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Chocolate Cherry Almond Biscotti

Biscotti translates to “twice baked”.  A common mate for your morning latte, this dry “toast” is more like a cross between a scone and a cookie.   While you can guild the lilies as much as you’d like with chocolate drips and drizzles, I prefer the simple flavors of almonds and dried fruit which are typical add-ins for traditional biscotti.  Don’t worry, there is plenty of chocolate in this recipe, but it’s just barely enough so you can still eat it for breakfast.

1/2 c coarsely chopped Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% Dark Chocolate
1 c firmly-packed light brown sugar
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/3  c Lake Champlain Chocolates Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c coarsely chopped toasted almonds
1/2 c dried cherries

To toast almonds: preheat oven to 350º.  Spread almonds on an ungreased baking sheet and toast about fifteen minutes until fragrant.  Allow to cool completely.  Reduce oven temperature to 300º.

Coarsely chop about ½ c of Lake Champlain Chocolates 54% Dark Chocolate.  I didn’t have chocolate chips on hand when I made these, so I unwrapped a handful of our Dark Chocolate Coins and chopped those up.  In a food processor, pulse the chocolate and brown sugar a few times to form a fine crumb.  Set aside.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Make sure these ingredients are well combined – the cocoa powder allows you be sure of this from a uniform color once completely incorporated.

In a medium bowl, over low speed, beat the eggs and vanilla for about thirty seconds.  Add the flour mixture and beat over medium speed until well-combined.  Add the brown sugar mixture, mix well.  Switching to a wooden spoon, fold in cooled almonds and cherries, and mix to combine.

Divide the dough in half on a well-floured surface.  It will be pretty wet, so you’ll need flour your hands as well.  Work each half into a log, about 12-15 inches long and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about six inches between each log.  Bake for about 40 minutes.  Remove from oven, place entire sheet on a cooling rack, and allow to cool for about ten minutes.

Using a serrated knife on a cutting board, cut the slightly-cooled loaves into ¾” slices.  Place cut-side up on cooking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, carefully turn each one over and bake again on the second side for 15 minutes.  If you prefer drier Biscotti, cook for a little longer on each side.

Makes about 30 Biscotti