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.
A fellow 6th grade math teacher gave me a bag of Amish friendship bread starter about a 6 weeks ago and I have been going strong giving away starter and baking bread every ten days since then. The problem now is that I’m running out of friends to give it to! Nothing like realizing you only have 12 friends to really boost the self esteem. Sad day. Anyone in Amarillo need some starter? Let me know. I will even drive it to your house. There is one caveat, you have to then become my friend…
I’ve tried a few variations on the basic cinnamon bread.
butterscotch pudding with toffee bits
butterscotch pudding with toffee bits and vanilla chips
vanilla pudding with pecans
chocolate pudding with white chocolate chips
These cookies I made last week inspired my latest bread experiment. Seeing as how I had dried cherries, almonds and coconut on hand it only seemed natural to give these ingredients a chance in the bread. I made one loaf plain with vanilla pudding and cinnamon, and to the remaining batter I added the cherries, almonds and coconut; about a handful of each. What am I doing? No measuring? I think I’m turning in to Rachel Ray! Before you know it I am going to be writing EVOO in my posts and giving all my posts super cutesy names! OK, OK. I will not turn in to Rachel Ray. I will tell you that the amounts were about 3/4 cup each. Give or take…
If you have friendship bread starter, then just add 3/4 cup each cherries, sliced almonds and sweetened shredded coconut. If you do NOT have starter, then you can try to make your own using the following recipe from allrecipes.com. After you make the starter you can make the bread! The recipe I have been using is at the bottom of this post. One of the best parts about this bread is the cinnamon sugar coated pans. It gives such a wonderful, crunchy exterior. I used some Sugar in the Raw on top of my loaves and it was incredibly good. Perfect crunchy sweetness.
When Ben ate one of these he practically fell over, overtaken by deliciousness. The tart cherries, sweet coconut, crunchy almonds and oats make this an incredible cookie. I have nothing else to say. Enjoy.
Cherry, Almond & Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup blanched, chopped
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
Preheat the oven to 350°
In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening, brown sugar, and white sugar until fluffy.
Beat in eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats, almonds, coconut and cherries until just blended.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets, about 6 to a sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes rotating half-way through. Cool cookies on a wire rack.