Grain-Free Hazelnut Biscotti with Cinnamon Glaze

[Hazelnut Biscotti with Cinnamon Glaze are vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free,  yeast-free, and low glycemic. Suitable for Stage 2 and beyond on an anti-candida diet.]

Vegan, sugar-free, grain-free Hazelnut Biscotti on rickiheller.com

Okay, a mini-survey. Please answer the following:

Q. When was the last time you were able to sit and relax with nothing to do except daydream and ponder?

a) In your 30s.

b) In your 20s.

c) When you were 14.

d) When you were eight. Months.

I know; these days, seems we’re all pressed for time all the time, too busy to really breathe, totally stressed out, working 24/7, sleep deprived and basically feeling overwhelmed.  (Okay, so maybe I’m projecting a wee bit.) Especially for those of us who run our own businesses, it can often feel as if  there’s no “off” switch.

What can be done?

Well, personally, I think we all need some biscotti.

I’m not sure why, but to me, biscotti is the quintessential “relaxation” treat. Perhaps because it’s baked twice, requiring that extra time in the oven; or perhaps because it’s so hard and crunchy that you simply can’t eat it too quickly (dip; wait; soften; chew; repeat);  or perhaps because biscotti were originally created precisely to have a very long shelf life; but for whatever reason, I always associate biscotti with protracted, languid afternoons spent in front of a  fireplace with nothing particular planned except perhaps leafing through the collected works of Emily Dickinson while the dogs recline at my feet, a steaming cup of matcha on the table beside me. (“Sounds good to us, Mum. And keep in mind that we don’t have to wait for the biscotti to soften up–canine incisors, and all.”).

Like driving (I started at age 33), smoking (began at age 22) and boyfriends (ditto), I came to biscotti late in life.  It wasn’t until I was well entrenched in the Toronto social scene after moving here to start my PhD that I first encountered our fine Italian confection via a fellow doctoral student. As was our wont in those days, we’d gone for coffee after a long day’s studying (and really, those last two sentences alone demonstrate how much my life has changed since then–studying? Coffee?! Smoking??!!!).

Candida diet friendly, grain-free, sugar-free and vegan Hazelnut Biscotti with Cinnamon Glaze. Drool. | rickiheller.com

Anyway, that day, we rewarded ourselves at a “regular” restaurant instead of the usual Coffee Time donut shop. Because it was a quiet night, and because it was an Italian joint, they served up the caffès with a little biscuit on the side. I’d never seen one like that before, but hey–it was a cookie!–so I bit right into it. (Don’t worry, it was just a little chip, and the dentist was able to fix it).  My friend practically fell off his chair laughing as I nursed my sore jaw.  Then, suddenly very solemn, he proceeded to instruct me on the “proper way to consume a biscotti”.** It all seemed like too much work at the time–I mean, really? A cookie that you had to soften up in your coffee first, then wait to eat? I could practically go home and bake a whole batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies and eat half the dough before the biscotti would even be edible.

Over the years, I’ve warmed up to the concept, however. Just as the French have their relaxing three-hour lunches, I figure the Italians have their caffè and biscotti. With time (and many more post-study biscotti sessions) I came to appreciate more what the biscuits represent (time with friends, chatting and unwinding in a social environment) rather than theor texture or flavor.

With this recipe, however–both grain-free and safe for a candida diet–I think I’ve melded the concept of “biscotti” with my own desire for enticing cookies. These are crisp on the outside with just a hint of softness in the interior. Subtle hazelnut flavors the biscuit, complemented perfectly by a sweet cinnamon frosting. When dipped into your coffee or tea, the cinnamon will infuse your beverage with a whisper of fragrant spice.

These are the perfect treat for that next time you decide to take a break from the frenetic daily routine. In fact, they might even prompt you to find some extra time in your jam-packed schedule, just so you can relax and enjoy a bite (or two).

