Saturday, February 22, 2014

Chocolate Almond Cherry Biscotti

We decided to have a Valentines Party at work last week. Trying to figure out what to bring is always fun, I like to bake a recipe I haven't tried before. Yes, my office co-workers are my guinea pigs. I ran across this recipe here and followed exactly how they had it. I also made these cookies which are on my blog. This is a crunchy, twice-baked Chocolate Almond Cherry Biscotti dipped in chocolate. I dipped mine in ganache rather than melted chocolate (I had some leftover from a cake, so it was nice to use it up). This is a really good recipe either way you dip it.  If you have ever eaten Biscotti you know it's a rather dry cookie but pairs well with coffee or hot chocolate. I like it plain.. I LOVED this recipe ...isn't anything with chocolate and almonds delicious anyway?? Enjoy!

Chocolate Almond Cherry Biscotti

Biscotti:4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup  Granulated Sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 & 3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour*
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1/3 cup almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1 cup dried cherries
Chocolate Dip:
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2 teaspoons shortening

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add in eggs and extracts and beat until well combined.With mixer on low, add in flour, cocoa, almond flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix just until combined.  Stir in chopped almonds and cherries. On parchment-lined sheet, form dough into a log, 14” long and 3” wide.  Use a bench scraper to smooth the top, if needed.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325° F.  Spray baked dough with water and let sit and additional 5 minutes. Remove to a cutting board.  With a sharp knife, cut dough crosswise, into strips about 3/4"-1” wide.  Place cut strips back onto cookie sheet, standing upright. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes, until dry (time will vary based on the thickness of the cookies. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool completely on a wire rack. Line another cookie sheet with waxed paper.
To dip, melt 2/3 of chocolate chips and shortening in microwave.  Start with 45 seconds on 50% power.  Stir.  Continue at 30 second intervals, stirring after each until melted.  Stir in remaining chocolate chips until smooth. Dip bottom of biscotti into melted chocolate. Place onto waxed-lined cookie sheet.  Place in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to set. 

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