When the American South meets an Italian American for a pickled vegetable Giardiniera Salad

I was working with a new version of this classic pickled salad I affectionately call “Sherry’s Special Giardiniera Salad” in honor of Sherry Skinner‘s birthday and decided to rework it with some different vegetables, including a southern, classic okra.

The Giardiniera (pronounced jar-din-AIR-a) salad is a common side dish that Italians and Italian Americans often have sitting ready for snacking and as a side, much like it’s American cousin, the pickle. It can often be found in the stores, in the jarred vegetable section, but it’s such an easy dish to make and it’s perfect when you have an abundance of vegetables that do well with the bite of herbs, spices and vinegar.

This version is not heat processes so it’s only good up to a week, if it lasts that long. (There are many recipe that will allow you to heat process these to keep them longer and make them shelf stable.)


Part 1 -the Veg

  • 4 to 8 Serrano chiles, seeds removed and thinly sliced or leave hole for less zing (Quick tip- use a fat straw to remove the seeds and ribs easily)

  • 1 Red  Bell Peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 Celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 Carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1/2- 1 small head Cauliflower, cut into small florets

  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced

  • 1 Fennel bulb ( medium)

  • 1/2 lb Okra

  • 1/2 Onion Red or sweet, sliced thin

  • 1/3 cup kosher salt

Part 2 – Seasoning Mix

  • 1 tablespoon dried Oregano

  • 1 teaspoon crushed Red Pepper flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon Celery seeds

  • 6-8 whole black Peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seed

Part 3 – Marinade

  • 1-2 Bay Leaves

  • 1 cup white Vinegar

  • 1 cup Olive Oil


    • If your celery or fennel has leaves on them, reserve the leaves in a damp paper towel in an open plastic zip bag over night and include in the part 2 step.

      Optional add ins include sliced green or black olives, hot cherry peppers, small green tomatoes, whole ginger.


Step 1

  1. Clean, peel and chop your vegetable to your preference.

  2. Combine the chiles, red peppers, onion, celery, carrots, okra, fennel, cucumbers and cauliflower in a large ceramic or glass bowl.

  3. Add the salt gently mix well into vegetable mixture.

  4. Add enough water to cover the vegetables.

  5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for about 12 hours or overnight.

Part 2

  1. Drain and rinse the vegetables under cold running water to remove the salt. Set aside to drain in a strainer.

  2. In a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients and blend (garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, assorted seeds, peppercorns, etc.).

  3. Add some of the seasoning to the bottom of a clean dry jar

  4. Add the drained vegetables being careful not to break up the vegetables (Note: you can also do this in an large bowl and using your hands – use gloves if you hands are sensitive to peppers and garlic and then add to the jar)

  5. Pour the vinegar and oil in.

  6. Tuck in 1 -2 Bay leaves, leftover celery leaves and any fennel fronds.

  7. Add additional vinegar to cover the mixture.

  8. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 days before serving.

  9. Stir the mixture or gently rotate the jar once or twice during that time.

When it’s ready to be eaten, remove the jar from the refrigerator about 30 mins prior. Plate and serve as a snack plate or topping on a salad or grilled meats.

Note: The same mixture could be diced up, with olives, drained and added to cold cut sandwiches, similar to the classic muffaletta  italian sandwich invented in New Orleans with cured meats (ham and salami), provolone cheese, olive dressing and the best local breads.

Date Nut & Dried Cherry Choc Chip Bread

Dried fruit and  nut breads, were a popular standard in the part of New England where I grew up. This version is full of dates, dried cherries and chunks of chocolate. It’s a great alternative to traditional Banana or Pumpkin bread. Paired with sharp cream cheese spread or my Ricotta Cheese Dip Topping this will take you from breakfast to before bedtime snack


  • 3 cups dried and chopped dates & dried cherries ( dried cranberries work too)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 eggs separated
  • 1/2 salt
  • 1 – 1 1/2 vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips ( bittersweet or dark choc)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp melted butter ( or shortening)
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
  • Cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice optional


Step 1

  • Mix chopped dates and cherry with the  baking soda, pour boiling water on, and let sit until cool
  • When cool strain the liquid from the date (BUT reserve the liquid ) and cherry mixture.
  • Pre-heat oven to 325

