Gluten-Free Biscotti with Hazelnuts & Chocolate

This homemade gluten-free biscotti recipe gets a crunchy, buttery crumb from a few gluten-free flours studded with candied hazelnuts. Dip them in chocolate for a classy coffee break treat, or wrap them up for an edible holiday gift. Thanks to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post!

A plate of Gluten-Free Biscotti with Hazelnuts & Chocolate served with coffee

A Lifetime of Biscotti Love

Biscotti hold a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s because I grew up in 1990’s coffee shop culture, where there was a jar of chocolate covered cookies on every counter. Or maybe it was because my paternal grandmother baked them along with rugelach every year for the holidays. Or maybe it’s because they remind me of the Jewish equivalent mandelbrot that my maternal grandfather would share with me after school.

Whatever the reason, biscotti were one of the first “fancy” recipes I learned to bake as a teen from a tiny cookbook called Biscotti containing only a few dozen recipes for the Italian-style slice-and-bake cookies. I loved the process of baking biscotti – mixing the dough, shaping it into logs, baking, slicing, baking again. I always felt so professional when finishing them with chocolate.

I baked biscotti for classmates and teachers. I brought some to a job interview at an Italian restaurant where the chef exclaimed, “Ci sono sempre caldi!” – they’re still warm! I baked biscotti at music camp every summer, when I worked in the camp bakery in exchange for attending. And I baked biscotti at bakeries and restaurants where I worked as a young adult.

But this week was my first time braving gluten-free biscotti, and I’m extra excited to share the recipe with you today! I’ve adapted my favorite wheat biscotti recipe which originally came from the aforementioned book. This post is also part of a virtual cookie swap – scroll down to the bottom to see what my friends baked up!

Ingredients for homemade gluten-free almond biscotti recipe

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Biscotti

  • Gluten-free flours form a base that is undetectably gluten-free. Oat flour adds fluff and earthy flavor. Sweet rice flour and tapioca flour make the dough sticky and stretchy, helping it hold together when sliced. Cornstarch adds crunch.
  • Eggs beaten with sugar until foamy form the base of this dough.
  • Vanilla adds flavor.
  • Butter adds moisture and richness. Note that traditional Italian biscotti don’t contain any fat, but I vastly prefer the “Americanized” version with lots of delicious butter!
  • Baking powder lifts the dough and a good hit of salt sharpens the flavors.
  • Candied hazelnuts form addictive crunch and flavor offset by a dip of bittersweet chocolate. You can trade hazelnuts for almonds for more traditional biscotti, or skip the candying step altogether for a more classic biscotti recipe.

Candied hazelnuts for gluten-free biscotti recipe

How to Make Gluten-Free Biscotti

My gluten-free biscotti recipe uses a couple of less-traditional methods. First, I caramelize the nuts for extra flavor. The original recipe from Biscotti has you cook the nuts in a skillet with butter and sugar until the nuts are coated in a nap of caramel. I used this method here, but when I tried it this time around, my sugar kept crystallizing.

Instead, I make a simple caramel with sugar and a little butter which I quickly use to coat the nuts. When chopped up, this caramel adds a lovely depth of flavor to the biscotti. That said, you can absolutely skip this step. You’ll just need to reduce the flour a little to compensate for the lack of caramel. See the note in the recipe.

Once you’ve prepared the nuts, it’s time to make the biscotti dough. Begin by whipping whole eggs with sugar until thick and foamy. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla, then the sifted flour mixture. Unlike wheat doughs, this biscotti dough likes to be worked. So increase the mixer speed and beat the dough for 20 seconds. Stir in the nuts. The dough will be fairly soft at this point, so chill it for an hour or two until firm enough to shape into a log.

Bake the biscotti logs until golden and firm. Let these cool completely otherwise they will be crumble and hard to slice. Use a large, sharp knife to cut the log into slices. Bake the slices until golden.

