Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Cookies #2: Chcolate-Cherry Biscotti

My general attitude toward Christmas baking is that all "light" recipes are out - it's full fat, full taste all the way (because if you can't do it at Christmas, when can you?)! These chocolate-cherry biscotti were the one exception this year because I don't think you really miss out on anything due to the nature of biscotti. I don't like them buttery or overly sweet, so a lightened version is fine with me (and might even be closer to an authentic biscotti anyway). I used a Cooking Light recipe for this one and so far they've been an all around crowd pleaser! They taste best a few days after baking.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup evaporated cane sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons walnut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons almond extract (the recipe calls for 1 1/2 but that's all I had left)
2/3 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
Olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flours and salt in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Beat sugar and eggs with a mixer at high speed until thick and pale (about 4 minutes). Add oil and extracts, beating until well-blended. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in cherries and chocolate chips.

Divide dough in half; turn out onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Shape each portion into a 10-inch-long roll, and flatten to 1-inch thickness. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove rolls from the baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

Cut each roll diagonally into 20 (1/2-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over, and bake an additional 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack

Yields 40 biscotti at 80 calories per.