Step 2

  • Separate eggs
  • Mix egg yolks, sugar, salt, butter and vanilla.
  • Next Add flour and date and cherry liquid. Alternating until both are used up ( Usually I do this in fourths)
  • Add in the date-cherry mixture and any remaining liquid, nuts, and choc chips until combine

Step 3

  • Beat eggs whites to soft peaks and fold into the batter until just incorporated

Pour into 2 loaf pans or 4 -5 mini loaf pans

Top with Turbinado Sugar if you want more crunch on the top

Bake 325, 60 – 80 min middle rack until a toothpick comes out dry

Roasted Broccolini with Peanut Sauce

Roasted Broccolini with Peanut Sauce

One cold and rainy day on the @Foodtoktv channel: “Rainy Day Comfort Lunch” Live, I knew I needed something spicy and with a vegetable – so I went to a dish I made back in November, Roasted Broccolini with Peanut Sauce. This dish is inspired by Molly Yeh’s version. Along with it, I made my Bacon, Green onion, Cheddar and Walnut Muffins and Muscles, Potatoes and Bacon is perfect.


  • 2 bunches broccolini

  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat ( or you can use olive oil)

  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

  • Pinch crushed red pepper

  • 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts

  • ¼ cup chopped roasted red pepper (drained)

  • Sriracha, for serving

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (or electric skillet to 250 degrees).

  2. For the oven:

    1. Lay out the broccolini on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil.

  3. For the Electric Skillet

    1. Add the bacon fat or olive oil. Add the broccolini to a cold skillet

    2. heat to 250 and cover.

  4. Roast until tender and beginning to brown, about 15 – 20 minutes. Rotate as needed

  5. Meanwhile, add peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic and crushed red pepper to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add lime juice and lime zest to thin.

  6. Transfer the broccolini to a serving platter and drizzle with the sauce.

  7. Top with the roasted red pepper, crushed peanuts, sriracha and cilantro.

  8. Add an extra drizzle of sesame oil

  9. Serve with lime wedges.


This is one of the dishes  I made previously on @foodtoktv live. You can see that live on the @Foodtoktv Youtube channel

Follow me on Tiktok under @KitchenBearSF (in addition to my original profile Frank_Mentorsf) as work up to the 1k needed followers to start going live cooking again

Bacon, Onion, Cheese, Walnut Muffins

Bacon, Onion, Cheese and Walnut Muffins

There is something about savory muffins that I love.

These Bacon, Onion, Cheese, and Walnut Muffins are perfect for dipping in soups or gravy, or smeared with butter or honey I did on my @Foodtoktv’s “Rainy Day Comfort Lunch” live .

This combination is a old favorite, I often see it in scones. But was excited to try in a muffin version, from this vintage recipe out of the  Best of the Best from New England: Selected Recipes from the Favorite Cookbooks of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire. Take advantage of its basic recipe and get creative to make it your own.


  • 1¾ cups flour

  • ⅓ cup corn oil ( or bacon fat melted or combined)

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 cup of green onion, coarsely chopped (aprx 8-10)

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese

  • 1 beaten egg

  • ¾ cup milk

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

  • ½ cup chopped bacon

  • 1/4 tsp Salt (optional)

  • Optional extras; if you want to make these more robust, add 1/4 tsp of garlic powder, and/or Everything But The Bagel seasoning or your favorite dried herbs. Start with 1/4 tsp and add to your tastes. You can also consider switching out the cheddar for pepper jack.


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.

  2. In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, (salt and seasonings, if using) and baking powder. Make a well in the center.

  3. Combine egg, milk, and oil(s).

  4. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture; stir just until moistened.

  5. Fold in onions, cheese, (bacon if using) and walnuts until just combined.

  6. Grease or line muffin cups and fill approximately ⅔ full.

  7. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Makes 12 muffins.

Adapted from:

Best of the Best from New England: Selected Recipes from the Favorite Cookbooks of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Plastic Comb – August 1, 1994


This is one of the dishes  I made previously on @foodtoktv live. You can see that live on the @Foodtoktv Youtube channel

Follow me on Tiktok under @KitchenBearSF (in addition to my original profile Frank_Mentorsf) as work up to the 1k needed followers to start going live cooking again

Spring Fresh Pasta & Vegetables

My version for a Spring Fresh Pasta & Vegetables is loosely based on some versions also known as Pasta Primavera. Either way you cut it; it all comes down to a simple pairing of pasta, cheese, cream and seasonal vegetables and herbs. Fresh is key here – but dried herbs and even some frozen veg will work. In this case I am using frozen peas since I couldn’t get them fresh yet here.

