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Author Notes: Biscotti are a fantastic edible gift for a whole host of reasons: they are easy to make ahead and freeze, they keep for several weeks at room temperature, they are versatile cookies that are easy to tweak to your own preferences, they seem hard to make but really aren’t, and they are great with favorite dinks like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. They are also sturdy so you can wrap them in fun and interesting ways. This recipe is my favorite version of holiday biscotti - they feature cherries and chocolate, with almonds thrown in for good measure. They would be equally tasty with cranberries and orange zest, or for a savory twist, add a Tbsp. or so of ancho chile powder to the dry ingredients. —natanya
- 4 cups AP Flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cherry extract
- 1 cup slivered almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1.5 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Butter and flour two large baking sheets or line with silpats.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder in a large bowl.
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and cherry extract. Beat until well combined.
- Incorporate the flour mixture on cup at a time to form a stiff dough.
- Turn the mixer on the lowest setting and add the almonds, cherries, and chocolate chips. Mix just until combined.
- Turn the dough out onto wax paper on the counter and divide into four equal parts.
- Flour your hands and work directly on one of the prepared baking sheets. Form two sections of dough into two slightly flattened logs, each about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide.
- Repeat with the other two logs on the second prepared baking sheet.
- Bake logs for 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch.
- Cool biscotti logs on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cutting board.
- Cut biscotti logs diagonally into 3/4-inch slices.
- Remove silpats from baking sheets (if using) and stand individual biscotti slices on their bottoms on sheets. The biscotti from two logs should fit on one baking sheet.
- Return the baking sheets to the oven and bake biscotti until crisp, about 5-10 minutes. Remove sheets from oven and let biscotti sit on baking sheets for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Edible Gift