I’ve had this bag of dried cherries for a bit and thought how great it would be to use them for Valentine’s Day. Hmmmmm…time to try the recipe for Cracked Pepper, Dried Cherry and Chocolate Chunk Biscotti. I grew up on biscotti that was usually anise, which has a mild licorice flavor, or lemon flavored, but this new recipe sent a definite, “wow gotta try that!” to my brain.They are fabulous and taste even better than they look: dark, rich and delicious. The brunette version of the blonde anise seed or lemon variation. First, let me say that my texture preference for biscotti is more cookie-like than the hard-snap. I use butter to achieve that.The less fat, the drier and hard-snappier they are. I looked at a number of recipes (and there are a lot of them) and this is a perfect cookie to be adventurous with. You could add orange zest, almonds or pistachios, or even something savory like rosemary. For the skeptics: the black pepper creates more of a “nice” rather than a, “that black pepper tastes good” flavor. Go for it!
In addition to my undying love and devotion and the biscotti dynamic duo, Rob also got these. XO
You may also want to try these since they are heart-shaped after all!
Biscotti (With 2 variations)
Makes about 3 dozen
- 2 Cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick butter
- 1/3 Cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside. In a separate bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the sides after each addition. Add the vanilla.
Add the sifted ingredients in two batches and with the mixer on low speed, beat after each addition just until the flour disappears. Do not over mix.
The dough will be sticky. Divide the dough in half and with lightly floured hands, roll each half into a log (about 1 1/2″ wide and 15″ long) on one of the baking sheets with about a 3″ space in between. Bake until lightly firm and shiny about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool about 10 minutes.
Place one log on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the log into 1/2″ thick slices. Lay the slices back on the baking sheet in a single layer. Slice the other log and lay these slices on the second sheet.
Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Turn each slice over and bake an additional 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool completely.
Anise Seed Variation
Add 1 teaspoon of anise seed to dry ingredients.
Cracked Pepper, Dried Cherry and Chocolate Chunk Variation
Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper to dry ingredients. After the dry ingredients are incorporated into the creamed butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla, fold in 1 coarsely chopped bar of bittersweet chocolate (about 4 oz.) and 1 1/4 cups chopped, dried cherries.
Credit: Recipe for Cracked Pepper, Dried Cherry and Chocolate Chunk Biscotti courtesy of Gifts Cooks Love: Recipes for Giving by Diane Morgan and Sur La Table