  • Ingredients

    • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, stems trimmed

    • ½ pound asparagus, ends snapped

    • 1 cup of broccoli florets

    • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes

    • ¼ cup thinly sliced spring onion, white part only (or use shallot)

    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

    • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, more as needed

    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    • Black pepper, more as needed

    • 12 ounces your preferred pasta

    • ⅔ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, at room temperature

    • 1/2 cup dairy (your choice; crème fraîche or whole milk Greek yogurt, thick sour cream or marscapone cream) at room temperature

    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, thyme, and and/or other fresh herbs in season

    • zest and juice of one lemon

    • 1 tablespoon  herbs de province

    • Red Pepper flakes to taste

    • Fresh Basil for garnish

    • Optional: ¾ cup fresh English peas

    • Optional garnishes: Toasted Pine Nuts, chopped bacon bits


    1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.

    2. Prep all the vegetables; halve tomatoes and snap peas, wash and rough chop amperages, onions, etc into 1/4 in pieces

    3. Chop your Herbs

    4. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

    5. Add snap peas, asparagus, broccoli and onions/shallots, peas (if fresh)

    6. Cook until vegetables are barely tender 3 minutes.

    7. Add red pepper flakes (to taste), garlic and cook 1 minute more.

    8. If using frozen peas add them now

    9. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

    10. Drop pasta into boiling water and cook according to the instructions

    11. Drain well and transfer pasta to a large bowl. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta liquid. DO NOT RINSE THE PASTA

    12. Immediately toss pasta with warm vegetables,

    13. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, your selected dairy creams, lemon juice and herbs, tomatoes lemon zest

    14. Season generously with salt and pepper, more red pepper flakes if needed.

    15. Plate and top with bacon bits and lightly toasted pine nuts and fresh basil

This is one of the dishes  I made previously on @foodtoktv live. You can see that live on the @Foodtoktv Youtube channel

Follow me tiktok under @KitchenBearSF (in addition to my original profile Frank_Mentorsf) as work up to the 1k needed followers to start going live cooking again

White Beans and Tomato Salad

This White Beans and Tomato Salad is so flavorful and herbaceous that it’s strong enough to serve on a crusty bread as a bruschetta as it is as a side dish or salad. It can be served room temperature or even slightly warm but don’t serve it cold. Play a dish for fresh oregano lovers and very forward with the fresh herbs however you could use a lot less you could use dried or you could amp it up with other herbs in season. When I make this often times I don’t have fresh oregano so I’ll use dry but I’ll Amp it up with fresh rosemary fresh cilantro or parsley use what you have.

This is one of the dishes  I made recently on a @foodtoktv live along with some spicy sweet peanuts and retro Cocktail Potatoes . You can see that live on the @Foodtoktv Youtube channel

Follow me tiktok under @KitchenBearSF (in addition to my original profile Frank_Mentorsf) as work up to the 1k needed followers to start going live cooking again


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) low-sodium cannelloni or other white beans
  • 2 ripe tomatoes 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbs. fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tbs fresh chopped mint
  • 1/2 tbs fresh chopped parseley
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • Put the onion in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water. Drain well.
  • Put the beans in a colander, drain, rinse well and drain again.
  • Dice and drain your tomatoes, remove any seeds, using your fingertip to scoop them out if necessary.
  • In a bowl, mix the beans, tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, herbs, onion, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.

    Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy in a Hurry, by Karen Ansel, MS, RD, and Charity Ferreira (Weldon Owen, 2012).

