Unlike many crumbly cookies, these biscotti are sturdy enough to mail. For a holiday gift, send a batch along with a pound of your favorite coffee beans.
- 1 3/4 cups dried cherries
- 1/2 cup amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur), plus more if needed
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs (3 whole, 1 lightly beaten)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup whole blanched almonds, chopped
- 3 tablespoons coarse sanding sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat cherries and liqueur in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until cherries have softened, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. If liquid equals less than 2 tablespoons, add enough liqueur to make 2 tablespoons.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in 3 whole eggs, one at a time. Mix in reserved cherry liquid and the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir in cherries and almonds.
On a lightly floured surface, halve dough. Shape each half into a 12 1/2 by 2 1/2-inch log. Flatten logs to 1/2 inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper. Brush logs with beaten egg; sprinkle with the sanding sugar.
Bake 35 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer to wire racks to cool, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Cut each log on the diagonal into 16 to 18 pieces. Transfer pieces to racks, laying them on sides. Set racks on baking sheets. Bake 8 minutes; flip. Bake 8 minutes more. Let cool until crisp. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2005