Chocolate Cherry-Almond Biscotti

adapted from Butter-Pecan Biscotti by King Arthur Flour

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

3 Tablespoons vegetable shortening

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted*

2/3 cup dried cherries, chopped

2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the almond extract, baking powder, and salt.

4. Mix in the flour, one cup at a time, until well blended.

5. Add nuts, fruit, and chips, and mix until they are well-distributed throughout the dough.

6. Place dough down the center of a lightly greased baking sheet.  With wet hands, pat dough into the shape of a log, about 12 by 4 1/2 inches.  Shape dough so that it is slightly mounded in the center, and lower on the sides.

7. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove dough from the oven and allow it to cool for about 45 minutes.  Lower oven temperature to 300°F.

8. Place log on a cutting board and, using a serrated blade, slice on the diagonal into 1 inch wide slices.  Place slices, cut side up, on an ungreased baking sheet.

9. Bake for about 20 minutes, turn them over, and bake for about 20 minutes more, or until they are golden and toasty.

* To Toast Nuts- Place nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking pan and bake at 350°F.  for about 7-9 minutes, or until they are golden brown and yummy smelling.  Watch them carefully so that they do not burn.

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Biscotti

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Butter-Pecan Biscotti by King Arthur Flour

About 15 years ago I ordered a biscotti pan from King Arthur Flour and it came, as a set, with a very nice biscotti baking book.  The pan also had it’s very own recipe included with the set.  I figured since I had never made biscotti before, I would start with the recipe that came with the pan and branch out to the fancier recipes in the book after I knew what I was doing.

That initial recipe was so versatile that I’ve yet to use the book that came with the pan. I’ve made this biscotti recipe at least 6 different ways and I’m still experimenting with other combinations.  Biscotti make lovely teacher gifts, office treats, and nice “thinking of you” gifts for friends and neighbors.  Because it is a hard cookie, they also travel well in the mail.

I can never bake these cookies without thinking of Mrs. Sweeney, Bobby’s junior high school Spanish teacher (her husband , Mr. Sweeney, was Danielle’s 6th grade teacher, too).  Of all the teachers that ever received them, she always appreciated them the most.  So I bake these in honor of Mrs. Sweeney and all the other great teachers that have made an impact on our children’s lives.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

*This recipe calls for butterscotch baking chips.  Let your imagination go and try various combinations of nuts and chips.  For instance; chocolate chips and walnuts, mint and white chocolate chips (no nuts), dark chocolate chips and pistachios, peanut butter chips and peanuts, butter brickle and almonds,etc.  Just go the baking aisle of the grocery store and get inspired.

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

3 Tablespoons vegetable shortening

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (this is the flour I use)

2/3 cups pecan pieces, toasted*(I used slivered almonds for this batch and baked them for about 6 minutes)

2/3 cup butterscotch chips (I used Heath Bar brickle bits for this batch)

*Toast pecans in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 7-9 minutes, or until they smell “toasty” and are beginning to brown.  Allow to cool before using.

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Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar.

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2. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl.

3. Beat in the vanilla, baking powder and salt.  Mix in the flour, one cup at a time, until you have a cohesive, well-blended dough.

4. Add the nuts and chips, mixing until they are well distributed.

5. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined, or lightly greased biscotti pan (If you don’t have a biscotti pan, a baking pan with sides will work just the same as long as it is at least 13 inches long).

6. Wet your fingers and pat the dough into a 12x 4 1/2 inch log (it will spread some during baking).  Shape the dough so that it is slightly mounded in the middle and lower on the sides.

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7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 30 minutes.  Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

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8. Transfer the log to a cutting board and using a serrated knife, slice the log diagonally into 1/2 inch slices (mine end up a little closer to 1 inch wide slices).  Because of the nuts and chips, the biscotti are apt to crumble a little, so saw slowly.

9. Place the slices on their sides on an ungreased baking sheet (parchment lining makes clean-up easier), or use a Silpat.  Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, flip them and bake for another 20 minutes.  The biscotti should be dry and beginning to turn brown.  Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

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