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Chocolate, walnut & dried cherry biscotti

I've made biscotti multiple times before using a variation of Robyn Webb's recipe. One of my favorites was Crystallized ginger & pistachio biscotti. Over the past few months I've been meaning to bake a batch of biscotti and finally made plans with Jenna to do so last Friday. This was the first time I baked something in my new oven!

I decided on chocolate biscotti with walnuts, bought the ingredients and asked Jenna to bring a cookie sheet and her baking expertise. We had a great time playing in my kitchen, catching up and inhaling the chocolate fumes from the cocoa.

Chocolate, walnut & dried cherry biscotti

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted, chopped
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
optional: 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water for the egg wash


1. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder. Sift in cocoa powder.

2. Add walnuts and dried cherries to the mixture of dried ingredients.

3. In a separate bowl combine eggs and vanilla. Incorporate into the dried ingredients mixture.

4. Form the dough into two logs on top of a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Flatten the logs and bake for about 25-30 minutes.

5. Optional: I noticed that the logs were rather dull as they were baking. Jenna suggested I brush an egg wash on them and I listened! {You can see some of my kitchen in the photo below: Cindy's ceramic tile with the "life" symbol underneath a bottle of oil and my bright red pepper grinder.}

6. Once the logs are firm to the touch, take them out of the oven and let them cool.

7. Cut the logs diagonally into slices about 1/3rd of an inch thick and bake them again for 15-25 minutes until they are well toasted. Jenna and I hiked up the oven temperature to 375 in the last 10 minutes and also turned the biscotti over half way through the baking process.

Thoughts: This was a super easy baking project. Since the dried cherries were an afterthought, I only used what I had on hand: 1/4 cup. I'd definitely increase that amount to 1/2 cup and also add more sugar to the recipe. Jenna suggested adding some fat, which I think is a great idea.

Basically this was a fine result, but not spectacular. See, I don't only post "perfect" results ;)

Do you have any suggestions for improving this recipe? Please share in the comment area. Also, let me know what you like to add to your biscotti.


Victoria said...

Wow, I love how dark these turned out. Maybe some coarse sea salt would make these even more delicious.

Capitol to Capital said...

I'm confused by people who want to see the mess ups or disappointments. I use the cooking blogs in my Google Reader as a library of recipes I can turn to for new dinners, entertaining, etc. I want to know what works! People are funny. Who wants to read a recipe that at the end says "you know, this actually wasn't so great..."

Unknown said...

Well it looks kind of perfect to me, but Barefoot Contessa always advises to add a bit of coffee to anything with chocolate to heighten the flavour.
*kisses* HH

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

I'm usually not a big biscoti person because they can be brick-like and flavorless but these look great! I love that they are a chocolate base! I'll have to give them a try.

PS, I took your advice and put some orange zest and dried cranberries into my Challah bread. I also added some cinnamon and nutmeg.! So good! Thanks for the advice!

Anonymous said...

Perfect or not, they photograph well. :) I love the idea of the egg wash. I make chocolate almond and cranberry biscotti every Christmas. I'll have to remember the wash to add the glossy look.

Sylvie said...

These look so good that I want to make them...and I don't always crave to bake. Wonder if I can just add dried cranberries and pecans (that is what I have at home.)

BlueToYou said...

biscotti always seemed very hard to make to me and it looks like you did great. can i put in a Daring Bakers request for these? I'll be happy to taste-test them for you:

JeniferE said...

These look amazing! While my husband is the "cook" in the household, I am the "baker". I can't wait to sample these!

sonya said...

You might have one too many eggs in the recipe. It's hard to tell from looking, but they look cake like. Maybe taking out one egg will make the difference. I was going to say bake them a bit longer. But it appears you baked them for the right amount of time. I agree with the others though, they look very chocolate-y. And the nuts and cherries...I will be making these.