Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mandelbrot, or Biscotti by Another Name (regular or gluten free)

Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot
Since my Mom died, I haven't felt like baking.  But, I looked at the calendar and realized that Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas are just around the corner and, all of a sudden, I wanted to bake something special.  Mandelbrot.  My Mom used to make an incredibly decadent Mandelbrot with chocolate chips and walnuts and lots of butter.

You might not be familiar with Mandelbrot.  It is a type of double baked cookie, like biscotti, but not quite as hard or crunchy.  Mandelbrot means "almond bread" and is the Eastern European version of twice-baked cookies.  I used to make biscotti all the time, mostly chocolate, and decided to search through my recipes to find one I could adapt to gluten free baking that might be just a little "healthier", in other words, a little less fat.

I found a recipe that I had put aside to try because the technique was different from typical biscotti - it was made in a loaf pan for the first bake, sliced, then baked on a cookie sheet for the second bake.  The original recipe was for a regular loaf pan, which seemed way too large for cookies.  So, I made some adjustments and came up with the perfect proportions for a mini loaf pan.  And, I substituted oil for the butter.

The result was a delicate biscotti-like cookie, not too sweet, and definitely delicious.  When I make them again (which I will), I will toast the almonds to bring out the flavor and either add more chocolate chips or dip them in chocolate.   The recipe came out equally good with regular flour as it did with an all purpose gluten-free flour blend.  This recipe was much easier than regular biscotti, you don't need a stand mixer, it slices easily, it was exactly what I was looking for.  Let me know if you try it.

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast blog.  Hope you'll visit us again, soon.

Easy Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot (gluten free or not)

3 TBS sugar
4 teaspoons oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup all-purpose gluten free flour blend (or regular all-purpose flour)
1/4 heaping teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/8 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a mini loaf pan (or line with parchment paper).
  2. Whisk together the sugar and oil. Stir in egg and beat well, then add vanilla and almond extract.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix in almonds and chocolate chips.
  4. Add dry to wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
  5. Bake until puffed up and lightly golden, and seems set (cake might be cracked on top), about 30-35 minutes. Cool fifteen minutes then remove from pan and wrap tightly in foil. Chill 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. Slice into very thin slices (about 1/8 inch thick) and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 350 F until golden, turning once - about 10 - 15 minutes total.

Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot