Chai Spice Biscotti (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

If you are attempting to go sugar free, chances are that you are going to run into recipes made with stevia. Sooner rather than later. You simply won’t be able to avoid it. Fortunately, it’s now a fairly easy-to-obtain ingredient, sold in supermarkets, health food stores and all across the web under various guises. Sometimes it’s in liquid form, sometimes it’s powdered. Sometimes it’s mixed with other alternative sweeteners, sometimes it comes on its own. But WHAT is it? I mean really, what do you know about stevia? I will tell you, I knew next to nothing before becoming a diabetic. I knew it was supposed to be all-natural, I knew it was supposed to be sweet. Beyond that, it was barely a blip on my radar.

Here’s what I know now…stevia comes from the leaves of a plant called Stevia rebaudiana, native to Paraguay. The compound that comes from the leaves is much, much sweeter than sugar (up to 30 times more sweet, according to some). Stevia has been used as a sweetener by native Paraguayans for centuries, and is popular as a sugar substitute in Asia. But in the US, Canada and Europe, it was only recently approved by the FDA as a sugar substitute. Prior to a few years ago, stevia could only be sold as a dietary supplement, since the FDA has little control over supplements (a rather scary thought, no?). In 2008, the FDA approved rebaudioside A, a very refined stevia extract, and now it’s popping up all over the place in diet foods, drinks and sweeteners like Truvia (a combination of erythritol and stevia).

I’ve been using stevia for a while now, almost exclusively in its liquid form. But I had a chance to try Stevia in the Raw recently, a product I’ve been eyeing in magazine ads and on grocery store shelves. Because stevia extract is so sweet, it can be hard to figure out how to cook and bake with it. It takes a little getting used to, and I’ve learned from experimenting with it. But Stevia in the Raw takes the guesswork out of it, by producing a product that can replace sugar, cup for cup. To make it so, it is combined with maltodextrin, a food additive made from starch and found in many foods and drinks.

I’ve gotten so used to my own methods of sweetening my goodies, I almost don’t know how to use anything that can be substituted for sugar cup for cup anymore! But I decided I had to give it a try and biscotti seemed like an ideal trial recipe. I was craving some to go with my morning coffee and I had the idea to flavour them with the spices that give Chai tea its flavour. I have fallen in love with cardamom lately, using it in cakes and cookies to give them an exotic flair. I keep the seeds whole and grind them as I need them. And it’s a spice with a lot of presence, so a little goes a long way.

The Results: What can I say about biscotti that hasn’t already been said? It’s crunchy and hard but softens up so perfectly when dipped in coffee (or tea, if you are a tea drinker). The chai spices are wonderful in it, and the cardamom is present without being overwhelming. And the Stevia in the Raw performed very well! I put in 3/4 cup and it was definitely sweet enough. I could almost cut back to 1/2 and be happy, but my tastebuds have changed and tend not to like things very sweet anymore. I certainly wouldn’t put more than 1 cup in this recipe.

I like this product quite a bit and will definitely continue to use it. There is no powdered form (yet), so the glaze for these biscotti is made with powdered erythritol. I certainly won’t give up on my other sweeteners, like erythritol, xylitol and liquid stevia, but it’s good to be able to add another reliable product to the mix. I can see using it to sub out some of the sugar in treats for my kids, like cookies and cakes, to help cut down on their sugar consumption.

One small note: the glaze on these biscotti is almost purely decorative. It doesn’t really add or detract from the flavour, it’s just to make them a little more visually interesting. So I won’t be offended if you leave it out!

Chai Spice Biscotti

Biscotti:
2 cups almond flour
3/4 cup Stevia in the Raw
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Glaze:
1/4 cup powdered erythritol
1 tbsp strong brewed tea

Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, Stevia in the Raw, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and xanthan gum. In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter, egg, vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir vigorously until dough comes together.

Turn dough out onto baking sheet and form into low, flat log, 10 x 4 inches. Bake 22 to 24 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250F.

With a sharp knife, gently cut into 15 even slices. Place slices back onto baking sheet cut-side down and bake for 15 minutes, then flip each slice and continue to bake for another 15 minutes. Turn off oven and let sit inside until cool.

For the glaze, whisk together the powdered erythritol and the tea until smooth. Drizzle over cooled biscotti and let set.

Serves 15. Each biscotti has a total of 5g of carbs and 2g of fiber.

