LuAnn's Almond-Cherry Biscotti

Italian biscotti are a twice-baked finger-shaped cookie traditionally served with coffee. The dry cookies are softened by dipping one end into the hot beverage. Instead of coffee, biscotti may be enjoyed with cereal grain "coffee" or hot chocolate (or carob) flavored non-dairy milk. However, they are also satisfying to nibble without dunking.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional; for color)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G or Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer
  • 1/2 cup mild-flavored olive oil
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and turmeric (if using).
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk the water and egg replacer together until the egg replacer is foamy.
  4. Whisk the olive oil, agave nectar, almond extract into the egg replacer mixture.
  5. Stir the wet ingredients, almonds and cherries into the dry ingredients, then knead 5 or 6 times to form a soft dough.
  6. Divide the dough into two equal halves and place on the baking sheet.
  7. Shape the biscotti: Form each portion of dough into a 12 inch long log, allowing about 6 inches between the logs.
  8. Shape logs into elongated mounds about 13 to 14 inches long.
  9. Slightly flatten the long edges of the mounds so they are about 3/4-inch thick at the center with gently sloping sides. (There should still be about 3 inches between the mounds, which will help allow even browning when baked).
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then follow these steps for the second baking:
  11. Briefly remove the baking sheet and cut biscotti into 3/4-inch diagonal slices by firmly pressing a sharp knife straight down through the mounds.
  12. On a pizza baking screen, arrange the slices on their sides – the holes in the screen allow more even browning of both the top and bottom. (If you don’t have a pizza screen, use the regular baking sheet, then turn the slices over halfway through the baking time.)
  13. Continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes or until the biscotti are lightly browned on all sides and almost completely dry. (They will continue to dry as they cool).
  14. Remove biscotti to wire racks to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Yield: 32 Biscotti

Recipe by LuAnn Bermeo, author of Amazing Meals I and II, a two-volume collection of family-approved, plant-based recipes; adapted from Amazing Meals, volume II.