A Tasty Little Snack
These no fat, low sugar biscotti are one of my favourite little snacks. They go great with coffee or tea. While I love to bake, I’m not usually attracted to overly sweet things, so these cookies are the perfect little treat for when I do feel like something just a little sweetish. There is no butter or oil in these traditional Italian cookies. Biscotti—so named because they are “twice cooked”—are easy and fun to make and they store well in an airtight container for up to a month at room temperature (though I doubt that they’ll last you as long as that).
Dried Cherry & Almond Biscotti Recipe
Recipe adapted from Stephanie Jaworski at JoyofBaking.com
- 2 cups (260 g) flour
- 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries (I use Montmorency dried cherries)
- 3/4 cup (110 g) coarsely chopped toasted almonds
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
- Toast almonds for 10-12 minutes in 350° F oven, until lightly browned. You can use either blanched almonds or natural almonds with their skins on, whichever you prefer. Cool and coarsely chop.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300° F.
- Add dry ingredients together and whisk to integrate.
- Add chopped nuts and dried cherries to flour and stir well to coat everything.
- In a separate bowl, add vanilla and almond extracts to eggs and whisk lightly.
- Make a well in the flour and add the egg mixture.
- Stir well to incorporate all the flour. At the end, I usually get in there with my hands to finish mixing.
- Split the dough into two equal parts (use a scale if you have one; if you don’t, just eye-ball it).
- On a lightly floured counter-top, form each half of the dough into a cylindrical log and place each log on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pat each log into a rectangular shape, approximately 4″ x 7″. There’s no magic size—feel free to play with the diameter of the logs.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Using a serrated knife, slice each rectangular log width-wise into 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick slices, depending on how thick or thin you like them (traditionally, they are cut on a slight diagonal, but you can cut them straight if you want to). Lay each slice cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for between 11-14 minutes.
- Remove from oven, flip each biscotti over and bake again for another 11-14 minutes. The total length of time you bake the slices depends on how hard or soft you prefer your biscotti. If you like a softer texture, bake for 11 minutes per side. If you like them harder and crunchier, bake for up to 14 minutes per side.
Feel free to get creative with this recipe. You can make them with just the toasted almonds; you can swap out the dried cherries for dried cranberries or candied orange peel; you can use hazelnuts instead of almonds; and you can even dip them in dark chocolate or white chocolate. Whatever you do, have fun!
Joy of Baking Video: Biscotti Demonstration
Stephanie Jaworski’s video on JoyofBaking.com perfectly demonstrates how to make biscotti. It’s worth watching, as she clarifies the process so well:
All photographs by madlyinlovewithlife; © 2014 madlyinlovewithlife