Biscotti are the best holiday cookies. They taste delicious, they are not overly rich, and they accompany a coffee better than any other treat on the planet. Additional bonuses include their long shelf-life, which makes them perfect for care packages, and their cute appearance.
Every year, I give little packages of biscotti as gifts. Usually I include some almond biscotti and some double chocolate ones, but this year I wanted to add a third variety. So, I decided to make chocolate cherry almond biscotti. So, I played around with my almond biscotti recipe and I tried many different permutations. Sometimes I put in more almonds than cherries, sometimes I put the chocolate right into the biscotti, and other times I used ground almonds in place of some of the flour. Ultimately, I decided that the best version of this cookie had more cherries than almonds, no chocolate in the dough, and was finished off with a dip into tempered chocolate.
What makes these biscotti particularly great is the burst of flavor in each and every bite. You can get that by dipping a side in chocolate and by cutting the sour cherries in half so that twice as many bites include their wonderful tang.
Chocolate Cherry Almond Biscotti
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried sour cherries, halved
1/4 cup almond slivers
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
6 oz chocolate, chopped (either milk chocolate or semi-sweet depending on your taste).
- Adjust rack to center position and heat the oven to 350 degree. Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper.
- Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, almonds, and cherries in a large bowl and stir to combine. In a small bowl combine the eggs, butter and vanilla and whisk to fully combine.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, mix to combine until a rough dough forms.
- Dump the dough onto a work surface and knead until the dough comes together. It may appear dry at first, but it will all come together eventually.
- Start to form the dough into a big, fat cigar and cut it in half. Form each half into a cigar about 1 inch thick, 2 inches wide and about 12 inches long. Place them onto the cookie sheet and lightly press with fingers to slightly flat cigars.
- Bake for 25 minutes reversing the pan halfway through. The bars will be firm to the touch and just slightly browned. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 300 degrees. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 15 minutes.
- Remove cookies to a cutting board using two spatulas. Using a sharp knife, slice the bars on an angle about 1/2 inch thick to form the biscotti. Lay them back on the cookie sheet with either cut side down and place back in oven for 10 minutes. Turn each cookie to expose the other cut side and place in oven for another 10 minutes.
- Let cool on a rack to room temperature. Place cookies in an airtight container and keep for up to a week. These cookies also freeze very well.
- Temper the chocolate. ( You could simply melt it and dip the biscotti in it, but to get the chocolate to keep its sheen, have a snap, and stay solid at room temperature, you will have to temper it. I followed these directions and had beautifully tempered chocolate. When I'm too lazy to temper it, my chocolate is a little sticky at room temperature, but still perfectly delicious).
- Dip the biscotti in the chocolate so that one side is covered and let it set on a baking sheet covered in wax paper until solid.
Thank you once again to Brenda at Meal Planning Magic for putting so much time and effort into making this hop happen!