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Cherry-Walnut-Pepita Biscotti

This is one of my favorite holiday treats to make for friends and family. Everyone is sipping lots of tea and coffee in the winter to stay warm and these biscotti are a delightful accompaniment anytime of day. They are super easy to make and can be adapted using whatever add-ins you like best. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cookies, holiday
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 2 logs
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this recipe from the December 1992 issue of Gourmet magazine

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups 4 ounces dried cherries, tart
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3 large farm fresh eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 navel orange zested and juiced
  • 1 cup walnut pieces and halves toasted
  • 1/2 cup pepitas raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 large egg beaten, with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash
  • 1/4 cup demerara sugar raw, coarse cane sugar, for sprinkling on the top of the logs

Instructions

  1. Soak cherries in boiling water to cover in a bowl until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain, then pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a large sheet pan or use a silpat so biscotti logs do not stick.
  3. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and orange zest in a large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla and orange juice and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed just until a dough forms. Add cherries, walnuts and pepitas and mix at a low speed. Dough will be a little wet.
  4. Turn out dough on a well-floured surface and knead several times to incorporate all of the fruit and nuts evenly. Halve dough. Using floured hands, form each into a slightly flattened 13x2 inch log on baking sheet, spacing logs about 3 inches apart. Brush logs with egg wash and sprinkle liberally with demerara sugar for added texture.
  5. Bake until golden, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet for at least 20 minutes, but leave the oven on.
  6. Transfer a log to a cutting board and using a serrated knife (preferably off-set), cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  7. Arrange slices in one layer on the baking sheet, and it's fine if the slices are touching.
  8. Bake, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer biscotti to racks and let cool.

Recipe Notes

Note: You can use cranberries in place of the cherries and pecans or almonds for the walnuts. And feel free to drop in a few white chocolate chips as well or dip half of a biscotti in white chocolate. Be creative. Store biscotti in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week and keep in mind that, like soup, biscotti gets better after a day or two.