Spiced Whole Grain Almond Biscotti with Aniseed and Cardamom

I have a confession to make: I have a hard time truly relaxing without feeling guilty about it. I’m ambitious, and I have many shoes to fill as a single mother with a household and business to attend to (not to mention my own personal hobbies and needs). Frequently, I feel like I just don’t have enough time to ever take it easy. There’s housework to do, a garden to tend, paperwork to finish, deadlines to meet, and so and so on…

Paradoxically, I’m dedicated to taking care of myself through diet, exercise, and emotional well being. Yet I still don’t take the time to recharge as often as I’d like. Part of it is due to my own self-imposed conditioning and the deeply ingrained patterns I’ve built over the past few decades. And, sadly, some of it is due to the strenuous demands required of anyone who wants to get and stay on top of the game—something I find quite prevalent in our modern Western world.

Over the past few years, I’ve made great strides in putting my needs first. I try to acknowledge and let go of my tendency to Do ALL the things! And I try to pencil in some dedicated time for myself; to turn off my monkey brain a little, enjoy life, and relax. I’ve come to realize that my world won’t crumble around me if I take time away from the daily demands of life. In fact, it leads to more productivity and well being, not less. And since my health is one of the most important things in my life, I’ll continue to prioritize downtime. It’s an integral part of my journey to stay strong, vibrant, and lively.

One way I enjoy downtime is through the simple act of sharing a pot of coffee or tea with someone. There’s something about it that separates it from other restful activities. It doesn’t involve much work of the brain or the body, especially compared to my other “restful” activities, such as gardening and yoga (physical work!); reading (mental work!); or crossword puzzles (more mental work!). There’s also watching TV (which isn’t really a lot of work, and really isn’t that healthy, so I try not to do it much). Sharing a meal is much like a coffee or tea date, yet often results with me in the kitchen. This is a place where I’m very comfortable and happy. But since I’m always in the kitchen, it somewhat defeats the purpose of stepping away from my responsibilities.

Thus, with the act of sharing tea, there’s not much for me to do other than be present and enjoy conversation, comfort, and connection with a loved one.

And, of course, making the biscotti.

This crisp, fragrant cookie is sweetened just enough to make it indulgent, and it’s perfectly suited for an afternoon treat. Aromatic spices separate them from your everyday sweet and pair exquisitely with the bittersweet chocolate. The flavors complement herbal teas, strong-brewed coffee, and pretty much any other warm beverage. These are relatively simple to prepare and take minimal hands-on time or skill, plus they store well at room temperature and freeze beautifully. A batch makes a fairly large quantity of finished biscotti, so these are an easy treat to make ahead and have on hand for company.

Then, once you plate your biscotti, all you have left to do is fill your cup.

Spiced Whole Grain Almond Biscotti with Aniseed and Cardamom

I’ve provided the ingredients in both weight and volume measurements. If you have a food scale, I recommend weight measurements for more accuracy.
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 80–90 minutes

¾ cup chopped almonds (or 100 grams whole)
1¼ cups (150 grams) whole wheat flour, freshly milled if possible
¾ cup (100 grams) einkorn flour, freshly milled if possible
¾ cup (100 grams) almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
½ teaspoon ground aniseed
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup (100 grams) coconut sugar
3 large organic eggs, pastured if possible
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I use 70% or higher)


  1. Toast almonds in a 350°F oven until fragrant and lightly browned, about 7–8 minutes. Cool, then roughly chop.
  2. Lower heat to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flours, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, vanilla, and coconut sugar in a stand mixer or separate large bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix with paddle attachment (if using standing mixer), or mix by hand with spatula or wooden spoon until just combined (about half way). Add chopped almonds and continue mixing until well combined.
  3. Scrape out the dough onto prepared baking sheet. Using damp hands, form into a log about the length of the pan, 4- to 5-inches wide and 1½-inches thick.
  4. Bake 50–60 minutes, until lightly browned and dry. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer log to a cutting board. With a sharp or serrated knife, slice on a slight angle into thin biscotti, about ⅓-inch thick. Place cookies back on baking sheet. (If necessary, divide among two pans.)
  6. Bake one sheet at a time in center of the oven, about 10–15 minutes. Flip over and bake another 10–15 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned and hard. Repeat steps with remaining pan. Cool completely before proceeding with next step.
  7. Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler until smooth. Dip one side of the cookie (I like dipping the entire base, so each bite has chocolate in it). Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate or freeze until firm. To store, transfer to airtight container or Ziploc bag.

Image from Briana Goodall. 

Briana Goodall, CPC

Briana Goodall is Chef and Owner of Green Cuisine Personal Chef Service. Visit her website at www.mygreencuisine.com.

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