Macadamia and Dried Cherry Biscotti
- SERVINGS: makes 2 1/2 dozen
Toasted nuts make these fragile cookies buttery while macerated cherries lend a fruity tang.
- 1 cup dried tart cherries (4 ounces)
- 1/2 cup kirsch or water
- 1 cup unsalted macadamia nuts (4 ounces)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- In a small bowl, soak the dried cherries in the kirsch for 1 hour; drain.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them for about 5 minutes, stirring once, until golden brown. Let cool completely, then pulse nuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar with the brown sugar. Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in 2 of the egg whites and the vanilla until the mixture is creamy. Beat in the flour, then stir in the nuts and the drained cherries until evenly distributed; the dough will be soft and slightly sticky.
- Working on a sheet of wax paper, shape the dough into a 14-inch log. Roll the log onto the line baking sheet. Beat the remaining egg white and brush it on the log. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar. Set the baking sheet on a second baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour, or until the log is golden and firm to the touch. Let cool on the baking sheet, about 3 hours or overnight.
- Using a sharp serrated knife, carefully cut the log on a diagonal into 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick slices. Using a spatula, lay the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly colored. Gently turn the biscotti and bake for 10 more minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets
The intensity of the dried cherries meets its match in a vin santo from Tuscany, such as Antinori or Castello di Ama.