Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti with Hazelnuts & Cocoa Nibs
I adapted this recipe from my book, Starting with Ingredients: Baking and never tired of making and eating them. The combination of dark cocoa, toasted hazelnuts, and dried tart cherries gets extra crunch from crushed cocoa nibs. Look for crushed cocoa nibs at online retailers; they keep quite well in the pantry. Sprinkle them on ice cream or mix into pound cake batter before baking.
- 14 ounces 3¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 ounces ½ cup minus ½ tablespoon Dutch process cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1¼ cups sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled 1 stick
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 ounces 1 cup crushed cocoa nibs
- ½ pound about 1½ cups dried tart cherries
- ½ pound about 1½ cups hazelnuts, lightly toasted, skins rubbed off, and roughly chopped
- ½ cup raw or crystallized sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking pans (such as ½ sheet pans) with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and the sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 6 minutes. Slowly beat in the butter, then add the almond extract and vanilla, and beat lightly to combine. Fold in the flour mix, then fold in the cocoa nibs, cherries, and hazelnuts.
- Lightly oil your hands and form the dough into two logs, each about 1½-inches wide and ¾-inch thick. Arrange the logs on the prepared baking sheets equidistant from each other with at least 2 inches of space in between. Sprinkle the dough logs with raw sugar, patting so the sugar adheres. (If desired, wrap well and freeze at this point.) Bake logs 25 minutes or until firm on the outside but still soft in the center. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
- Leave the biscotti logs overnight to set up. The next day, set the oven temperature to 325°F. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into scant ½-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on the baking sheets. (The cookie slices will be somewhat fragile.) Bake 20 minutes, or until crispy. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Yield: About 48 cookies