pic for instagram, choose a nice filter, then get yourself a cup of fair trade coffee and dunk away. OMNOMNOM! 

The Expat's Oven: Low Gluten Biscotti Cookies

1 1/2 c. normal wheat baking flour 
1 c. tapioca flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon 
1 c. canola oil 
1 c. packed brown sugar 
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract 
1 t almond extract 
1 c chocolate chips 

1. Preheat the oven to 180*C
2. Stir together: flours, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon 
3. Mix the oil and sugar together, then add one egg at a time
4. Blend in the extracts
5. Blend in the dry ingredients 
6. Fold in the chips
7. Bake 10-14 minutes, until the edges are brown, then let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy! 

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