Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cherry Almond White Chocolate Biscotti

I had it in my head that biscotti were somehow tricky to make. In a spate of blog surfing this week and wandering through several cooking blogs (of which I found many really great ones), I stumbled across Closet Cooking. Man, does that guy make gooood looking food. My kind of food. A little fussy but not so much that you don't feel like you can make it. Anyway, he posted several biscotti recipes, so I figured I'd give one a try. I modified his cranberry and pistachio biscotti to suit my own tastes and this is what I came up with. The beauty of biscotti is that so many great combinations of fruits and nuts can be stirred in. It was a truly simple recipe. The hardest part was just waiting for them to cook - they do take a while, so plan ahead. But stirring the dough together took literally 5 minutes. I dare you to make a batch. It's the perfect accompaniment to hot cocoa on a cold day.

Cherry Almond White Chocolate Biscotti
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
9 T. sugar
dash of salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 T. vegetable oil
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped*
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients excluding the nuts and cherries. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until beaten and stir in the vegetable oil. Pour the liquid into the flour mixture and stir until a dough forms, and stir in the nuts and fruit. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet (and I mean it - you really do want to do the parchment paper), pat the dough into a rectangle about 3-4 inches wide and 1/2-3/4 of an inch thick. The dough will spread sideways, so you'll wind up with biscotti longer than what you think. I found it helpful to lightly dust my hands in flour before shaping it to reduce the stickiness.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly so that you can handle it without burning yourself, then remove to a cutting board and slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide slices. Lay the slices back on the parchment lined sheet and bake at 325 for 10 minutes each side. Remove to a rack to cool.
Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave on medium power until smoothe, then drizzle with a fork over the bottom half of each biscotti. Allow to set up, then store in an airtight container.
**A word about cherries. All dried fruit, for that matter. Look at the label before you buy it, because many brands are processed with sulfur compounds, which in my opinion, impart a nasty after taste. I found dried montmorency cherries at Costco that were not processed with sulfur.

The sky's the limit with these. Have fun creating your own combinations. They make a great gift coupled with hot cocoa mix.

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