You have a container (or two) of protein powder, purchased a while back, and you keep meaning to add it to your smoothies (when you get around to making a smoothie); this is a crunchy, munchy alternative, perfect anytime you need a healthy treat to nibble alongside a cup of coffee. Or tea. Or water. Or anything potable. It’s also perfect if you think cookies for breakfast is brilliant.
This particular recipe came together on a whim. I was meeting up with a friend for coffee and wanted to bring something to thank her for the excellent bedtime brain-candy book (here) she recently passed my way. Several facts guided this recipe’s development: (1) She loves biscotti (she buys 1 or 2 every time we meet for coffee); (2) she is a fellow fitness geek; (3) she is always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate protein into her diet.
I decided she needed a protein-boosted biscotti recipe to enjoy now (from my oven) and make later (in her oven), and after a few minutes of grabbing this-and-that from my pantry, then referencing several of the biscotti recipes I’ve developed in the past, I ended up with slender, crunchy cookies with toasted almonds and some random chunks of chocolate.
Biscotti gets a bad rap for being tricky or complicated. Don’t believe a word of it; it’s one of the most forgiving cookies and is simple to make and bake. A few tips…Don’t shape the log of dough too wide; it will spread as it bakes, plus you can cut it as long as you like once baked by slicing on the diagonal. Second, err on the side of less rather than more time for the second bake (I’ve come across some that have you leave it in the oven overnight); the cookies will continue to harden as they cool, and while you want significant crunch, you also should aim to keep your teeth intact. Also, do your best to get all the biscotti slices roughly the same thickness. You don’t need to whip out the ruler (although…I do. Once a math geek, always a math geek), but you want to avoid some slices getting over- or under-brown.
This is a simple, gently sweet cookie ideal for anytime of day, but especially if you are fond of crunchiness in the morning (check!). I genuinely think it is perfect straight up, but a handful of your favorite dried fruit, some cacao nibs, seeds, nuts, or the combination of dark chocolate and almonds I added for this batch is always splendid.
- ¾ cup quinoa flour (click here to make your own!)
- ⅓ cup vanilla whey protein powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- Optional: ½ tsp ground spice of choice (e.g., cinnamon, ginger, cardamom)
- ⅛ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 3 tbsp honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter or virgin coconut oil, melted
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (total) of stir-ins (e.g., chopped dried fruit, cacao nibs, chopped chocolate, nuts)
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, protein powder, baking powder, optional spice, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, egg white, honey, melted butter, and vanilla until blended. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture; add any stir-ins, if using. Mix until just blended. (it does not have to be completely cohesive at this point).
- Transfer dough mixture to prepared cookie sheet. Using wet hands, press and shape dough to form into a 12x3-inch log.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the log is set and brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300F.
- Slice biscotti at a 45-degree angle into 16 slices (about ¾-inch thick). Lay flat on the same cookie sheet and return to the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Flip cookies and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer cookie sheet to a wire rack; cool completely on cookie sheet. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to two weeks.