Thursday, December 17, 2009

Twelve Treats of Christmas-Hazelnut and Dried Cherry Biscotti

I hope you're enjoying my "Twelve Treats of Christmas" blog series. I'm having so much fun baking away and giving out treats. Today's treat isn't nearly as sweet as some of the others I've made, so it would round out a tin of homemade goodies quite nicely.

Biscotti is a great snack to have around when you've got company. All you have to do is keep it in an airtight container and it stays fresh-tasting for a few days. It's easy enough for you to grab for a morning snack and pretty enough to serve alongside afternoon tea or evening coffee. This particular biscotti is my new favorite. The individual flavors stand out on their own, but still come together enough to give a rich and well-rounded flavor. I hope you like this as much as I do!



Hazelnut and Dried Cherry Biscotti
adapted from www.williams-sonoma.com
printer-friendly recipe

Ingredients:

8 TBSP (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped
3/4 c. dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped
zest of one orange

Directions:
1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour 1 large baking sheet or line it with parchment paper, foil, or a silicone baking mat. Have another ungreased baking sheet on hand.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is no longer gritty when rubbed between your finger and thumb.

3. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla until blended.

4. Over a sheet of waxed paper or a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low speed or stir with a wooden spoon just until incorporated.

6. By hand, mix in the hazelnuts, cherries and orange zest until evenly distributed. The batter should be very soft.

7. Turn the batter out onto a generously floured work surface and divide in half. With well-floured hands, transfer one-half onto the greased baking sheet and shape into a log about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place on one side of the sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter, leaving at least 4 inches between the logs. (They will spread as they bake.)

8. Bake the logs until the edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the logs cool for 10 minutes.

9. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs, still on the pan, on the diagonal into slices 1/2 inch wide. Carefully turn the slices on their sides and return them to the oven. When you run out of room on one baking sheet, start transferring slices to the other sheet.

10. Bake until the edges are golden, about 10 minutes more. Let the biscotti cool completely on the pans on wire racks. Store in an airtight container. Makes about three dozen biscotti.

One year ago: miniature pumpkin cheesecakes with cinnamon crusts

2 comments :

KMAYS said...

I keep meaning to make biscotti and never get around to it. I love the hazelnut/cherry combo. So festive!

monicaonthego.com said...

I love biscotti, thanks for the recipe!