If using, temper the chocolate as directed. Dip the biscotti into the melted and tempered chocolate, sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts, and enjoy!

Whipped sugar and eggs for gluten-free biscotti recipe

Stirring candied hazelnuts into gluten-free biscotti cookie dough

Biscotti: American vs. Italian

Most people know that the word biscotti means “twice cooked” referring to the process of baking the logs once, slicing, and baking again. But did you know that biscotti as we know them in the US are actually technically cantucci? In Italy, biscotti (plural) or biscotto (singular) refers to any type of cookie. Think: biscuit in the British sense of the word. Cantucci refers to the type of cookie shown here which hails from Tuscany. But since biscotti are what we call them in the US, I’m going with it!

Traditional Italian biscotti don’t contain any fat. Their texture is dry and made to be dipped into espresso or dessert wine. I’ve tried multiple version for fat-free biscotti and have found that I vastly prefer the Americanized type. These biscotti are best eaten alongside a cozy beverage. But thanks to their buttery nature, you can enjoy them solo too.

Forming gluten-free biscotti dough into logs

Gluten-free biscotti log being cut into slices

Gluten-Free Biscotti Bliss

You’ll be hard pressed to guess that these biscotti are gluten-free, thanks to their wheat-like texture from a sturdy flour blend and protein-rich eggs. Bite through the thin chocolate shell to crispy cookie redolent with the flavors of earthy toasted hazelnuts, vanilla, and caramel and you’ll be in gluten-free biscotti heaven.

Biscotti, cantucci, Italian slice-and-bake cookies: whatever you call them, when you dunk one of these crunchy, buttery treats in a mug of hot coffee, you’ll be calling it delicious!

Gluten-free biscotti, fresh out of the oven

Gluten-Free Biscotti with Hazelnuts (or Almonds) and Chocolate!

Hazelnuts add an earthy bite to this gluten-free biscotti recipe, but you can use almonds for a more traditional cookie. Or go crazy and try these with pistachios, pumpkin seeds, pecans, or any nut you like!

Though these biscotti are plenty flavorful on their own, you can gild the lily and dunk them in chocolate. I like to temper my chocolate to ensure that it doesn’t form any unsightly streaks when it hardens. I’ve given my preferred method in the recipe, but there are many ways to temper chocolate. You can also skip the tempering step if you prefer.

Dipping gluten-free biscotti in chocolate

Gluten-free biscotti dipped in chocolate

How to Serve Gluten-Free Biscotti

These gluten-free biscotti with hazelnuts and chocolate pair beautifully with a hot cup of coffee. Enjoy them with an afternoon tea or as an after dinner treat. In Italy, biscotti are traditionally served with a sweet dessert wine such as vin santo.

Gluten-Free Biscotti Recipe with Hazelnuts & Chocolate on a baking sheet

Close-up of Gluten-Free Biscotti with Hazelnuts & Chocolate on a baking sheet

Give the Gift of Gluten-Free Biscotti

These gluten-free biscotti keep beautifully and make a fine DIY gift. Just pack a bunch into a cookie tin or mason jar tucked into some parchment paper for a sweet holiday present.

Gluten-Free Biscotti with Hazelnuts & Chocolate on a plate with coffee

Eating Gluten-Free Biscotti with Hazelnuts & Chocolate with coffee

*Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram,  Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this gluten-free biscotti recipe, I’d love to see. Tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet  and  #bojongourmet.*

5 from 3 votes

Gluten-Free Biscotti with Hazelnuts & Chocolate

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You'd never know that these crunchy biscotti are gluten-free! With a crunchy, buttery crumb and candied hazelnuts all dipped in chocolate, they make a classy coffee break (or anytime!) treat. If gluten isn't an issue for you, make these using the base recipe for my wheat flour biscotti.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Cooling time: 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 30 cookies

Ingredients

Hazelnuts:

