Recipe: Cherry-Almond Holiday Biscotti

Biscotti are “twice-baked” cookies. Freshly baked loaves are cut, then the slices are baked a second time. The result is a dry, crunchy biscotto that, in its day centuries ago, was packed as a nonperishable food that was easily stored for long forays into the wilds. Today, it’s a coffee shop favorite and a worthy companion for virtual voyages into contemplative unknowns.

Cherry-Almond Holiday Biscotti
Makes about 24-30 biscotti

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup white chocolate chips, divided


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the baking rack in the center of the oven. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl until evenly distributed. Set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and the almond and vanilla extracts. Beat until incorporated, another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in two parts. Add half of the dry ingredients, beat just to combine, then add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing only until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
  5. Fold in the dried cherries, almonds and ½ cup of the white chocolate chips into the dough, until evenly distributed.
  6. Divide the sticky, lumpy dough in half, placing each half on the lined baking sheet. With lightly floured hands, form two loaves approximately 3 inches wide, 12 inches long, and ½ inch thick. The loaves will be rather flat in appearance at this stage, but will puff and spread during baking.
  7. Bake the loaves for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. A light finger press in the center of the loaf will spring back when touched.
  8. Cool the loaves on the baking sheet, resting on a cooling rack, until cool enough to handle, about 20-30 minutes.
  9. Transfer the loaves to a cutting board, and cut the loaves at a slight diagonal, into 3/4-inch-wide slices.
  10. Place the slices, cut side down, on the baking sheet, still lined with the baking mat or parchment paper. 
  11. Bake the biscotti a second time in a 350 degree F oven. Bake for 7 minutes on one side, flip the biscotti over and bake another 7-8 minutes, until they begin to golden and the slices are dried out.
  12. Remove the biscotti slices from the baking pan and cool completely on a rack. 
  13. Meanwhile, melt the remaining ½ cup white chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler, set over gently simmering water. Paint the melted white chocolate across the tops of the biscotti. 
  14. Add sprinkles, if desired. Allow the white chocolate to harden, then package the biscotti for storage or gift-giving.

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