** Dunk. Wait 10 seconds. Dunk again, ten more seconds, then bite. In case you were wondering.

A grain-free, sugar-free, candida diet-friendly and vegan Hazelnut Biscotti with Cinnamon Glaze that anyone can love. | rickiheller.com

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Comments

  1. I think I am better able to just sit now, in my 30s (well, at 30!), than I was at 14 or 10 years ago. Perhaps it is a skill learnt with practice? I’m certainly happy to take some of these to ease the practicing though ;) They look lovely!

  2. I suspect that if I make these – as I undoubtedly will – they won’t last 4 days!!!!!!!! and boy will they improve my coffee time:)

  3. I won’t need any help, trust me:) lol

  4. i love biscotti and shall be making these at the weekend, thank you very much!! i never had time to daydream, ever, but now i have forced periods of sitting still and daydreaming and pondering due to being chronically ill with m.e., and it turns out to actually be one of the blessings of this illness, as it has changed me (or shall i say enabled me to change) so much for the better. so the message is, make time for daydreaming and don’t run yourself into the ground!! thanks for the recipe ricki! x

    • So true, Joolz. And funny how these kinds of things tend to happen only when we’re forced by circumstances or fate–? I have been making a concerted effort ever since returning from Hippocrates to build more “down” time into my schedule. Not always succeeding, but I couldn’t agree more–so much better (and smarter) than waiting until I “have” to take that time! Hope you enjoy the biscotti (and some enjoyable daydreaming). ;)

  5. Frederique says:

    YUM! I adore biscotti! Used to make this chocolate chai biscotti for xmas all the time before my gluten-dairy-sugar free days.
    Im not vegan nor ACD though, think I can subsitute the psyllium and coconut flour for more conventional egg and rice flour? I love the idea of hazelnuts and nut butter as well as the fact that its sugar free, just kinda wanna make them with stuff I have in the house… :P

  6. Okay, I’ve never tried biscotti, but now I must. Coffee, relaxing, dunking? I am so in! This sounds heavenly. I’ll have to do it before the baby arrives, though. Relaxation will be a distant memory come October :) Another amazing recipe, Ricki!

  7. This recipe looks fabulous Ricki! I know I could definitely start my morning off with one (or maybe a few of these) every day. Yum!

  8. These look amazing Ricki. Can’t wait to give these a try. You are right about sitting down and just clearing our minds. Life gets so busy, especially in the summer when the kids are out of school. Thanks for the reminder :-)

  9. What beautiful photos, Ricki! And the biscotti looks out of this world good!

  10. OOOOhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! I think I am incredibly slow as I have never liked biscotti because they are too hard but I have never heard that they should be softened in your coffee first – perhaps I missed this piece of wisdom because I never took up coffee or smoking – ever!!!! So I think maybe I should try dunking biscotti in my herbal tea and I might find a whole new world opened up to me – thanks Ricki!

    • Ha ha!! Yes, you MUST try dunking them first! ;) Truth be told, these are a little softer than most, so you *could* actually eat them as-is. I hated biscotti until I discovered the dunk! :D

  11. Just this last year I made biscotti for the first time, and I LOVED it. Hazelnuts are my hubby’s favorite, so I can’t wait to make these!

  12. Sit and relax? hmmm, can I even remember that far back! LOL These biscotti look great! I’d have them with a big cup of coffee! Yum! Thanks for the recipe.

  13. sub for potato starch? I rarely use it, I’m out of it and I want these (now)

  14. Wonderful recipe and great blog. Reading helps me de-stress and this post was a great way to start a weekend-a delicious, healthy recipe (who doesn’t like biscotti!) and some good humor. Thank you Ricki.

  15. It’s been years since I’ve had biscotti! This recipe look amazing, I would love to sit down with a couple of these and a big cup of coffee and just relax :)

    -Cassidy

  16. great yummy treat!

  17. These look utterly wonderful Ricki! I’m terrible at properly relaxing too. If only that meant I was an efficient worker…unfortunately I think it just means I’m an excellent time waster…!
    Taking a little time for a mid afternoon relax over a biscotti and a cup of tea might make my working hours more productive!

    • Ha, ha! I’m with you on that, Emma. I often wonder where the day has gone. . . but didn’t get even half of what I’d planned to do, done! ;) Mid-afternoon relaxation sounds good to me, too! ;)

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