  • 3/4 cup (95 g) toasted hazelnuts (or almonds, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, or other nuts), plus a handful of finely chopped hazelnuts for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons (37 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup, golden syrup, or honey

Biscotti:

Instructions

Make the hazelnuts:

  • In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Add the sugar to the center of the pot, moisten it evenly with the water, and wash any crystals that get on the sides of the pan down into the water. Add the syrup or honey and cover the pot with a lid. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Have the butter and nuts measured and at the ready, and have a sheet of parchment paper or a baking sheet ready on which to dump the candied nuts.
  • Remove the lid from the pot, and, without stirring, boil the syrup until it reaches an amber caramel. (If the mixture begins to crystallize, you can save it by adding more water and beginning the caramelization process again.) Remove the pot from the heat and immediately swirl in the butter, then add the nuts and stir quickly to coat with a heat-proof silicone spatula.
  • Dump and scrape the nuts out onto the parchment, and quickly separate the pieces with the spatula as much as possible. When the nuts have cooled, chop them coarsely. Bigger chunks of hazelnut look pretty, but small pieces make the biscotti easier to cut, so choose your own adventure!

Make the biscotti:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the eggs with 3/4 cup of sugar on medium-high until thick, foamy, and lightened in color, about 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, sift together the oat flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.
  • With the mixer on low, add the melted and cooled butter and vanilla. Stir until combined. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine. Increase the mixer to medium and beat for about 20 seconds; this helps activate the sticky qualities of the flour which will help the dough hold together.
  • With the mixer on low, stir in the candied chopped hazelnuts. Remove the bowl and give the dough a final fold with a flexible spatula, scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure the dough is well-combined and the hazelnuts evenly dispersed.
  • Cover and chill the dough until firm enough to handle, 1-2 hours. You can chill the dough for up to 2 days at this point, you’ll just want to let it soften a bit before proceeding with the next steps.
  • Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350ºLine 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a log that’s about 12 inches long, 1 inch high and 2 inches wide. Place longways on the baking sheet (or sheetspaced at least 3 – 4 inches apart. (You can use one sheet for both, but you will need both sheets for the cut cookies.)
  • Bake the logs until golden, firm, and cooked through, 25-30 minutes, rotating once or twice. Let the logs cool completely. (At this point, you can wrap and freeze the logs to be baked later if you like.)
  • Use a wide metal spatula to remove a log to a cutting board. With a large, sharp chef’s knife, cut the log on a steep diagonal into ½ - ¾-inch thick slices. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets and repeat with the other log.
  • Bake the cookies a second time until dried and golden, about 12-17 minutes, flipping the cookies over halfway through if they are browning more on the underside. Let cool completely.

Temper the chocolate:

  • Tempering will prevent the chocolate from forming streaks after it cools. Bring 2 inches of water in a saucepan to a boil. Place the chocolate in a heatproof metal bowl. Remove the pot from the heat and place the bowl over the pot. Stir frequently until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the bowl from the pot and set it aside while you do other things, stirring the chocolate vigorously every few minutes. The chocolate will cool to room temperature and the stirring keeps it in emulsion. This will take about 30-60 minutes depending on how warm your kitchen is. Note that this method doesn’t work well in high humidity.
  • To test the chocolate, smear a little on a piece of parchment paper. It should look matte and mostly set within a minute or two. If the chocolate becomes too firm to work with, place the bowl over the pot of steamy water for a few seconds, stirring constantly, until the chocolate has just barely softened.
  • Dip the biscotti in the tempered chocolate and sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts.
  • These biscotti keep well, in an airtight container, for up to 1 week if they last that long.