Cocktail Potatoes

Perfect for a cocktail party, a tapas night or simply a side dish – this retro inspired remake for Cocktail Potatoes is a standard favorite which is why I did this recipe for @foodtoktv as @Frank_MentorSF before shifting over to my new food account  @KitchenBearSF  

Cocktail Potatoes


  • 1lb bag of tiny new potatoes, scrubbed clean (don’t peel)

  • 1 heaping tbsp kosher salt

  • 1 heaping tbsp sugar

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • For coating

    • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

    • 1/4 ground black pepper

    • 1/4 tspn Garlic powder

    • 1 tbsp Roasted sesame seeds or crushed nuts

    • Zest of 1/2 lemon

    • 2 tbsp melted butter, olive oil or roasted sesame oil

    • Salt to taste

    • Minced Scallions or chives


  1. To a pot of cool water; add potatoes, salt, sugar (Yes that is correct “sugar”) and garlic

  2. Boil until fork tender 10-15 min

  3. While the potatoes boil, melt butter and combine red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, ground pepper, lemon zest, black pepper, garlic powder. Stir and let flavor the oil.

  4. Drain the potatoes, add back to the pan with the heat turned off

  5. Immediately add the seasoned butter, lemon zest

  6. Mix well to coat

  7. Add additional salt and black pepper, to taste.

  8. Serve in a warm bowl with toothpicks or skewer two potatoes to a stick and serve cocktail style

  9. Sprinkle with minced chives before serving

  10. Serve alongside a herbed sour cream dipping sauce or your favorite dressing or cheese sauce.

    Notes: you can use your favorite season mix, z’tar or what ever fresh herbs you like.  Recipe can be doubled or tripled easily for a party. Keep warm in a low oven or crock pot.

    Adapted from the Blueberry Hill Kitchen, notebook by Elsie Masterton 1964

Spicy Honey Roasted Peanuts

These quick and addictive spiced sweet Spicy Honey Roasted Peanuts, keep well but rarely last long. Perfect for a treat or a cocktail hour


  • 16 ounces peanuts, dry roasted or roasted and salted, either is fine

  • ⅓ cup honey

  • ½ cup granulated sugar, divided

  • ½ teaspoon salt (plus an addition 1/4 tsp as a garnish at the end optional)

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked Paprika

  • 1/4 red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat

  3. Place the peanuts in a large bowl.

  4. Microwave the honey in a medium bowl for 30 seconds (it will begin to bubble).

  5. Remove from the microwave and stir in ¼ cup of the sugar, the salt, paprika and cayenne pepper.

  6. Immediately pour the mixture over the peanuts and stir with a wooden spoon until they are all coated with the honey mixture.

  7. Transfer the peanuts to the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.

  8. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until they begin to turn a golden brown.

  9. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 2 minutes

  10. Then stir to loosen the peanuts and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the sugar and crushed red pepper flakes over the peanuts and stir to coat evenly.

  11. Return the peanuts to the pan in a single layer and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt (optional) and allow to cool completely.

  12. Once cool, break apart any peanuts that have stuck together and toss with any loose sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.

    Adapted from


My Latest version of the traditional Easter Pizza Rustica or Ham Pie

As some of you know I am on Tiktok these days on my original account @Frank_MentorSF, and my newly launched, more food focused @KithchenBearSF. While I work to get @KitchenBearSF up to its minimum followers to go live, I go live from my original one and weekly noon 12:00 noon PST on @foodtoktv collaborative account.

On Saturday I took a rare few hours and went live on my account to make my annual “Ham Pie” that I do most easter weeks. I have blogged about this in the past, but sharing below the latest version of the recipe. See this post for more step by step https://bitetheroad.com/easter-ham-pie-aka-pizza-gaina/ .

Full Recipe for the Filling- (enough for 4-6 pies depending on size)

1/2 lb whole milk insalada (or Insalata) ricotta, aka Ricotta Salata  (Firm salty ricotta cheese. – you can substitute any of your favorites or what you can find locally)

◦ 1/2 lb Pepperoni (Use the traditional sticks or the larger slicing one.)