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Comments

  1. I would have thought making gluten free biscotti was an impossibility…but leave it to my creative friend to wow me again. These look fabulous~

  2. looks yummy I have yet to bake anything with a sugar substitute. I may have to give this a go.

  3. RavieNomNoms says:

    That is awesome Carolyn! I love all the ingredients that you used here. I really like your addition of the ginger

  4. Angie's Recipes says:

    I will have to look out for some Stevia in the raw too.
    Your biscotti sound really great with all the listed spices.

  5. Mmm I love biscotti and these look so delicious! I wish I had some this morning to snack on :)

  6. suzy eats says:

    wow!!i have never made a biscotti before. I am really going to try this. thanks for sharing this.

  7. Eating Deliciously says:

    I am a huge fan of chai. I've never made biscotti before but I'll be trying this recipe very soon.

  8. Kate@Diethood says:

    Biscotti with cardamom?! Oh my…I wish I could come over for afternoon tea! :)

  9. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom says:

    Thanks for the stevia education. I jump between regular white sugar and the raw turbinado but consider trying others just to give them a whirl. I'm more of a winter biscotti eater, when I drink hot coffee so I will save your recipe to make a few months from now.

  10. Parsley Sage says:

    I reckon this is so good. Love the flavors you used. Chai + cardamom = Brilliance :)

  11. Maris(In Good Taste) says:

    This looks like perfect biscotti. Wish I had some right now with my cup of tea

  12. Nami @ Just One Cookbook says:

    I drink chai (learned recipe from my Indian friend) everyday because I'm so addicted to cardamom taste/fragrance. This sounds like it would be my favorite biscotti… I love all of the pictures here.

  13. Yum yum yum! I am weak in the face of all things chai! I can't wait to make these!

  14. tiffany says:

    We grow stevia in the community garden I volunteer at! I was totally amazed the first time I bit into a leaf! Now, I totally know what I am going to do with it…make this biscotti!

  15. Kimberly says:

    No way… Girl you amaze me!! Those look incredible! And just love this recipe, not only that you used the Stevia in it but also that it has the Chai flavors that I so adore… Can not wait to try this!!!! (I'm super excited can you tell? lol!)

  16. Such beautiful presentations! I wanted to let you know about my cookbook giveaway that is going on right now until July 16th. Stop on by to enter! Hope you are having a great week :)

    http://steaknpotatoeskindagurl.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-first-giveaway.html

  17. cakewhiz says:

    i absolutely can't live without chai or any other tea for that matter…hehe! And these chai biscottis look so appealing!

  18. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says:

    Glad you liked the way Stevia in the Raw worked out. The chai biscotti sound delicious, great flavor idea!

  19. Jeanette says:

    Carolyn,
    These biscotti are gorgeous! Love that you used almond flour in these so they're gluten-free. Chai spice mix is one of my favorites – what a neat idea in biscotti – would love to have one of these with a cup of tea!

  20. kitchenarian says:

    I just love biscotti and yet I have never made it. I want to try it with the stevia. This looks delicious.

  21. Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen says:

    Hi Carolyn! I'm new to your blog, happy to have found it through Foodbuzz. These look awesome! Biscotti have been made with almonds since the Middle Ages, so using almond meal as a flour replacement is both healthy AND historically appropriate. Love that you're using natural sweeteners instead of chemicals. I look forward to more of your posts! :)

  22. Peasant Gourmet says:

    Those are some beautiful pictures you have! Your recipes looks very yummy.

  23. Jessica {The Novice Chef} says:

    This sounds amazing! I love that they are low carb. :-) Great photos by the way!

  24. Jill Colonna says:

    Carolyn, I really appreciated you taking us through Stevia. I have to say that I can't find it here but I really need to try out your sugar alternatives. Amazing gluten free biscotti. I'm not normally a fan of these biscuits but somehow you've managed to change my mind and try them again – especially dressed up with a glaze and with exotic cardamom with a chai – since they're totally transformed!

    • Regina says:

      I love the biscotti idea, but I can’t use xanthan gum it bothers my stomach. I have tried it with extra egg as a binder, but it doesn’t work. Do you have any other substitution? I would love to eat a full biscotti instead of crumbs all the time! Lol

      • Carolyn says:

        I think you could actually skip the xanthan altogether and just cut them VERY gently when you take them out of the oven the first time. Be sure to let the log cool for 30 minutes or so first.