Notes

To simplify this recipe:
You can skip the candied nut step and use toasted, chopped hazelnuts, almonds, or the nuts or seeds of your choice instead. Decrease the sweet rice flour by 2 tablespoons and proceed with the recipe. 
You can skip the step of tempering the chocolate or use another tempering method if you prefer. Chocolate that hasn't been tempered will likely form streaks when it hardens but it will still taste delicious. 
Make-Ahead Options:
Biscotti take several steps that can be broken up over time. You can make the dough up to 2 days ahead and refrigerate until ready to use, or freeze to bake in the future. If chilled for more than 2 hours, you'll need to soften the dough at room temperature until soft enough to shape, 15-30 minutes. If frozen, defrost before using. 
The baked logs can be wrapped and refrigerated for several days or frozen before slicing and baking. Baked, undipped biscotti cookies can be frozen for up to 1 month. Refresh in the oven until crispy before using. 
Biscotti Troubleshooting:
Biscotti, like all cookie recipes, are sensitive to slight changes in measurement. Use the weight measurements listed here for the most accurate results. If measuring by volume, use the dip and sweet (aka scoop and swoop) method: dip a dry measuring cup or spoon into the flour or starch and use a small offset spatula or the back of a knife to sweep away the excess flour flush with the cup or spoon.
If your biscotti logs spread too much during baking, try adding an extra tablespoon or two of either flour next time. If the biscotti don't spread enough and the cookies feel dense or dry, decrease the flour by the same amount next time. 
If the biscotti logs are difficult to cut or fall apart when cut, be sure to let them cool to room temperature in their middles before slicing. For extra sturdy logs, wrap and chill the logs for several hours or overnight. Chopping the nuts into smaller pieces will also make the logs easier to cut. 

Nutrition

Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 84mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 113IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
Making this? I'd love to see!Tag your snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet!

This recipe is part of a virtual cookie swap! Check out the delicious cookie recipes my friends are sharing:

More Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes:

Gluten-Free Biscotti with Hazelnuts & Chocolate being eaten with coffee

Gluten-Free Almond Biscotti recipe being served on a plate with coffee

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30 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Biscotti with Hazelnuts & Chocolate”

  1. You talented you! As always, your photos take my breath away. I love that you shared how to make it ahead as I love prepping my biscotti batter a day before. Such a great recipe. Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers!

  2. Hi Alanna! I don’t usually comment on recipes I haven’t yet tried, but since I’m away from home, I thought I’d tell you of adapting a regular biscotti recipe to a gf one. My daughter loves the Cooking Light soft spice biscotti recipe and requested it last Christmas. So I substituted Minimalist Baker’s gf flour mix for wheat flour and it turned out really well. She enjoyed it! I hope to try your recipe soon but am a bit thwarted by spending the winter months in a poorly equipped (kitchen-wise!) condo. I miss baking but hope to do the best I can adapting to my surroundings. Where there’s a will there’s a way! Thank you for your excellent work!
    Merry Christmas!

    1. Oooh those biscotti sound so good! It’s always a thrill when it’s easy to convert a recipe to GF, yay! Sorry to hear about your poorly equipped kitchen this winter, but let me know if you brave this recipe! Happy holidays to you as well.

    1. Sure! I think you could just leave them off entirely. You might need to decrease the flour a little since there will be less moisture from the lack of caramel. Or you could sub pumpkin seeds!

  3. It’s my first time making biscotti, let alone gluten free biscotti! But your recipe was so easy to follow and the result looks (and tastes) amazing! My logs were slightly crumbly when I started to cut them, I think the hot Australian summer didn’t help, but your troubleshooting tips helped so much, I wrapped them and put them in the fridge and they came out perfect!
    Happy holidays!

  4. Happy holidays Alanna, love this biscotti recipe…perfect timing for gift giving!
    The yummy candied nuts were a breeze…in my excitement to dump them onto the parchment, I spilled some onto the floor…nibbled the rest as there wasn’t enough to use in the recipe 😁 I have since made 2 more batches of nuts and 1 of biscotti.
    I would like to vary this recipe to make an assortment of biscotti…do you think I could add dried fruit such as cranberries/or apricots and white or dark chocolate without changing the other ingredients?

