My larder is at its fullest on Sundays. Besides the staples–apples, yogurt, bread, salad greens, vegetables–I also stock up on menu-specific items and seasonal fruit. Lately my grocery bags have been a little heavier from the blueberries, strawberries and cherries I’ve been picking up each week, hoping to be able to bake scones, a cake or a tart on my days off. You can probably see where this is going since I haven’t shared any such recipes here lately.
By the time baking day rolls around I have only a handful of the berries and cherries left–if they even lasted one or two days. The other day my husband said while he was slicing strawberries into his bowl of yogurt and flaxseed:
“You know I’m not a big fan of strawberries, right?”
Uh, after close to 15 years together…yeah. So I asked him, “Then why do you eat them when you’ve got a crisper full of apples?”
“Because they’ll go bad if I don’t eat them right away.”
So if you never see a baked fresh berry or cherry treat around here, it’s because my husband has taken on the “burden” of making sure our kitchen is free from rotten fruit. It’s a tough job but I guess someone’s got to do it.
It’s a good thing I am no stranger to figuring out Plan Bs. I’ve been dying to bake with cherries for weeks but besides the few you see in these pictures, the last batch I brought home never made it past the first day. The Cherry-Almond cake would have to wait another day but there was no reason not to bake biscotti when I had a bag of dried cherries in the pantry.
The chocolate, almonds and cherries are magical together in these biscotti. Not too sweet, crisp but not too dry with the occasional chewiness from the dried cherries, these were a hit with my husband who, by the way, said mid-bite, “Did you know I’m not that big a fan of cherries…”
This is my contribution to this month’s Chocolate Party. For more Chocolate-Cherry goodness and previous months’ chocolate pairings, click the image below.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- Pinch salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ⅓ cup chopped almonds
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup dried cherries
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
- Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until combined, about 1 minute.
- Add the flour, baking powder, salt and and unsweetened cocoa and beat just until combined.
- Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition then the almond extract. Add the almonds, dried cherries and chocolate chips and mix until combined.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a 12-inch-long log. Transfer the log to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until the log is firm. The log will spread during this time. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting it. If it's not firm enough to cut with a knife, put it back in the oven in 2-minute intervals. Leave the oven on.
- Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on the diagonal into ½ -inch-thick slices. Place the biscotti cut side up on the lined baking sheet and bake for an additional 12 to 15 minutes, or until crisp. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Store the biscotti in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 2 weeks. Makes 18-2o biscotti.