Friday Photo: Cherry, Chocolate, and Chili Biscotti

I made these cherry, chocolate, and ancho-chili biscotti as Christmas gifts, but they work equally well for Valentine’s Day.  These elegant biscotti feature rich chunks of Scharfenberger dark chocolate, tart dried cherries, and walnuts; ancho chili powder sparks these flavors with subtle heat.

Cherry, Chocolate, and Chili Biscotti

Recipe (adapted from Art Smith’s Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family by Art Smith):

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
grated zest of 1 large orange
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons pure ground ancho chile powder (available at Wegman’s)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 ounces coarsely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (I like Scharfenberger)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (3 ounces) dried cherries

Position the racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Using a hand-held electric mixer set at high speed, beat the butter, sugar, and orange zest in a large bowl until well combined, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, chile powder, and salt to combine.  Using a wooden spoon, gradually beat in the butter mixture.  Work in the chocolate, walnuts, and cherries.

Divide the dough in half.  Using lightly floured hands on a floured work surface, form the dough into two 10 x 2-inch logs.  Place the logs on an ungreased large baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart.  Bake on the center rack until set and golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, carefully cut the logs into diagonal slices about 1/2 inch wide.  Place the slices on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake until the undersides of the biscotti are beginning to brown at the edges, about 8 minutes.  Turn the biscotti over.  Switch the positions of the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back.  Continue baking until lightly browned on the other side, about 8 minutes.  Cool completely onbaking sheets.  The biscotti can be preapred up to 1 week ahead, cooled, and tightly covered in an airtight container stored at room temperature.

Makes about 28 biscotti.


4 thoughts on “Friday Photo: Cherry, Chocolate, and Chili Biscotti

  1. What a fantastic combination :D. I love this recipe.

  2. RogueAnthropologist February 11, 2012 — 12:34 pm

    So fancy, and look delicious! I really want to try making these, though I don’t have a hand mixer. Perhaps my immersion blender would suffice.

  3. I don’t have a hand-mixer, either. I suppose I could have written that. Mixing by hand works just as well!

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