Early Morning Biscotti with Cherries, Almonds and Chocolate

Over the holidays for the annual cookie party, Jamie made the most incredible biscotti for her cookie recipe.  It had orange zest, pistachios and was dipped in white chocolate- and so incredibly tasty!  So imagine our surprise to find a similar, and healthier, version of biscotti in our favorite go to cookbook So Easy, Ellie Kreiger.  It’s not hard to make, just a little time consuming.  The process is to make the dough, easy, then form in a log and bake it for 25 minutes, cool for 15 minutes, carefully slice ( it does crumble so use a sharp knife and be gentle and slow!), place slices back on cookie sheet, bake 10 minutes, flip over and bake 10 more minutes.  So, this was done on a lazy, well we had some time, Sunday and we’re enjoying it and sharing it all week long!  The combination of almonds, chocolate and cherries is certainly a favorite; you can also switch out these 3 ingredients with anything similar you may prefer or have on hand… pistachios, cranberry, white chocolate…. pecans, golden raisins, caramel baking chips…. and so on.  Give it a try, you won’t be sorry… till they are all eatin up!
Ingredients

(adapted from So Easy, Ellie Kreiger)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
Zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried tart cherries, finely chopped
1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, finely chopped
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl beat together the sugar, eggs, oil, orange zest and vanilla extract until well combined. In batches add the dry ingredients until the mixture forms a dough. Beat in the cherries, almonds and chocolate.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead several times. Shape into a log about 10 inches long and 3 inches wide. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. With a serrated knife, cut 1/2-inch diagonal slices. Arrange cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the cookies over and bake the biscotti until golden, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Yield:

12 biscotti, 1 biscotti is a serving
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