◦ 1/2 lb Prosciutto (optional)

◦ 1/2 lb HOT Capicola or Hot Soppressata,

◦ 1/2 lb hard salami

◦ 1/2 lb Genoa salami

◦ 1/2 lb Procuittini (You can substitute this with any other pepper coated ham they have)

◦ 1/2 lb Abbruzese

◦ 1 lb Basket Cheese if available or use fresh Mozzarella cubed

◦ 1/2 lb Provolone (Other recipes use ricotta Salato etc.) or both

6 – 12 Large Eggs ((see notes for quantities))

For The Dough – 3 – 8” pies

• 1 tsp Ground Pepper (or more to taste for dough)

• 6 large Eggs

• 3/4 cup (or 12 tbsp) Shortening

• 4 1/2 cups All purpose flour

• 1 tsp Salt

• 1 tsp Grated cheese (Parmesan) (for dough)

• 2 tbsp ice water (as needed)


Read these Notes first

  • Depending on where you live – some of these meats won’t be as available. Its totally fine to switch them out for your favorites or use more of one than the others.
  • When buying your meats and cheese – you will save time by asking the deli to slice it in 1/4’ slices for you.
  • The filling for the full recipe will make 1- 9 inch pie- (in a springform pan) and 1 foil or 3 –  8’ in foil round pans. depending on how much you fill them. I also like to use foil loaf pans.
  • I often make the first batch of dough, knowing I will have leftover filling. Then a few days later make another batch for the freezer. When freezing, cool, wrap in plastic, then foil then place in a ziplock bag
  • By volume, the foil pans take about 6-7 eggs worth of the whisked eggs and the springform will take up to 12 – 13 eggs depending on the size eggs you use. (Lessons Learned – have extra eggs handy just in case)
  • If you use a springform pan – be sure and give it a foil “condom”  around the bottoms and bake on a sheet pan in case it leaks


  • Cut all the meats and cheeses into small cubes. 1/4 to a 1/2 inch mix. You can do this several days before in resealable bags or containers.

Making the Dough

    • You can make the dough several ways.
      1. My usual method is in a large flat bowl (or on your counter if you have the room)- sift together flour and salt. Add eggs, ground pepper and grated cheese. This also works in a stand mixer with the dough attachment.
      2. If you use a food processor – its super fast and the dough will be softer. A few tips  include dice up the shortening and don’t over mix. If you make the full version, you’ll likely have to finish mixing it by hand, but if you use the half batch,  you will be able to process it right in the food processor
    • Add in the shortening and work in quickly. Use a pastry cutter if you have one.
    • Crack and break up the eggs. Add the eggs to the flour mixture and mix, adding up to 2 tablespoons of iced water as needed to bring the dough together.
    • Dump it on the counter and knead it until it comes together and form into a ball. DO NOT OVER WORK. Wrap in plastic or cover until ready to use.
    • You have two options now:
      1. You can divide the dough in 4, shape into discs and wrap and chill for 30 min or overnight  or
      2. Divide the dough and roll out and fit into your pans, pressing up the sides. Cut off at any extra to save as decoration on the top.

For the filling (wet mix first)

    1. Crack and whisk the remaining eggs
    2. Add pepper, grated cheese
    3. You can add 1-2 tablespoons of the Basket cheese (if using) and gentle loosen it into the batter. This will add some moisture when cooking.

Assembling the Pie

    1. Preheat your oven*
    2. Roll out the dough, large enough to extend beyond your pan several inches as you will want the sides to hang over. You want it thin enough to be flexible
    3. Using either a 9in spring form pan (or an 8 inch one will do – but use less of everything) or simple foil cake or loaf pans
    4. Lay the dough in the pan and gently press into place and make sure all the corners and sides and flattened smooth.
    5. Sprinkle some grated cheese ( about a tablespoon) on the dough at the bottom of the pan.
    6. Place 2 cups (for foil pans) or 3 1/2 – 4 cups (for spring form pan) of meat and cheese mix in each prepared pan and spread it out. It should be no more than 3/4 of the way up the sides.
    7. Pour the wet batter over the meat and cheese. Using the back of a wooden spoon gently mix in. Essentially you want to barely cover the meat mixture. (If you run short of eggs, whisk up a few more and top off)
    8. Take the leftover dough and add any decorative topping you want (i.e. a cross hatch or cut out shapes), flute the edges.
    9. Brush with an egg or cream wash
    10. Sprinkle with more grated cheese
    11. Bake in a preheated oven* 350 degrees for 60 – 75 minutes
    12. When they are a golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Take them out of the over and let them cool on a rack, in the pan until cool to the touch
    13. Once cooled some, remove them from the pan  and let finish cooling on the rack (remember they will still be hot inside)
    14. You can serve these warm, room temp or cold.
    15. Once fully cooked ns cool – wrap in plastic wrap, then foil to keep. They freeze great!

