Italian Cherry Almond Biscotti
These twice baked cookies make a wonderful treat for dipping in hot tea or coffee, a perfect hostess gift, or simply for satisfying a sweet tooth.
1 cup whole almonds raw
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon Nika’s Olive Black Cherry Balsamic
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup dried cherries (optional)
Preheat oven to 325° F. Position rack in the center.
Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast in oven for about 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugars).
In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add almond oil, balsamic, vanilla extract, and zest. Whisk lightly together.
When almonds are toasted, remove from oven and coarsely chop.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add flour mixture to egg mixture; stir with wooden spoon until just incorporated.
Fold in chopped almonds (make sure they have cooled off before incorporating in the batter) and cherries, if using.
Use a large serving spoon to scoop out the dough and place it on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Add another scoop adjacent to the batter on the cookie sheet and keep going until two logs are formed.With damp fingers, shape into a log shape.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown in color and firm. Allow to cool slightly for about 10 minutes.
Remove from baking sheet and transfer to cutting board.
Using a serrated knife, slice cookies at an angle about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick.
Place slices back on the baking sheets, and return them to the oven for about another 15 - 20 minutes (the longer they stay in the oven, the crispier they get). Turn them over at the half way mark.
Place on a wire rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.