Sunday, December 23, 2007


This is Ellie Krieger's recipe, and it's posted on I think there is an error in the flour amounts. 2-1/2 cups of flour was too much. Even though the cookies taste great, the dough wasn't sticky enough for a biscotti. So I've adjusted the flour amounts to 2-1/4 cups total, as other similar biscotti recipes have this amount. (Be sure you lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup before you level it off.) I took 1/4 cup of the flour and mixed it with the cherries, chocolate and nuts. This makes it easier to mix them -- they don't clump together with the flour coating them. Ellie uses olive oil in her recipe, but I used canola oil. The olive oil that I buy has a strong flavor. It's first cold pressed extra-virgin. To use a lighter oil negates the benefits of olive oil, so I went with canola oil which really has no great benefit either, except that it doesn't solidify in your arteries. You can choose which oil you want to use. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly, and it's a pretty good one. Biscotti are so easy to make and most people really like them. Because of the oil in the recipe, these are lightly crunchy, not break-your-teeth crunchy, and the flavors blend nicely. Try this recipe; I think you'll agree it's a keeper.

Biscotti with Dried Cherries, Chocolate and Almond

INGREDIENTS: 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided use
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (I used King Arthur whole wheat flour)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup canola, vegetable or olive oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
1/2 cup toasted and chopped almonds
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate (I used 1/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips and 1/4 cup chopped Hershey's milk chocolate bar)
For the Dipping: 1/2 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate + 1 Tbsp. half and half, cream or milk)

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of each of the flours, baking powder, salt and orange zest; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the cherries, almonds and chocolate with the remaining flour and mix till cherries are well coated and not clumping together; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla until well combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 portions, mixing the flour in after each addition. Stir in the cherries, almonds and chocolate and mix till just combined. (I did this in my KitchenAid, but I have a 450-watt motor. If your motor is not up to this, then fold in the last ingredients by hand.) Ellie says to knead the dough, form it into a 3" x 10" log and put it on the baking sheet. I like to spoon large blobs of dough directly onto the cookie sheet and then with wet hands (if needed), shape the dough into a log. You pick which works best for you. Bake for 25 minutes. Carefully transfer to a wire rack to completely cool. (I used two spatulas to lift the log onto a wire rack.) The biscotti must be completely cooled before you slice it; otherwise, it will crumble into pieces. When it is completely cool, slice 1/2" diagonal slices (or cut straight down if you prefer). Arrange the slices cut side down on the baking sheet (use the same one, no washing needed) and bake at 325F for 10-12 minutes; turn the cookies over and bake for 10-12 minutes more, or till golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool again. These cookies are great as is. If you want to take them over the top, add the chocolate dip or glaze. (Ellie's recipe does not include any chocolate dip or glaze.)

If chocolate dip is desired, heat the chocolate and half and half in a small heat-proof dish over simmering, not boiling, water, stirring till liquid state is obtained. (You can also heat the chocolate in the microwave, but be careful because it does burn easily.) Add more half and half if needed to keep the chocolate thin and liquiddy. Dip one end of each biscotti in the liquid chocolate, or drizzle over the biscotti. Ellie says this recipes gives 12 biscotti, but I got more like 20. I must have cut them thinner.

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