Almond Cornmeal Biscotti with Dried Cherries

by Rochelle Van Der Merwe

A popular Italian cookie, “biscotti” means “twice-cooked”—and it’s twice as good! This cookie is baked twice for a crunchy and crumbly texture that makes it perfect for dipping into your morning hot coffee or tea.

For Cookies:
1¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1¼ cups finely ground yellow cornmeal
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

For Garnish:
1 pound semisweet or dark chocolate, melted
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add butter and sugar. Mix on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl between additions. Add almond extract and orange zest, and mix until just combined.
4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix on low speed until mostly combined. Add cherries and almonds, and continue mixing on low speed until mixture just comes together.
5. Shape dough into two logs approximately 7 inches long and 3½ inches wide. Place logs on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Flatten top slightly. Place in preheated oven and bake until brown and firm. When pressed lightly, there should be no fingerprint left in the dough. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Cool until easy to handle, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. While cooling, reduce oven temperature to 300°F.
6. Once cool, transfer dough to cutting board. Use a serrated (bread) knife to cut across log in ½”-thick slices. Arrange slices cut side up on lined sheet tray. Place back in cooled oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and flip them over. Rotate tray and place back in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cut side of cookies is very firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire rack.
7. Once completely cooled, dip biscotti halfway in melted chocolate. Roll in sliced almonds. Let chocolate set at room temperature. Store in airtight containers at room temperature.

Yields approximately 2 dozen.

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