Cherry Almond Biscotti

Cook time: 50 Min Prep time: 30 Min Serves: Approximately 32 Biscotti
Ingredients
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c sugar
4 Tbsp butter, unsalted (1/2 stick)
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 c almonds, slivered (slightly chopped)
1/3 c sugar (sugar crystal course)
1 c dried cherries (slightly chopped)
CHOCOLATE DIPPED BISCOTTI (OPTIONAL)
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips or white chocolate baking squares coarsely chopped (made with cocoa butter)
1 Tbsp shortening
Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on a large baking sheet.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
3. Crack and place eggs in a small bowl. Add extracts.
4. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 – 4 minutes. Beat in eggs with extracts one at a time until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrap down sides of bowl as needed.
5. Reduce the mixer speed to low (very important) and slowly mix in the flour mixture until just combined, about 30 seconds. Stir in almonds and chopped cherries and incorporate any remaining flour on sides of bowl.
6. Using floured hands, split the dough in half. On the parchment lined baking sheet roll or press each half into two logs 12-13 inches long and about 3 inches wide. Placing logs about 3 inches apart. Sprinkle with course sugar crystals and lightly press into loaf.
7. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and just beginning to crack on top about 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.
8. Remove loaf from oven and place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
9. Place the loaf on a cutting board (remember not the side of the cutting board used for onions or garlic!) and slice each loaf into 3/4 inch thick slices using a serrate knife. Lay the slices cut side down about 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheet.
Cherry Almond Biscotti
10. Bake 12 – 14 minutes and then turn the slices over bake another 12 – 14 minutes until the slices are crisp and golden brown. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving, about 30 minutes.
11. OPTIONAL – Prepare after biscotti has cooled. In a small saucepan heat and stir chocolate chips or coarsely chopped white baking squares and 1 TBS shortening over low heat until smooth. Dip bottom edge of each cookie into the melted chocolate or drizzle the chocolate over the top of the biscotti. Let stand until set.
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