Biscotti,  Dessert

Cherry Chocolate Biscotti

When given a box of chocolates I will always search for that one chocolate covered cherry.  Cordials are even better bursting with sweet pleasure on that first bite!  Dark chocolate is always my favorite and if the cordial is filled with alcohol, 0oh la la!  Chocolate desserts become so much more sensual when dripping in raspberry sauce.  There is definitely something about combining the red and black, the berry and the chocolate, that tastes and looks so enticing! 

These biscotti combine my two favorite flavors.  Dried cherries are soaked in kirsch liquor and mini chocolate chips add just the right amount of chocolate taste.  Real vanilla bean intensifies the vanilla flavoring.  I keep a container of vanilla sugar which is basically made by tossing in my scraped vanilla bean pods into the sugar and allowing the flavor to seep into the sugar.  As normal for biscotti, they are not overly sweet and perfectly crisp and crunchy for dunking!  After making this batch, I thought pecans would be a nice addition as well. 

Cherry Chocolate Biscotti

2 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat/white flour)

¾ cup vanilla sugar or plain

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 whole eggs

2 egg whites

1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 ½ cup dried cherries

3 tablespoons kirsch liquor or cherry brandy

1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a large baking sheet with Slipat or parchment paper.  Sprinkle kirsch over dried cherries and allow to sit for 20 minutes.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with a paddle attachment.  Mix the dry ingredients for one minute to combine.  Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until the dough comes together.  Add in the drunken dried cherries with the liquor and chocolate chips, mix until combined. 

Divide the dough in half and form each into a log.  The dough will be sticky, therefore, slightly wet hands help to gently form the logs.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned and firm to the touch.  Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees.  Allow the logs to cool for 10 minutes.  Using a serrated knife, cut ½ inch slices diagonally.  Return the slices to the baking sheet and place in oven.  Bake for 20 minutes.   Remove from oven and allow to sit on baking sheet until cool and crisp.  Makes about 36 biscotti.  Keep covered for up to one month.

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.

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