Welcome to Heartland Lady! It is such a thrill to be publishing my very first blog post. I thought a good way to begin would be to share my most prized recipe with you. In upcoming posts, I'll write about a great many topics, from beauty to biking to baking.
Thank you so much for visiting today, and I do hope you'll stop by again!
If I could offer only one dessert recipe on this blog, it would be this one - Chocolate Cherry Almond Biscotti. (Not to worry though.. I'm being figurative. There are certainly more recipes to come!) I've made this wonderful twice-baked baked good for years, with consistently pleasing results. Despite the terribly sticky, unworkable dough/batter that results from this combination of ingredients, I promise you that once it is baked (and baked again!), it is among the best biscotti you will ever dunk in your coffee mug.
'Til next time,
Chocolate Cherry Almond Biscotti
1 ½ C. almonds (or walnuts)
2 C. flour
1 ¼ C. cocoa
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 C. sugar
¾ C. dried cherries
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
~6 oz. chocolate
Preheat the oven to 325⁰F. Place nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-15 min. or until lightly browned. (Toasting the nuts is optional. I’ve only done this with almonds. Walnuts can develop a mighty strong flavor when toasted, which may overpower the rest of the biscotti.)
Lightly butter and flour 2 baking sheets. Set aside.
Place almonds, flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, sugar and dried cherries in a large bowl and stir until combined. Place eggs and vanilla in a small bowl and beat until combined. Using a mixer on low speed, gradually mix the eggs into the flour until the dough comes together.
Warning: the dough will be absurdly sticky and just about impossible to work with. Use a spatula and butter knife to get it out of the bowl and “form” it on the baking sheet. This is the hardest part, but well worth it!
In the mixing bowl, split the dough in half. (I score it down the middle with a butter knife.) One half goes on each of the greased, floured baking sheets. Form the dough into roughly a 12x3x1 (l x w x h in inches) flattened log shape.
Bake for 30-35 min. or until sides are firm and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove baking sheets from the oven and allow to cool for 15 min. Lower oven temp. to 300⁰F.
Cut logs slightly on the diagonal into ¾-inch-thick slices. Turn the slices bottom side up. Put the baking sheets in for another 25 min.
This second baking time is what dries the biscotti out and makes them crunchy. Test them for done-ness by pressing your finger on the biscotti. It should be very firm and dry in texture, not soft like your average, once-baked cookie.
Remove from oven, and allow to cool completely.
Chocolate melts in a child's pocket. ~ Mary Berry
You can leave the biscotti plain, or if you want to make it extra special…
Melt chocolate in microwave in 15 second increments, stirring each time.
Follow these words of wisdom from Mary Berry of the Great British Baking Show: “Chocolate melts in a child’s pocket.” Do NOT overheat the chocolate or it will begin to seize and will not spread smoothly. Tempering chocolate is a very tricky thing; it’s best to use small increments of heat.
Either drizzle the chocolate across the top of the biscotti or coat ½ of each biscotti (as pictured above).
Another fun, decorative accent: sprinkle ground nuts on the chocolate before it sets. You can lightly tap the nuts into the chocolate with your finger, to secure them.
Yield: approximately 20 large pieces of biscotti