Saturday 14 April 2007

Cherry and Almond Biscotti

I decided to make these biscotti to use up some leftover marzipan I had from making the simnel cake a couple of weeks ago. I added cherries to the dough as I think these two flavours complement each other wonderfully. The cherries also add a lovely bright colour to what would otherwise be quite a bland dough.

The dough for these biscotti is quite soft, so you may need to flour your hands and work surface well when shaping them. The biscotti, while still crisp, also turned out slightly softer than some I have previously made, I assume this is down to the almonds in the marzipan. However, this makes them ideal for munching on their own as well as dipping them into your coffee or liquor. They had a wonderful aroma when cooking, almost that of a bakewell tart.

Cherry and Almond Biscotti
300g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
75 glace cherries
70g marzipan
3 drops almond essence
70g butter
½ tbsp milk
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and stir together.
Chop up the glace cherries using a pair of scissors (I find this easiest) and finely dice the marzipan into little cubes. Add to the bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients, making sure the butter if softened, and mix together into a dough using a wooden spoon.
Transfer out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape the dough into two long log shapes.
Place on the baking tray, leaving a 5-6cm gap between them.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes as they will be quite soft at this stage.
When slightly cooled, slice the logs on a slight diagonal into 1 cm thick slices.
Place cut side down on the baking tray and return to the oven for a further 16-20minutes, flipping the biscuits over half way through.
Allow the biscotti to cool completely on a wire wrack before storing in an airtight container.Makes 35 – 40 biscotti

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