Saturday, 16 August 2008

Cherry Rum/Brandy Biscotti

1 1/2 cups dried tart cherries
1/2 cup rum or brandy
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup raw cane sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped unsalted almonds
1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a small sauce pan over low heat, combine the cherries, rum or brandy, and almond extract. Simmer the cherries until softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Drain the liquid into a bowl, making sure you have at least two tablespoons worth. If less than that is left, add more rum/brandy until you have two tablespoons.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add three eggs and mix on medium speed until combined. Add in the two tablespoons of reserved cherry liquid and the vanilla extract, and stir to combine.
  • Add the flour mixture a little at a time, blending with the hand mixer on low speed. Add in the cherries, almonds and chocolate chips, and use a spoon or your hands to thoroughly combine.
  • On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in half. Roll out the dough into two 12-inch by 2-inch rolls. Flatten each roll to about 3/4-inch thick.
  • Place the flattened rolls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. 
  • Place in the oven on the center rack and bake for 30 minutes, rotating the sheet at 15 minutes.
  • Transfer the biscotti loaves to a wire rack to cool for about 25 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 300 degrees.
  • Slice the biscotti loaves into 1/2-inch to 1-inch thick slices. Not too thin or they'll crumble apart while you try to slice, not too thick or they won't crisp up properly.
  • Lay the slices on their sides on the rack and place the rack on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven on the center rack and bake the slices for 7-8 minutes. Flip the slices and bake another 7-8 minutes. Remove the slices from the oven and cool them on the wire racks.