  25. Bouler Locavore says:

    This was a great article/post Carolyn. I too have been aware of Stevia for years but would have had no idea how to integrate it into baking. Do you find it has any after taste? Also I've not tried to make a GF biscotti! Have my Grandmother's old recipe and may substitute the almond flour to give it a whirl. Thanks for the nudge!

  26. The Harried Cook says:

    Wow… This is fabulous! I can imagine how fragrant and delicious this must be! And gluten-free too! :) Great post, Carolyn!

  27. looks hearty n delicious..
    first time here..love your space
    you have gorgeous recipe collection with excellent clicks..
    Am your happy email subscriber now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  28. Pretend Chef says:

    Drinking coffee now and craving these now. I love cardamom and anything with chai in the recipe title. Yummy!

  29. megan @ whatmegansmaking says:

    oh I love chai anything! These would be perfect with some chai tea :)

  30. The Slow Roasted Italian says:

    These look amazing!

  31. This is really great Carolyn! I have to sent this to my aunt..she would love it! Your recipe is fantastic and presentation and photos just beautiful!!

  32. Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} says:

    I love that it measures the same as sugar!

  33. Island Vittles says:

    Your biscotti looks like the perfect treat for a mid-morning snack on the deck along with a nice cup of tea — I love tea in hot weather! Is that weird? Theresa

  34. Falling Flat says:

    Your pictures are EPIC! and everything looks very good in them.

  35. Cassie @ Bake Your Day says:

    Wow, this sounds so wonderful. I don't eat a lot of biscotti because they usually aren't very healthy but these are perfect!

  36. Magic of Spice says:

    I have a stevia plant in my garden and just recently got a shipment of various products from a giveaway…this is a lovely biscotti and a very informative post :) Will want to reference back to it when I try out the products, if that is OK?
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  37. Love the flavors of chai spice in my sweets. These biscotti look delish!

  38. Roxana GreenGirl says:

    I drink so much tea hubby makes fun of me I have tea running through my veins :)
    Of course, I'm always looking for treats to enjoy my daily cups of tea and these just perfect.

  39. My Home Diary in Turkey says:

    drinking tea in Turkey is like drinking water, anytime, anywhere, any occasion… and I never stop thinking to look for something to accompany our tea time.. this is another great treat.. thx for the sharing Carolyn ^,^

  40. Chef Dennis says:

    we love biscotti in our house, and I really need to start cutting back on sugars, Stevia sounds like the best way to do it. My grocer only has little packets of Stevia in the Raw, I have been looking for boxes, I would love to try it in my baking recipes!
    Your biscotti looks delicious, and the chi spice sounds like a very nice idea!

  41. Lindselicious says:

    Oh I have been wanting to try stevia in the raw! Thanks for the great review. The Chai Biscotti sounds delish!

  42. LaPhemmePhoodie says:

    Carolyn I've been on the hunt for a gluten-free biscotti recipe. So psyched to try this. I love tea and I really enjoy having a sweet like this with my tea.

  43. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) says:

    Hi, I just found your blog yesterday and I like it! :) These biscotti look so good. I look forward to more of your recipes. I subscribed!

    Jenn

  44. Susan Lindquist says:

    This biscotti looks fantastic … Love the GF factor … it's always nice to be able to make a treat for my dear friend who is gluten intolerant. I also like your special chai touch in the biscotti and in the tea-based glaze.

    Great recipe!

  45. Divya Yadava says:

    I bought some Stevia from Bulk Barn the other day. This recipe will be a great way to try it out! Thanks for sharing.

  46. I just made these this afternoon. They are SO yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  47. Do you make the powdered erythritol in a food processor or blender…or did you find it pre-packaged?…I LOVE the idea of the glaze “finish”…so visually alluring!…I am “there” for Chai or cardamom ANYTHING….and I am into all things biscotti. Thank you for this healthy riff…so well detailed/explained. I appreciate all of your culinary “homework”!! It helps so much with the process!

  48. Julia Sweeney says:

    Could I substitute Swerve for the stevia on the raw in this recipe? Would the amount stay the same? Thanks!

  49. I am interested in trying these but I don’t use the products listed. Can I use regular flour for the almond flour? How about regular sugar for Stevia? What is xanthan gum? I absolutely love anything chai and these look terrific!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] for gluten free dessert that is low carb at the same time, there is this sweet food called the Chai Spice Biscotti which would more than just make your day. It makes use of stevia as an alternative to sugar which […]

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