My mom is visiting this week and being a huge help with the kids while Ben is gone. Along with her lovely self she brought a couple of recipes with her that she thought we could try together. This biscotti is one of those and I am so very glad that we made them! These are delicious.
Almond is one of the flavors that I think of when I think of my mother. That and pears. She adores pears. These biscotti have sliced almonds and cherries that have been soaked in amaretto which makes the almond flavor even more present and the cherries nice and plump. I wonder how these would be with dried pears…
The prep and cooking method for these is similar to most biscotti I have made. One of the things that is different is on the second bake. Instead of baking the sliced biscotti directly on the baking sheet you place them on wire racks in the oven to bake which I think crisps them up more evenly. I’ll be doing this again for future biscotti. Try these as an accompaniment to your morning or afternoon coffee. Or crumble them up over some ice cream. Or just eat them, that’s the way my 2 year old seems to like them best.
Cherry Almond Biscotti
From a page torn from some Martha Stewart magazine Ingredients
1 3/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup amaretto liquor
3 cups flour (more for dusting)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs (3 for the cookies and 1 for brushing)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup sliced almonds
raw sugar for sprinkling on the tops
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Mix cherries and amaretto in a small saucepan and heat over medium low for about 5 minutes. Liquid should just simmer. Drain and reserve the liquid.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
Beat butter and sugar until thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing after each. Mix in 2 tablespoons of cherry juice and vanilla.
Add in the flour and mix just to combine, then add in cherries and almonds and mix to combine.
Flour a work surface and turn dough out. Divide in half and shape into two logs, about 12 inches long and 2 inches thick.
Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Pat logs down to about 3/4 inch thickness, about 4 inches wide and 12-14 inches long.
Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. The logs will be dark, but shouldn’t be burned. Check the bottom of the logs at 25 minutes and remove from the oven if they seem dark. Transfer to wire racks to cool for 20 minutes.
Slice logs at an angle to the thickness you like, 15-20 slices per log. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
Transfer biscotti back to the rack and lay the slices on their sides. You will have to do this in 2 batches. Place the rack on a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes, flip biscotti over and bake for another 5-7 minutes. Cook longer for a crispier biscotti and less for a softer one. Let cool. Store in an airtight container for a few days or freeze to enjoy later.
Happy February! Earlier in the week I shared this flourless chocolate cookie recipe and declared that I would be sharing more chocolate recipes as we get closer and closer to Valentine’s Day, a day that should be full of chocolate. The name of this blog is Hottie Biscotti, but I’m fairly confident that I’ve only shared one biscotti recipe. So I thought it only appropriate to make some chocolate biscotti.
Biscotti means “twice-baked”. The dough is baked once in a log, allowed to cool slightly, then sliced into pieces and baked again creating a crunchy cookie that begs to be dipped into your hot beverage of choice. Coffee is mine, but tea or hot chocolate would do just fine. And they’re delicious eaten just as a cookie without any dipping.
This biscotti is full of almonds and chocolate chips, but isn’t too sweet, making it the perfect morning or afternoon snack. They would be wonderful crumbled up over a bowl of vanilla ice cream. They’d also make great little gifts.
This recipe is from Dave Lebovitz, a pastry chef whose blog I started reading a few months ago. It’s a great mix of recipes, stories about life in Paris, cooking tips and restaurant reviews. It’s been a fun change of pace in blog reading for me, since very few of the blogs I read are written by chefs, most are home cooks like myself. Check it out and drool over some French food and wine, learn some things you didn’t know and grab some great recipes.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine eggs, sugar and extracts and mix until well combined.
Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, then add in almonds and chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed. The dough will be very stiff.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough in half and form each half into a log, about 8 or 9 inches long and 3/4 inch high.
Transfer each log to the parchment lined baking sheet.
Whisk egg and brush tops of each log, then sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Move logs to a cutting board and slice on the diagonal into 1/2 inch pieces. A serrated knife works well for this.
Place slices back on the parchment lined cookie sheet and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes, then flip cookies over and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cooking rack and let cool completely.
You can coat one side in chocolate if you’d like to or leave them plain. To coat in chocolate: melt chocolate and vegetable oil over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate has just melted. Remove from the heat and spread chocolate onto one side of the biscotti in a thin layer. Move to a clean piece of parchment and allow the chocolate to set.