*Baking Temperature & Times

  • My mom prefers to use 350 degrees for 60 – 75 minutes or until the toothpick comes out dry for the foil pans (my oven was dead on at 60 minutes. (For the larger springform – plan for another 20 min).
  • My original version https://bitetheroad.com/easter-ham-pie-aka-pizza-gaina/
  • Several other versions I have tried and liked include
    • https://cookingwithmamalombardo.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/another-easter-classic-pizza-gaina/
    • http://www.afamilyfeast.com/easter-pie/
    • http://www.food.com/recipe/pizza-gain-aka-pizzagaina-pizza-rustica-italian-easter-ham-pie-293899#top


Keto Chocolate Chunk Biscotti

I am a huge biscotti fan and I have hate paying the price for them in the store when they are super each to make. I do a bunch of flavors, but one of my “go to’s” is a recipe for mini M&M Chocolate Marble Biscotti that I found some time back. But with friends and family members eating more Keto or gluten-free I have started to play around with recipes and this one got a remake this week.

So I went from this version with all the sugar and flour:

To a new version that uses almond four, sugar substituted ingredients:


With a few minor tweaks, I was able to get it working to rave reviews. But first, you have to have the ingredients. So I used these alternative brands (I don’t have a relationship or affiliate with any of them) but they are all easily available at both Safeway and Luckys grocery stores. in my test batches, I found I liked the chocolate bars chopped up better than using the Lily’s chips.

Here is the recipe:


  • 1/2 cup of margarine softened (You could use butter but it will affect the softness of the biscuit – but add more flavor)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar substitute – I used the Monkfruit version
  • Two large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 -3/4 cups Almond Flour ( with up to an additional 1/4 cup if needed on the side)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (you may find you can use less)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (you may find you can use less)
  • 1 -3/4 cups sugar-free chips or chocolate bars chopped up
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 1 cup slivered almonds (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract (optional)

To make:

Preheat over to 325°F.

Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper ( if your sheet are large you can do two bars at once but they will spread some)

Note- this batter is soft enough to do by hand or hand mixer if you do not want to use a stand mixer


  1. In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugar substitute until light and fluffy;
  2. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda;
  4. blend into creamed mixture. Note: The dough will be much softer than the traditional version.
  5. you may want to add in some extra almond flour here if needed.
  6. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of chocolate pieces, mix well
  7. Layout plastic wrap on your counter and scoop out the dough and shape into a ball with your damp hands.
  8. Divide dough ball in half. Put one half back in the bowl, and leave one on the counter.
  9. Add the cocoa powder and coffee granules to one half of the dough in the bowl. Work together until the dough and powders are mixed. The cocoa powder will make the dough stiffer as well.

Making the marbled look

  1. On the plastic-covered counter ( you can also use almond flour on the counter if you prefer not to use plastic). Gently knead the  “white” dough and shape it into a wide log. Put aside.
  2. Do the same with the “chocolate” dough and gently knead into a similar shape
  3. Place the two logs together, one on top of the other, and knead them three times together to form a marbled effect.
  4. Divide the dough into two pieces again  and roll out as two similar shaped logs about 2 inches wide


  • Place each log on a cookie sheet, (leave room around the log as they will spread in baking).
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes ( Almond flour burns faster than regular flour – so keep a close eye on it. In my oven 20 min was perfect)
  • Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Carefully remove from the pan to a cutting board (They will be soft! )
  • Using a serrated knife, slice logs into 1/2 inch slices (it may yield anywhere from 12 to 15 slices per log depending on how you cut them)
  • Rearrange them back on the cookie sheet cut sides down.
  • Bake an additional 10 minutes, Turning the over halfway through is optional
  • Turn the oven off and let them sit in the oven for another 5-10 min
  • Then remove from the pan and let them cool on a rack. store tightly covered

Other tips

  • Wrap each log in plastic and place in the refrigerator fo 15 min – 30 min before baking to chill helps to slow the spread when baking.
  • You can freeze the logs until ready to bake in the future, just let thaw 10 -15 min before baking.
  • Adding the coffee granules is optional. If I don’t have any, I don’t use them. Don’t use ground coffee.. it will be too bitter