Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cherry Almond Biscotti

I have always liked biscotti but I am not one for the extra crispy type.  I found this recipe in the Martha Stewart Cookie Cookbook and adapted it using maraschino cherries instead of the dried cherries she called for in the original recipe.  I have made them with mini-chocolate chips as well.

I do not like my biscotti extra crispy so I only bake it after slice for 4 minutes per side.
Cherry Almond Biscotti
1 cup maraschino cherries; drained and chopped
1/2 cup amaretto
3 cups flour; plus more for work surface
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 tablespoons butter; room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs (3 whole for dough and 1 lightly beaten to brush dough before baking.)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (although I used pure chocolate extract in the batch)
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds; chopped
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Soak chopped maraschino cherries in amaretto while you prepare cookie dough. 
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt  into a bowl.  Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of mixer with paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Mix in 3 eggs, one at a time.  Drain cherries and reserve 2 tablespoons of amaretto liquid.  Add reserved amaretto to dough. Add extract.  Reduce speed to low, and gradually mix in flour mixture.  Stir in cherries and almonds.
3.  Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
4.  On a lightly floured surface, halve dough.  Shape each half into a 12 x 2 1/2-inch log.  Flatten logs to 1/2-inch thick.  Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Brush logs with beaten egg; sprinkle with sanding sugar.
5.  Bake 35 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.  Transfer to wire racks to cool, about 20 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
6.  Cut each long on the diagonal into 16 to 18 slices.  Transfer piees to racks, laying them on sides.  Set racks on baking sheets.  Bake 8 minutes, flip, and bake 8 minutes more.  Let cool until crisp.
7.  In small bowl, add white chocolate chips and shortening and microwave at 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Drizzle chocolate over biscotti and let dry until chocolate is hard.

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