    1. Aw I’m so glad to hear this!! I’m also curious to try variations (pistachios?!) I think that the dried fruit might absorb moisture in the dough, but then the chocolate might make it spread a little more. I think you could try adding them in without changing the other ratios. If they wind up feeling dry or dense, you might decrease the sweet rice flour by a couple of tablespoons next time. Please let me know what you try!

  5. These GF beauties tempted me so much I had to give them a go, despite my intimidation. I’m a novice a GF baking and since discovering I have Celiac in my 50s it’s been a bit daunting to relearn how to cook and bake. Since eating healthy is my top priority, learning to cook gf first was essential.
    As a perfectionist and one who really struggles with wasted time, ingredients, and money, I have become more and more reluctant to dive into gf baking as too many recipes are complicated for me or end up as disappointments, often requiring multiple ingredients that I won’t use up before they expire. Skilled confectioners such as yourself spend the time required to create gorgeous artisan desserts for those of us without the training, instinct, and drive you must have for this. Then you apply more effort to photograph and blog about them with equal skill for others to enjoy simply to gazing at them or also try the recipe. As for myself, I aspire to make as well as you do. Thank you for what you do and how you have inspired me. I had a couple of thoughts for feedback if you have the time. The dough seemed very wet and sticky, more like a thick batter. I was wondering if maybe I didn’t beat the dough enough to activate the sticky qualities, but it was quite sticky, so I went with it. I had to refrigerate and wait 2 days to bake. I didn’t form into logs first as I didn’t have time. I let the dough sit out for about an hour or more at room temp in a bowl. Maybe that was too long as when I divided it and formed into loaves, the dough was still very sticky and quite soft to handle. When I baked them they spread and flattened a bit. Perhaps next time I will try adding a bit more flour as you recommend. Will any of the 3 be a good choice?
    Your cantucci are absolutely beautiful and uniform. Mine came out as a decent first try; and I’m a bit more confident having tried them on my own. Thank you again Alanna for all you do to provide those of us who don’t have the talent, drive, and skill you have at making your craft look so easy and delicious, as well as accessible.

    1. Hi Diane!

      Thanks very much for trying my recipe and for the kind words! That means a lot to me.

      The dough is definitely very wet and sticky when it’s first mixed, but it should firm up quite a bit in the fridge. I do think an hour may have been longer than ideal to soften the dough after chilling. Did you use weight or volume when you measured the flour? If you used volume, it’s possible that you measured the flours a little light or something and that the dough does need a bit more flour added. In any case, I’m so glad you liked these and that they made GF baking feel a little more accessible! Let me know if there are any goods your itching to bake or cook and I can try to point you toward a good recipe or two. :)

  6. I made these using 4 tablespoons of olive oil instead of the butter to cater to a dairy free individual. I did not caramelize the nuts and forgot to take out the 2T of mochiko. They were delicious! They were a bit more tender (maybe my second bake wasn’t long enough) than I’m used to for biscotti but I made so many changes/mess ups that it could be due to any one of those reasons (or all). Above mentioned individual is grain free (which I didn’t realize) so that means two logs of biscotti for meeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

    1. Aw that was sweet of you to accommodate your guest! What a shame they couldn’t eat them after all. I love the idea to use olive oil here, I’ll have to try that. Thanks a bunch for making my recipe and for the sweet note!

  7. One of my friends was diagnosed gluten intolerant recently. He loves a recipe for Cretan almond biscotti I make very often, but they’re made with regular flour. I think these look like the perfect treat for him now :)

  8. Hi! I don’t have a paddle attachment for a hand mixer – only a standard wisk for a hand mixer. Do you think this will work or do you have any other advise for how to make without a stand mixer?! Also – do you think i could swap butter for coconut oil?

    1. You could certainly try whisking the eggs by hand until they’re thick and foamy, it will just take a bit of muscle. I *think* coconut oil should work fine in place of the butter. Please let me know what you try!