Taste 7: Cherry Almond Orange Chocolove Biscotti

I love baking biscotti, and since he’s been talking about biscotti lately, I thought I’d make one of my biscotti recipes for my seventh taste of how much I care.  But, I better stop snacking on these to be sure he actually gets a taste…

When baking with butter, I like to whip fresh cream into butter rather than use a pre-made stick, so that was the first step of this recipe. If you choose not to do that, start with softened butter. Also, I love chopping up Chocolove chocolate bars for recipes that call for chocolate chips or chocolate chunks. They are a local favorite of mine. For this recipe I used an Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate Chocolove bar.

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup whipped, fresh butter
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp lemon, orange, or clementine zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 Chocolove bar, chopped (I used Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate for this recipe)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 and 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder (1 tsp if at altitude)
  • a little nutmeg
  • a little sea salt

Preheat oven to 350.

I like to toast my almonds while the oven is pre-heating, but be careful. One minute too long in that oven and they could easily burn! I usually put a big handful of raw, whole almonds on a baking sheet and put them in the oven right when I turn it on. I check them every few minutes and give them shake or stir. After 7-10 minutes, they should be fragrant and golden brown. Remove them from the oven and pour them onto another tray, or into a bowl. Let them cool before giving them a coarse chop.

Sift the flours, baking powder, nutmeg, and sea salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine your chocolate chunks, chopped almonds, and dried cherries (cherries are definitely optional).

Next, start to cream together the butter and sugar in your mixer. Add the eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and lemon or orange zest. When the wet ingredients are well combined, add the chocolate, almonds, and cherries and mix for a few seconds. Finally, slowly add the flour mixture while mixing on slow speed.

When the dough holds together well, remove it from the mixer bowl and form it into an oval-shaped ball with your hands. Then, press it down onto a parchment paper lined baking tray until it is rectangular in shape and 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 15 minutes or so until it is golden brown on the edges and cooked in the center.

Remove it from the oven and let it cool to the touch. Then, transfer it to a cutting board and slice it into 1/2 inch thick pieces.

Turn these on their sides so the inner section faces up and bake another 5 minutes. Remove and flip each piece to double-bake the other side for another 5 minutes. Allow them to cool on wire racks before serving.

Store for one week or more in an airtight container, or eat them all within the first few days as I usually do!  Either way, share with someone you love.

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