Cherry Almond Biscotti
These Cherry Almond Biscotti are my everything! Sweet maraschino cherries and a sparkling glaze liven up these classic Italian cookies.
I’ve been thinking about making cherry-almond cookies since about 1998.
In 1998, I was in high school in my first Accounting class. To combat the dryness of the Wisconsin winter air, my teacher had this lovely cherry-almond lotion that she used. Looking back, it was probably just Jergen’s signature scent, but I remember thinking at the time: Cherries and almonds? That would be an amazing cookie.
A few year’s later I was sucked into an MLM (not a fit, as they say) but I came across these lovely Royal Almond products that again had that same cherry scent.
By the way, for my high school graduation, my parents gave me a 4-pound jar of maraschino cherries. Which I took to college. And even when I had no other food to eat, I always had maraschino cherries.
So anyway. The point I’m trying to make is: Cherry Almond Biscotti are my destiny.
When I worked in an office, Biscotti were my choice of cookie to bring in for my coworkers. People would gleefully collect a biscotti from my desk and go dip it in their morning coffee.
I enjoyed making biscotti because they don’t require as much handling as cookies that you roll out, cut out, and frost by hand. I’m not an ace-baker, so I look for easy options.
These are easy.
The dough is a bit crumbly in the bowl, so you just have to knead it for a few minutes (2 to 3 minutes) until it comes together. This gives you a chance to distribute the almonds and cherries evenly through the dough. Don’t worry about turning the dough pink as you squish around the cherries. Not a big deal.
I should warn you (and I put notes about this in the recipe): Traditional biscotti are crunchy. Twice baked = super crunchy. The maraschino cherries are extra moisture to the batter that normally is not there.
The risk is that the biscotti will not be as crunchy as normal because of this moisture. I’ve discovered that if you finely chop the cherries, it’s not a big deal. And even if you don’t, straight out of the oven, these are just as crunchy as any other biscotti.
By Day 2 or Day 3, though, you might find they are slightly less crunchy. This doesn’t bother me in the least… but I just wanted you to be aware. So. Finely chop your cherries for fewer worries. Or just eat them all on Day 1.
I also added a Sparkle gel glaze to the cookies. Honestly, I wanted to do a basic vanilla glaze like this one, but Target was completely sold out of powdered sugar. What’s a girl to do? I grabbed a tube of sparkle gel glaze.
And I’m so glad I did! It’s shimmery and pretty and perfect for the holidays. Just like these cookies!
It’s taken me almost twenty years to reach my cherry-almond destiny, but here we are at last.
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Cherry Almond Biscotti
- 1 cup slivered almonds roasted (see notes)
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup maraschino cherries finely chopped (see notes)
- Sparkle gel or homemade vanilla glaze for decorating (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl by hand, beat sugar, butter, almond extract, vanilla extract, and eggs until uniformly combined.
- A flour, baking powder, and baking soda and mix well. Stir in almonds and cherries. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Gently knead 2 to 3 minutes or until dough holds together. Divide dough in half. Shape each half of dough into a rectangle about 10” x 3”, rounding the corners, and place each rectangle on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake about 25 minutes or until the center of the dough is firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool on cookie sheet for 15 minutes.
- Remove to a cutting board. Cut each rectangle on the bias into ½” slices using a serrated knife. Place slices, cut side down, on the ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake 15 minutes longer or until crisp and lightly browned. Immediately remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Top with glaze or other decorations as desired.
Slivered or sliced almonds will work here. Just be sure that they are blanched so the skins have been removed.
To roast the almonds in the oven: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Arrange the almonds in a single layer and roast until fragrant, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
To toast the almonds on the stove top: In a small dry skillet over medium-high heat toast almonds until golden brown and fragrant, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.
The maraschino cherries add extra moisture to the biscotti and could very well reduce the "signature crunch" by Day 2 (that is, the day after you bake them). You reduce this risk by chopping the cherries as finely as possible. Either way, straight out of the oven they are as crisp as any biscotti but I just wanted to warn you.
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